How to use Google Maps offline on Android and iOS

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Aina Prat Blasi
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Google Maps has changed the way we navigate the world around us. We no longer get lost in a new city or in unknown territories and the app is full of little tricks. All you need is an active internet connection and a GPS. Unfortunately, these two requirements aren't available everywhere. Today through this article we want to talk to you about some tricks that you can use to use Google Maps offline on Android and iOS.

This takes some planning, in simple terms you have to download the map of an area or city in advance. If you move to that area without a network or GPS connection, you can't do anything. Thankfully, the process is simple, and using Google Maps offline on Android and iOS doesn't take a lot of time.

How to use Google Maps offline on Android and iOS

You can save maps to both internal memory and SD card of your Android phone. Here are the steps.

  1. Open Google Maps on your smartphone and search for the city or area whose offline map you want to save using the search bar at the top. Make sure your GPS and internet connection are both enabled.
  2. The address of the location, along with some options, will be displayed at the bottom of the screen. Tap the address to see more options.
  3. Tap the three-dot menu icon in the top right corner and select the Download offline map option.
  4. Google Maps will ask you to choose the area using an interactive rectangular UI element. Pan and zoom until the desired area you want to download within its boundaries is shown. It will also notify you of the storage space Maps will consume at the bottom. Click Download when ready.
  5. You can also download a map of an entire city rather than a specific location or area, in which case the steps will vary slightly. Search for the city and tap the location tab at the bottom and you will find the Download button directly.
  6. Again, Google Maps will ask you to manually select the map area by zooming and panning. Tap the Download button when you are happy with the result.

Here's how to save Google Maps to an SD card

The default location is the internal storage on Android.

  1. Open Google Maps, tap your profile picture and select Offline Maps.
  2. Tap the gear icon at the top to open Settings and choose SD Card in Storage Preferences> Device. In my case, the option is not visible as I don't have an SD card installed.

The steps remain the same on iOS as well.

  1. Search for the location or city using the search bar and tap the location information card at the bottom of the screen.
  2. Tap the three-dot menu icon to select Download offline map.
  3. Eventually you will be asked to manually adjust the location area within the screen before downloading the map to your device's internal memory.

How to use offline maps on Android and iOS

When using offline maps in Google Maps on Android or iOS, please note that public transport, pedestrian and bicycle information will not be available.

Likewise, when driving directions are enabled, you won't see traffic information, lane directions, or alternate routes. This is because Google Maps updates these data points in real time and needs an active internet connection and GPS to provide this type of data.

Here's how to find and use offline maps in Google Maps on Android and iOS

On Android and iOS, tap your profile picture and select Offline Maps to find a list of all downloaded maps.

Since the maps are saved locally, the ones you downloaded on Android will not be visible on iOS and vice versa.

Now tap on the three-dot menu to manually update the offline map, view it, rename the map to something more specific to help you identify it, or just delete it. You can find more offline map settings by tapping the gear icon on the same screen.

In the app settings, you can configure the device to automatically update offline maps in Google Maps, set the download preference to Wi-Fi to not consume mobile data, and also choose to download the maps recommended by Google for offline use .

14 solutions for when Google Maps only works over WiFi on Android and iPhone

To go where do I go, where do I go?

Using Google Maps offline on Android and iOS is very simple and also works well. It is missing some features, but it does the job well and is better than using old school folded paper maps. But Google isn't the only map app available.

Apple has also been working hard to improve its maps app in recent times. It offers a number of cool and useful features that you should check out if you are using an iPhone. However, it is not available on the Android platform.

Further Reading:

  • How to know your current position on Google Maps
  • How to activate the speedometer on Google Maps
  • How to use Google Maps offline
  • Here's how to listen to Spotify, Apple Music or Google Play Music along with Google Maps
  • Seven offline map apps to travel and never get lost even if you stay offline

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