How to Use Your Car GPS in Pedestrian Mode

If you want to use your global positioning system (GPS) to direct you while you're walking, you don't want to be restricted by one-way streets, right-turn only lanes and roads limited to vehicle access. Some GPS devices offer a pedestrian mode for this purpose.

Every GPS is a little bit different so you should follow the directions in the manual that came with your GPS. But in general, here's how to use your car GPS in pedestrian mode.


First change the usage mode under system settings.

  1. Select Tools.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Select System.
  4. Select Usage Mode.
  5. Select Pedestrian.
  6. Touch OK [source: Garmin].

Your GPS is now in pedestrian mode. Simply touch Navigate to and enter the location you wish to walk to by selecting:

  • Address to enter the name of a location
  • Recent Destination to select a place you recently viewed on your GPS
  • Point on Map to select a destination from the map
  • Home to be directed to your home address (which you should have entered when setting up your GPS)
  • Point of Interest to choose from a database of gas stations, hotels, ATMs, restaurants and more.
  • Favorite Locations to choose a destination you've saved in your Favorites [source: TomTom].

Select Find Alternative if you want the GPS to suggest a route different than the one it suggested.

As you walk you can follow the route on your GPS by:

  • Consulting the route on the map, which is marked with a colored line and arrows indicating turns
  • Listening to voice prompts
  • Reading the directions provided above or beside the map

You may want to adjust your display settings or screen brightness so you can see the screen better in daylight or save battery power. To do this:

  1. Select Tools.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Select Display.
  4. Select Color Mode > Daytime or Nighttime.
  5. Select Brightness and adjust the brightness [source: Garmin].

You're now ready to set out on your walk. Enjoy!