Transferring files from Desktop to Device & Vice Versa




  • Duane Lee

    I found this to be very elementary. . . . WISH YOU HAD TAKEN IT FURTHER.

  • Dan

    Hi Duane,


    Thanks for your feedback.

    Can you be more specific on how further you wanted the manual taken?

    We were trying to explain this as basic as possible specially to people who are not technologically savvy.





  • nick reilly
    What I need to do is back up map packages. Is it possible to simply copy the specific map package from the archives folder then paste it back in when it's needed? Or is data from other bcnav folders also needed? Ideally there should be a dedicated map package backup process from within BCNAV - unless I'm missing something (I'm fairly new to this app). If map package backup is a matter of copying the entire bcnav folder, then pasting it back in when one of the map packages contained within it is needed, what you would effectively have would be multiple copies of BCNAV each containing one or more map packages. Please enlighten with specific guidance for backing up and copying back in individual map packages. I really want to keep using this app. Many thanks.
  • Dan

    Hi Nick,

    For the Map Packages, that would be sufficient, but if you need to backup your Trips and Waypoints and Tracks, I suggest Copying the BCNAV folder in its entirety. At the moment, we still don't have an in-app backup solution.

  • Rob McColl

    Hi, Dan

    To take a specific example, I went to Spain and UK and set up map packages for 800km of walks I was doing there. So I had some large map packages on my Galaxy III. If I copy them to  my PC then delete them off my phone to save space, can I copy them back later and still have BCN recognise them? My question centres on what other files are needed for the map packages to be "re-built" when they are transferred back to the phone. E.g., are there associated database files that need to be present to "control" the myriad of tile folders. What is the full set of files and folders that is needed to remove a map set in its entirety from your phone and add it back again later and have it function fully and correctly? When I've tried to do this in the past tiles haven't been recognised. Hope you can help. 

  • Dan

    Hi Rob,

    Did you save it along a specific trip file? to be safe, you can copy the Trip Data (/data folder) and the map packages with the tiles (save the entire folder).






  • Rob McColl

    Hi, Dan,

    I've been learning more about how things work since my earlier message and realise I've misunderstood map packages. Most of my maps are stored in the Main Tile Cache and that is what I should have been referring to. Can I back up parts of the Main Tile Cache (e.g. all my Spain maps) by removing their folders and then restoring them later on by copying them back? What other files need to be removed at the same time?

    Another question I have relates to the default tracks and waypoints database. Is it possible to move tracks out of this database into another database?

    Many thanks,


  • Dan

    Hi Rob,


    Can I back up parts of the Main Tile Cache (e.g. all my Spain maps) by removing their folders and then restoring them later on by copying them back? What other files need to be removed at the same time?

    -You can back up that folder and the trip file.


    Another question I have relates to the default tracks and waypoints database. Is it possible to move tracks out of this database into another database?

    - if you create a new trip file, it will be saved on another Trip Database.

    The defaults cannot be deleted since that's the directory the files go when they're not on a specific trip.


    Thank you,



  • william flanders

    I'm trying to backup my bcnav folder to my W7 PC using Windows Explorer.    

    I connect to it with USB as a media device (MTP).

    Everything backs up fine execpt the tiles folder.   

    Windows Explorer gets stuck in the "Calculating the time required to copy files." dialog.

    After a little investigation it appears MTP is the issue.

    Is there a better way to do this?

  • Dan

    Hi Bill,


    Have you tried transferring via wifi using Airdroid? (it's fee in Google Play)





  • Tiffle

    Hi Dan, I've hit a problem. One of my 2  Sandisk 64GB cards failed so I copied all my files to my PC  (Windows 8.1). Sandisk replaced the card and I set about reloading my data (48GB including 16.2 GB of BCN data) onto the new 64GB disk. The transfer failed saying I needed another 13GB of capacity. On close inspection I found that my 16.2 GB of bni files needed 50 GB of space on the disk. I'm sure you know that windows explorer shows both the 'size' and the 'size on disk'. I checked all other file types (photos, music, other maps & data) and found these transferred exactly as they were on the PC. I've done a number of tests and spoken to Sandisk and found that the size on the disk of bni files varies between 130% and 400% of size.
    I looked at my other 64 GB card with the original data and found that the 16.2 GB of bni files occupied 22.5 GB, which is acceptable. The original data was downloaded under Android 2.3 and at that time PC operated under Vista and I had no problem moving and copying the bni files.
    I now find that copying from PC to micro SD the bni files requires 300 - 400% the size on disk. I've tried copying from PC direct to the card using a card reader and onto phone (i.e. letting Android write the card) - the results vary but never less than 3 times.
    When I downloaded the map data afresh using BCN - I downloaded 158,000 files in 1050 folder containing 8.46 GB of data but occupying 19.2 GB on the disk - i.e. 227% 0f data. Other than the difference on systems from a year ago I can't think of a reason for the radically different result - can you?.

    Is this behaviour normal? Is there a fix? Is there a way to compact bni files?

  • Mark Finlay

    Hi Tiffle,

    I have had a very similar experience. With the use of large capacity micro SD cards becoming more common I am surprised this issue has not arisen more often.

    This info may also be of use to people backing up their bcnav folder.

