A Step by step guide to setting up POI's on your TomTom. This is for users of our FREE downloaded POI's. This method uses file copying in windows. If you are not happy with files and folders, we suggest you get someone to assist you.


Step 1: Locate the files you want

All POI files that you will use on the TomTom come in pairs. There is a data file that contains all of the locations and a bitmap file that contains the icon that you see on the tomtom's screen. Together these files make up a POI "set" and sometimes there may also be a .TXT file included. This text file is optional and is only for information purposes.

ON our websites we "ZIP" these files together into a package to make downloading quicker and easier. These POI then require "UNZIPPING" prior to use, so if you have downloaded POI from the website please "UNZIP" them to a directory. If you bought the POI disk you can ignore this step, as all of the files are in directories already unzipped.

Step 2: Power on TomTom

Plug the TomTom into the PC using the USB cable and then power on the TomTom. If TomTom HOME starts up - close it down as it won't be used. Click on Start then My Computer, a screen similar to the one below should appear;

The tomtom will be displayed either as the red hands, a small version of the TomTom or other easy to identify icon. It will also be clearly labelled as TOMTOM so you can identify it. If not then re-check your cabling and the USB plugs, then try turning the TomTom off and on again to see if this helps the PC to recognise it.

Step 3: Locate target on TomTom

With the TomTom being identified, the target folder for the POI files to be copied to now has to be located.  To do this double click on the TomTom device (in our example above its H: yours may be a different letter). Inside will be a number of folders and files, if your window is full of large icons rather than an easy to read list (like below) then you need to click on the View menu at the top of the window and then on Details. This will give you a view similar to that below with small icons and a more manageable list.

Below you can see the directory structure of the TomTom as well as files

The folder that is relevant in this example is the United_Kingdom_and Republic_of_Ireland and its here that the POI files will be copied to. The name of this folder varies between TomTom models as it depends upon what maps you have installed.


x: will be a different drive letter on your machine, substitute what's relevant. Your folder may not be listed above at all, sop we still need a way to be certain which folder is the correct one. The folder will be called after the name of a place, country or countries e.g. Western Europe, Ireland, UK , Great Britain etc. It will also often have the word MAP in it (but not always). Finally when you think that you have located the right folder open it up. If needed you can select View - Details fro a more manageable view.

Try and find a file called POI.DAT (on some machines this will be just POI),  there will also be the file CLINE.DAT (or just CLINE) inside.   If these two files are inside the folder then you have the correct location. If not then try another folder until you locate the right one. This is now the "target" directory into which the POI files "sets" will be copied.

Step 4: Copy POI files across

Return to the directory where you stored the unzipped POI files in Step 1: and copy them over to the directory you found above. To be clear you should copy the two files that make up the POI over, one at a time into the target directory, if using the CD ROM do not copy the POI folder over from the CD, but the contents of the folder. If using files from the website don't copy the ZIP file over, but the .OV2 and the .BMP files inside the ZIP file.

You should now have the .BMP file and .OV2 file in the directory along with the other contents already there.

NOTE: Older tomtom software versions had a very low limit on the number of POI categories you could use, of between 29 and 49. After version 6 of the TomTom software this was increased to 100 POI categories. If you want to use a large number of POI categories we advise that you use the latest version of TomTom HOME and update your software to version 6 or later (you can download TomTom HOME for free).

The files you chose should now have been copied over and be inside the target folder. IN our example we chose Car Parks and Homebase, and you can see that Car-Parks.OV2 and Car-Parks.BMP as well as HOmebase.OV2 and Homebase.BMP are inside the target folder.

In the example picture above you can see the POI.DAT and CLINE.DAT files which indicate this is the right folder to use. You can also see the two POI file "sets" copied over: Car Parks (Car_Parks.OV2 & Car_Parks.BMP) and Homebase (Homebase.OV2 & Homebase.BMP). Now power down the TomTom and unplug the USB cable from the TomTom and the PC.

Step 5: Activate the new POI files on TomTom

Turn on the TomTom and from the "drive" screen tap in the middle to get to the Main Menu

Click Change preferences for the next screen

Now click on "Enable/disable POIs" and you will see a POI list, indicating that the newly installed POI categories have been correctly installed. In our example you can see that "Car Parks" and "Homebase" are listed. They also have a tick next to them which indicates that they are "active", make sure that all POI categories you want to use are ticked. 

Finally click Done to return to the "drive " screen. Congratulations you have installed the new POI categories and they are ready to us.

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