Earlier this month, my friends and I got lost on our way back to our Airbnb near Yosemite National Park. A major snow storm had swept through the Sierra Nevada mountain range, closing busy highways, as well as smaller roads. To save time, we decided to take a shortcut (stupid decision), but soon realized we were on the wrong track. And to top it off, neither of us had internet service, so we couldn’t use Google Maps to find a new route.
Eventually, after hours of trying different routes, we made it back. But we could have avoided all these problems by simply downloading Google Maps offline (and also not taking this “shortcut”). Even without internet service, Google Maps can still help you navigate where you need to go – just download the right map.
If you’re planning a trip to a place where you may not have internet service, you should download an offline map (or maps) from Google Maps. Here’s what you need to know.
Want to learn more Google Maps tips and tricks? Checkand features that you will definitely want to know about.
How to Download Google Maps Offline
First, you don’t need to download Google Maps in its entirety. Instead, before your trip, you’ll want to download a specific area, which could be a city, county, or region where you’ll be spending time and where you might not have service on your phone.
To download a map in Google Maps offline, open the Google Maps app on iOS or Android and tap your profile picture in the top right (you must be signed in to your Google account for this to work). In the menu that appears, touch Offline maps > Select your own map.
Use your fingers to place the map you want to upload within the rectangular border. Use one finger to pan around the map and a two-finger pinch to zoom in and out. As you move around the map, you will see how much storage space the download will take up on your phone. Once you are happy with the area, press Download.
Note: You can also enter a city or other area in Google Maps, then press the button Download button that appears in the drop-down window to download offline map, but it only works on iPhone.
You must be connected to Wi-Fi to download the map. If you want to download via mobile phone, go to the Offline Maps page, tap the gear icon in the top right, tap When to download offline maps and select Via Wi-Fi or mobile network. Once your map has been downloaded, you will be returned to Offline Maps page, where you can see all your maps offline.
You will now be able to use Google Maps even when you are offline in the area you downloaded, and only in that area. You won’t get extremely accurate travel times or alternative route options as traffic and other road issues aren’t taken into account, but you will get a general idea of how long your trip will take. Public transport, bicycle and walking directions are also not available offline, only driving directions.
If you want more tips on Google in general, be sure to readand that .