Mini 2: Mapshare Link Tracking via SMS Text vs. Email

I’ve had the Mini 2 for 2 years and am based in Texas/USA.  I’ve hiked Pikes Peak, Grand Canyon Rim 2 Rim, GC Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim, Crestone Needle, and more. Each time I get individuals who received my initial message to follow my Mapshare link but it never updates for them.

I’m going on year 3 and I’m so frustrated that when I send a Mapshare link, it’s absolutely Russian Roulette if my contact list of <5 people can use it as it only shows where I started.  

However, for a select individuals who I have email as a contact, they never have an issue.  It is 100% they can use the link.  But the SMS text, including my own phone as a test, do not work/update.  

Fortunately, while I was deep in the Grand Canyon by myself, those select, smart individuals knew to send the link that worked to the others who’s SMS link did not ever update.  

Why is this happening?  I test my Mini 2 in my neighborhood walking the dog 1 week before every trip but can’t get any confidence that when I start my hike that SMS text will work.  Every time I finish and talk to my wife I’m told of this ongoing issue.  I’m about to head out on another trip and I’m tired of having paid for this device and it’s so persnickety.  

Also, now there is a 4th Garmin app.  I’ve had Connect, Explorer, and IQ but apparently now I was informed I need “Messenger” to update & syn my Mini 2.  I didn’t have to have that (nor knew it existed) in Oct ‘23 when I hiked the Grand Canyon.  Why are there so many Garmin apps?  Can we not simplify?

To say I’m at my limit with Garmin devices is being polite.  

Thanks for anyone able to shed light.  


Trying to stay respectful but I’m at my limit

  • Just wondering if you have the following 3 items checked off. In the Garmin explore website, under social, in mapshare, do you have mapshare turned on? Also under mapshare settings, Allow map viewers to send you messages checked off, Allow map viewers to locate you, Show waypoints created in the field on mapshare, checked off, plus under filters, make collections visible in mapshare checked off. As far as syncing goes I have had issues syncing, sign out of the messager app and sync through the explore app and if that doesn’t work sync from the explore website as that is at the top of the priority list for syncing. In the explore website you can sync from the device page plus the account page. All I use is the explore website or the explore app. The other apps have problems. Some say the messager is a mess. You can send messages using the explore app, using the dictation on your phone, I just look at my phone before and if I see the cell symbol, just text as normal, if I have no cell coverage I use my inreach device, using the explore app or the device itself. My personal opinion is the more apps the more problems. See the following setting up mapshare

  • Hello, based on the description you have put above it sounds like the confusion might be between the mapshare share link and a link to your location. The mapshare link should always start with and the one time location link (which is not mapshare) is sent with text messages if selected on your account and starts with inreach.garmin. I would verify they are looking at the correct link and that you are sending the correct link for mapshare Setting Up MapShare for an inReach Mini 2

    As far as the apps you do not have to have both the explore app or the messenger app. However, you can use both or either that is up to you. As far as connect you would not be using those at all for the mini 2. Comparing the Garmin Messenger and Garmin Explore Apps

    Benefits of Using Both the Garmin Explore App and Garmin Messenger App

  • I was using Mini 2 for the first time today and have run into this exact issue. In the past when I used InReach Mini I would usually send a free preset message to my wife, and she received a text that contained the Map Share link, and from that text she could follow my further progress and see the tracking. 

    But that is no longer the case. Instead she received a message that had a single location only, not the Map Share link, so she could no longer follow me from that link. Just to be clear, the link is added to the text message automatically by Garmin - that isn't something that I specify anywhere. 

  • Hello, this is describing two different features. MapShare allows user to follow along your track as you create it Setting Up MapShare for an inReach Mini 2.This URL they would click on ends in There is also the option for a link to an online map to be included when a message is sent Editing inReach SMS Message Coordinates, Map, and Signature Settings the URL for these ends in 

  • All I want to send my wife a single message at the beginning with a link so that she could track my progress via that link. That's how any normal live tracking works. I am pretty sure that is how it originally worked with the first version of InReach Mini. I already have Map Share setup and all of those check boxes mentioned in the second link are already checked. The problem is that she receives a single position, and I want her to see the entire track as make the progress. It is difficult for her to remember how to find Map Share without that link. Why isn't that available as an option? 

    Ideally, I'd want Garmin Live Tracking experience but via InReach satellites.

  • According to the manual you can send someone your MapShare link from the device itself: select Tracking and then Share With. This will send a message to the selected recipient with your MapShare link.

  • That would probably use a message that isn't a free check-in message, right? Also that requires quite a few steps and can't be setup to be done every time I start tracking.

  • Yes correct, sending the MapShare link from your inReach Mini2 would count as a message against your plan as it's not a preset/check-in message.

  • That message does not "enable" anything. It just gives the recipient the URL of you MapShare page.

    In order for someone to see your location/track on MapShare, it is not necessary to send that message. Just make sure that anybody who needs to watch your MapShare page knows the URL before you set out. And has any password required to access it. 

  • I understand that message does not enable anything. I already have the MapShare configured properly. But you should realize that some people have a problem organizing the data - even something as simple as bookmarking a MapShare webpage may be difficult for them. That's why there should be an automatic option to remind them where to look for the information on the day of the trip.

    Ideally, I would prefer this whole thing to work like Garmin Live Tracking which is enabled via Garmin Connect - when I begin tracking that shares the link to that specific live tracking activity. The link includes everything that a recipient need to have in order to track my progress until I stop the tracking on my side. It is bizarre that Garmin has two completely different implementations of tracking within the same company.