April 6 GPS reset could cause issue with older devices

The map on the phone in the background of the dashboard. Black mobile phone with map gps navigation fixed in the mounting. App map for travel.

Many rely on GPS to help them in the modern world, which is why Saturday’s GPS reset could be an issue – but only if your device is older than 10 years old.

In a statement, the Department of Homeland Security explained the reset has to do with the way GPS keeps track of the date.

“GPS uses a week counter that enables receivers to calculate the appropriate date.  That week counter uses 10 bits and needs to be reset every 1,024 weeks—roughly every 20 years. On April 6, 2019—the first Saturday in April—the GPS week counter will reset to zero.”

DHS added, “The good news is that with the modernization of GPS the week number counter will be increased to 13 bits and we will not have another event like this for approximately 157 years.”

This means users of most newer smartphones and GPS receivers should notice no difference come April 6.

However, if you have a question about an older device, DHS recommends you contact your manufacturer. TomTom has set up a website allowing users to check their devices by serial number to see if updates are needed.

For full details and suggestions, check the DHS website.

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