Want to subscribe (spend) but need to get it working first. Cannot. Help?

Please forgive me if I ask something stupid, or if I post in the wrong place. I am just starting, and this is my very first post here. Please also forgive the length of this – but it’s a detailed situation.


As a preliminary: I am running an up-to-date version of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, which I purchased through Steam. It is running on a strong desktop computer, under Windows 10.

The Flight simulator itself is to be found, almost entirely, ALONE on my G:\ drive, which is a plug in, 1 terrabyte SSD drive. I say “almost” entirely, because there are also Flight Simulator files to be found on my C:\ drive – under C:\users\myname\AppData\Roaming\MicrosoftFlightSimulator. Indeed, it is here on the C:\ where my UserCFG.opt file is to be found. (An important file that POINTS to where the FlightSimulator’s bulk is located. That UserCFG file points, correctly, to where, ultmately, Microsoft\Packages is to be found.

The two Navigraph Installations I’ve been able to find are also on the C:\ drive, and there is a separate folder for the DataCenter installation, and a separate folder for the Charts installation. I’ve found NO folder for Simlink, even though it shows up and I’ve signed into it, as noted below!


  1. I have sent two different emails to Navigraph, and gotten two prompt, well-written responses from somebody named Ian. He did an excellent, patient, job of getting me as far as getting the following steps 2 and 3 completed. He writes well, he is prompt, and I commend him. But I felt I should now switch to this forum to keep asking questions – for the sake of being fair and not taxing any one person’s patience too much.

  2. I created a Navigraph Account for myself. Although I want to do so, I have not yet “subscribed” (i.e. paid), because I want to make sure I can get everything working well before I do. Unfortunately, so far I have not been able to get it all working well with my installation of Microsoft FS 2020 (“MFS”). I hope with help here, I eventually will be able to make it all work.

  3. Before Ian’s help, it was not at first obvious to me that I could use my navigraph email and password to sign into “simbrief.” It was also not obvious to me that “simbrief” was web-based, and didn’t need to be downloaded and then started from my desk top. Indeed, i had no idea what DID or SHOULD need to be installed and downloaded (the navigraph and simbrief websites seem to assume a level of understanding that I, as a new user, simply didn’t have). But, after Ian’s kind help, I have successfully downloaded and installed these programs:

… Navigraph NavData (it now appears an icon on my desktop)
… Navigraph Charts (it now appears as an icon on my desktop)
… Navigraph Simlink (its icon appears if I click on the litte ^ symbol at the lower right of my desktop)

  1. I have started Simbrief, and managed to create and load a very simple simbrief flight plan into my simulator. However, aside from showing up on the Simulator’s Flight Planner, NOTHING ELSE has worked. I’ll give more detail of that in a minute.

  2. I have entered my Navigraph email and password, after clicking on the icons for the DataCenter, for Charts, and for Simlink. The FIRST TWO of those warned me that they wouldn’t work unless I had a “subscription.” YET, despite this, they accepted my email and password and they SHOW UP as apparently “running” when I go to Navigraph.com (which shows me logged on), and click “devices.” On that list of “devices” shown, it shows for me that Charts Desktop, Navigraph Desktop, Navigraph Simlink, Navigraph website, and Simbrief are ALL running for me, right now!


  1. Even though I’ve installed the DataCenter and Charts, and have apparently successfully signed into them since they show up as active and “signed in” under “devices” running for me on the Navigraph website, they don’t seem to let me do ANYTHING. Indeed, they appear non-functional – no buttons can be pressed. I can do nothing with them at all. I understand that I shouldn’t be able to update data with them – BUT I can’t do ANYTHING with them.

  2. It appears that Charts, NavData, and Simlink cannot find, and will not interact with my flight simulator. They do not seem to know it exists.

Here’s how I know that:

a) When flying in the sim, the menu bar that can be shown with the tab key DOES NOT show a little Navigraph icon, as I’m informed that it should.

b) The airports ZBAD and LTFM do NOT show up on the world map, and so have not been added to the sim by Navigraph

c) Since no Navigraph Icon shows up, I can bring up no “moving map.”

Now, when installing the Navigraph programs, I was told that a “plug-in” had been installed for the old Microsoft FS X – but, aside from a couple old, left-over folders, I had UNINSTALLED that program, long ago. I have since deleted even those left over folders.

However, it’s my understanding that MSFS 2020 doesn’t NEED a plug in, and that simlink can simply work with it. Except, in my case, it doesn’t.


From reading and talking to others, I am under the impression that using Simbrief and all the lovely features like the moving map are FREE – and that a Navigraph subscription is necessary ONLY if one wants to keep the data cycle up to date.

For that reason, I thought I’d first get everything running right, using the free “default” (older) data – – to make sure I COULD do that – and THEN subscribe (pay). I don’t want to freeload, and I’m likely to end up a happy customer, but ONLY if I can get this stuff to work. If it doesn’t work, that’s not necessarily the software’s fault – maybe it’s my own fault. But I’m trying.

