So after twelve years driving an ultra-reliable 2006 Toyota Tacoma, I decided it was finally time to upgrade. So, of course, what else to buy … but a 2018 Toyota Tacoma. :)
Things have really changed in twelve years, and where my old truck originally came with a simple CD player head unit (that I later upgraded to a Clarion CX-501, primarily because I wanted Bluetooth), my new truck has this fancy touchscreen entertainment system that has mountains of options and can even show me weather radar while driving!
So I was exploring around inside the menus last night and I discovered that you can, theoretically, set custom images as your startup and “screen off” images. But, unfortunately, the details of how to do this are buried somewhere in a SEVEN HUNDRED PAGE owners manual with a very thin index. Ain’t nobody got time for that. So I googled around and found some answers on forum threads, and decided to write a post on how to do this to raise the visibility of it some.
So these are the instruction on how to create and use custom images on a 2018 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport.
Create an image that is 800x480 in size. The format must be JPEG. The filename must be 32 characters or less, and it must end in “.jpg”. They must be less than 10 megabytes in size. You can have a maximum of three custom images for each.
Prepare the USB Stick
It seems to be very picky about USB sticks. I had to try several before I found one that the system would accept. So if it doesn’t work at first, try a different stick.
- Format a USB Stick as follows:
- FAT32 File System
- Master Boot Record Partition Table
- Create the following two directories on the USB stick:
- Copy you images to the respective directories.
Install The Images
Insert the USB stick in your car or truck’s USB port (seriously, talk about living in the 21st century, my truck has a USB port…) On my truck, this is on the dash below the head unit.
On the head unit, select “Apps -> Settings -> General Setup.” Scroll down until you see “Customize the Startup image” and “Customize the Display off Image.” Select the one you wish to customize.
At the bottom of the screen, push the “Transfer” button. You may have to push this several times to get it to read the USB stick. Sometimes it takes awhile for everything to mount.
Select “Yes” that you know it will overwrite what you already have there. Wait while it copies.
If everything worked, you should now be able to select your custom image. Don’t forget to actually select it.