Updating Volkswagen Discover Media navigation map database

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Recently I have received my new Volkswagen (VW) car equipped with Discover Media Pro built-in navaigation system. When I installed the VW provided SD memory card to load the map database, it was working as expected. But because I’m coming from IT, I – of course – checked is there any new updates for the database.

The version number entitled on the SD card was Europe 1, V9. So, let’s check and update if neccessary.


VW developed a pretty straight-forward and easy to use process to be able to update the map database right in your home, using your own PC or Mac computer (with a proper SD card reader). The only thing you need to download from VW is the update software, and can be downloaded the following way:

  1. Navigate to this VW site.
  2. Select your car model and year (i.e.: Passat from 2017).
  3. Select your infotainment system type (i.e.: Discover Media).
  4. Download the software according to your computer type (i.e.: Windows).
  5. When you have downloaded the package, simply extract it on your computer (i.e.: C:\Volkswagen)
  6. Double click the application to start it (DiscoverCareStart.exe).

Once the application started, the first think you need to done is to accept the terms and conditions and configure the basic options for the application like language, region and the data folder. Data folder is a place where the application stores the backup files, downloads new resources if available.

In the next step, you need to insert the SD card into your computer but before do that, check on the card it is locked or not. There is a small sliding mechanism with a label lock. If it is locked, simply slide that switch to the opposite status and then insert it.


Once the application detects the SD card, you can proceed and start the update if there is. You will see a wide, green line labeled “Updates are available”. Move on an start the update and grab a cup of coffee, or go and walk your dog because based on the selected map package it will take 1 or 2 hours to finalize.

The tool will:

  1. Create a backup of your SD card. It will come handy if the update fails.
  2. Downloads the new package (based on the selected map bundle, it can be between 6 – 13 GB).
  3. Copy the downloaded package to the card.

Once it is finished, you can simply put back the card into the card and it will ready to leverage the new map info.


Update failed

If you find yourself in this situation, nothing to worry about. Your data is not lost. Simply find the data directory you configured initially in the application, and locate a folder something like:

C:\Volskwagen\Data\<random letters and numbers>.map

This folder contains the original content of the card, and simply copy the content of that folder back to the card and start over the update process. I found myself in this situation because of a faulty card reader.

Wrong map bundle downloaded

If the update process is finished, and when you put back it to the car and the navigation displays no information of your location or there are missing countries, you just simply downloaded the wrong version of map bundle. You can check the bundles at VW page linked before (where you downloaded the update tool, on the same page at the bottom you will see the bundles). Have a look on that page and choose that bundle you want to download.