So – is it no longer true, or ever true, that the “moving map” and use of the NavCenter and Charts (but with the older, default data) is NOT possible unless you pay first? That’s unfortunate, if so, since I’d like to be reassured that I can get this working before I sign up to a big yearly hit.

So – if they ARE supposed to be working, why isn’t any of the software recognizing my flight simulator? The UserCFG is pointing correctly to it. Is there any way to simply open the programs and TELL them where some crucial simulator file or folder is located? If not, wouldn’t that make things easier?

In Conclusion

I sense that this software is wonderful for most. I’d love to join those who can get it to work. I don’t know if anybody has the patience to read and answer this, and if you don’t, I can’t blame you. However, I want to keep trying in any event. My health is not good at the moment, and the Flight Sim has become my dearest hobby. And the posts here seem pretty well informed and helpful, generally. I read a lot before posting this, I promise.



Thank you for your feedback and description of your interest in our products.

In short:

This is true. There is no default data in Navdata Center and Charts, and there is no demo mode. This is why you can’t get the navdata installed or the charts/in-game toolbar or moving maps to work. So my recommendation is - get the Unlimited subscription and try it. If you are still unhappy, contact account support (the email address where you communicated with Ian) and ask for a refund and reference this thread.

Kind regards,


A post was split to a new topic: Refund unsatisfied subscriber

Thank you, Stephen, for responding to MY initial post. It appears, from your post, that I have to “take the risk” and subscribe before knowing that the product can actually work for me. I apparently misunderstood what was available through Simbrief, pre-subscription. Or perhaps that changed sometime in the past. No matter.

I am now about ready to subscribe, then, BUT the quoted “terms of service” language above (assuming it is accurate) gives me some pause.

Why? What does it mean to waive a “right to withdraw” (as opposed to a right to a refund)?

Your monthly and yearly subscriptions “autorenew” as I understand it – but at some time in the future I might wish to END my subscription and cause it NOT to renew. Can you confirm for me that the word “withdraw” does NOT refer to simply cancelling the subscription so that it will not further renew, and so that no FURTHER payments will be due?

I don’t mind putting the current fee for one year at risk, but I don’t want to be “locked into” paying a yearly fee for the rest of my life without any right to cancel and stop FURTHER fees from becoming due.

I might, for example, wish to cancel during this year, but keep using the product until the end of the first year period, and then simply no longer use it, and no longer pay the fee. I could lose my eyesight, for example. Or simply get tired of flight simming.

I realize that if I cancelled I would not be able to get back what I’d already paid – BUT I DO want to retain, and do not wish to waive, the right to cancel the subscription and stop FURTHER payment.

Can you give me some reassurance about that? Perhaps direct me to (or quote) the terms of service providing me with that right to cancel FURTHER use and FURTHER payments in the future, if desired? And the amount and method of prior notice to Navigraph that such a cancellation will require?

With such reassurance, I can make my decision. And I hope you CAN provide such reassurance

Thanks, once again. I hope to become a loyal customer.


At any time you can unsubscribe. You will have full services through to end of the subscription period (month or year), and the subscription does not renew.

In the unlikely event you are not happy, Stephen has already given you the assurance we shall refund.

We have thousands of customers on monthly or yearly subscriptions without issue.

You might like to start with a Monthly Ultimate subscription for EUR 9.05 to confirm you are happy with the offering.

You will also find this forum a great help for questions you may have. We look forward to welcoming you as a valued customer.


Ian, I wonder if you are the same “Ian” who responded to my earlier e-mails to Navigraph. That Ian, and you also, if you are not “that” Ian, are a big help, and I appreciate the time spent in responding to my probably over-wrought concerns.

Since posting my earlier inquisitive response to “Steven,” I have found the full text of the Navigraph “terms of service” that were partly mentioned earlier. and have answered my own question. But thank you for your reassurance, as well.

Looks like I’ll be going “whole hog” with the yearly renewable subscription. Let’s just hope I can get it to work on my computer and with my limited technological skills. The helpfulness shown by you, by Steven and (perhaps) by some different, earlier Ian. gives me some peace of mind, as my flight-simming hobby continues to grow unmanageably.

Thanks. :nerd_face:


I am the same Ian here and in Account Support. Thank you for your kind words.

There are many FAQ’s and helpful threads here in the forum. If you have questions, please ask.

It is a fun hobby.


Ian – you and Stephen can count yourselves significantly responsible for my now implemented decision to get the yearly subscription. So your effort was not in vain!

Let me just say this: although I have a long way to go before I learn how to use all of the features of this software, I just checked my simulator, and the software now appears to be working perfectly for me, at least at the first look. The two airports ZBAD and LTFM are now showing up in the sim, and the Navigraph icon is showing up in the drop-down menu in the cockpit of my simulated aircraft, and seems to be working fine.

So, the software has provided me with perhaps the most beautiful sight, other than my wife, that I’ve seen so far this year. Thanks for helping me make this decision. What a great purchase.

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