    I had been trying to download the whole of the UK OS map to a 32GB SD card on a Galaxy S3. I hold my hands up, at that time I didn’t realise CM didn’t consider that to be a good thing. But I was doing it in dribs and drabs over a period of maybe 3 weeks. I can’t remember exactly but I think I was doing this at about level 10 or 11. I couldn’t seem to do it at a lesser magnification.

    I got to about 28GB and thought I had just about covered the country but realised I was going to need a bigger card. I copied the bcnav folder to a desktop computer, bought a 64GB card and started copying the folder back again.

    That’s when the problem started. I realised that there was a huge difference between the “size” and the “size on disk” for the card. The size on disk was getting close to 3 times the size value.

    The issue is to do with type of formatting and cluster size. I am no expert but in so far as I can gather: formatting prepares the disk for use and determines the cluster size. The cluster is the smallest container for files on the disk. If the cluster is (say) 4 units in size, a file which is 5 units in size is going to need 2 clusters. Similarly, a file which is 1 unit in size is going to need 1 cluster with 3 units of wasted space. Very roughly, number of file units = “size”, number of clusters= “size on disk.

    So what was happening? My original card was 32GB. By convention, cards up to 32GB are formatted in FAT32. By default, the cluster size is 16kB. Then on transfer to my desktop, the formatting was NTFS with a default cluster size of 4kB. There was a small difference between size and size on disk but of no consequence.

    Then finally, my new 64 GB card was formatted in exFAT and had a default cluster size of 128kb. This resulted in massive waste of space on the card and consequent huge “size on disk”.

    Solution? Reformat the 64 GB card and choose a smaller cluster size. I went for 4kB, the smallest available.

    Formatting is available by right-clicking on the card / disk and choosing Format. The options available will depend upon the size of card. All data will be lost.

    I repeat, I am no expert. This worked for me but I accept no responsibility for its accuracy.

    BTW, playing with app just last week I realised that I could download at level 9. I am almost sure that this was not possible just a couple of months ago. Can anyone confirm or dismiss this?

    BTW 2, for those who care, the size of the UK OS map is about 43.7GB used space. Nathan is right, downloading maps as and when needed makes much more sense. My SD card is now full of music and movies.

    Kind regards,



  • Tiffle

    Hi Mark,

    That's a good thought to change the cluster size - I hadn't thought about that.
    As I want the 1:25,000 maps I download to level 15, which appears to be the highest size available.
    I know Nathan is correct in saying that the simplest way is to download maps when they are needed. However, a word of caution Ordnance Survey are tightening up on free access to their maps so we may not enjoy the free OS downloads to BCN for ever!
    I've taken the precaution of downloading the maps I want onto my phone and the transferring to the PC for longer term storage.




  • Lloyd Douglas Metcalf

    I recently changed phones from a Samsung SIII to a Samsung Note4. When I loaded my bcnav folder from the SIII via an SD card onto the Note4 BC Navigator will not recognize the folder. I have tried copying the Archives folder directly into the bcnav folder on the Note4 internal memory, and no-go. I have tried switching folder locations to the SIII bcnav folder, with this folder on both the external and internal drive, and no-go. 

    Basically, the app will not recognize the older folder. It will not recognize the maps, and it will not recognize the trips and waypoints.

  • Dan

    Hi Lloyd,


    What OS does your Note 4 come with?

    this may be helpful:

    and this:


    thank you,


  • Austin Williams

    Hi. I'm trying to find a new map package I downloaded on my Nexus 7 2ed tablet. Traditionally, the map packages have been stored here: Computer\Nexus 7\Internal storage\bcnav\archives. Older packages are still there. Any new packages I create are not located there. I updated BCNav the night before. Was a change made to where these map packages are stored?

  • Serge J-F. Levy

    Dan. I posted this in a comment and sent a direct email and have yet to hear back. Thank you for explanation on how to retrieve bcnav folder off of phone. Got that copied to my desktop. Now the question is how to copy that BACK to phone and get the files in a place so the app on the new phone will have access to all of my files. Suggestions? Thanks.

  • Dan


    I'm sorry I did not get a notification for this, it went to our spam filter.

    What device and Android OS do you currently have installed?




  • Serge J-F. Levy

    Dan. Thank you for getting on top of this. I saw the thread you listed above and haven't been able to get this to work.

    I have the Droid Maxx. Basically I was able to copy the bcnav folder with 600mb of info onto new phone. However I can't get the app to point to it and populate with the information.

    Many thanks,

  • Dan

    Hi Serge,


    What is the new device again and Android OS version?




  • Serge J-F. Levy

    Hi Dan,

    I am transferring from Droid Maxx to Droid Maxx. the former broke and I am uploading to a replacement phone. 

  • Dan



    Ok. When you go to Menu > Settings > Storage Options - do you see the "extSDCard" directory?


    What Android OS version does it currently have on?





  • Mark Langley

    By far the easiest transfer from the PC, rather than digging around through menus and directories, is to use Dropbox (or I assume a similar service). Save your .gpx from your or device or desktop navigation program to Dropbox. On your phone, find the synced file and open it. It will give you the option of what program to use, one of which is Backcountry Navigator. Boom! Done! I was able to save or share it to Dropbox in a similar fashion. I have a Motorola Droid Turbo.

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