Losing your Internet connection while traveling can be frustrating, especially when you’re relying on your phone to tell you where to go. Whether you’re stuck in a subway car underground or have lost your signal while driving in a remote rural area, we’ve all be there at least once.
So here’s how to use Google offline maps to ensure that you never get lost again.
Though there are some limitations. You can’t get walking, transit, or cycling directions while offline; only driving directions are available. If you’re not driving, using Google Maps offline can still be helpful for viewing nearby places when you’re stuck without data connection.
How to use Google Maps offline
- Open Google Maps (while online) and search for your desired location.
- Once you’ve found the location/area you want, the easiest way to save it for later is to go to the options menu by tapping the three lines (hamburger) icon and tapping Offline areas.
- Next, tap the plus or add symbol in the bottom right of the screen and you will prompted with a message that says “download this area?”
- Drag the map inside the square box until it encompasses the area you want a map of. Pinch to zoom (putting two fingers on the display and bringing them together) to close in on the area you want. Move your fingers in the opposite way to zoom out and encompass a larger area.
- Once you are happy with the map area, tap Download.
- You will be prompted to name your area. Do so in the box that appears.
- Once you have downloaded the map to your device, you can access it by tapping the menu icon at the top left of the main Maps page and returning to Offline areas, where you should now see your downloaded area.
Also important to remember that these maps eventually expire because Google needs to update them to make sure they’re accurate. To see the areas you’ve saved and when they expire, open Google Maps, tap the menu icon, and select “Offline areas.”