Google Maps always comes handy whenever you are in a new locality. It comes with loads of features and we have already talked about these features which make it more than just a map. There is yet another feature called ‘Google Maps Offline’ that increases the usability of the Maps, especially if you are planning to go to a location where you do not get good network coverage or simply don’t want to spend mobile data.
With this feature, you can simply download the map for offline use. Once you download a map, you’ll be able to search and get directions offline with that map. Here is how you can do it.
Download Google Maps for offline use
To download a map, go to the Google Maps app on your phone– doesn’t matter if it’s Android or iOS. Now tap on the hamburger menu icon in the top left corner of the screen and tap on ‘Offline maps’. Notably, in the updated versions of Android, this menu has been shifted to the User Profile Picture in the top right corner near the search bar.
Now that you’re in the Offline maps, tap on ‘Select Your Own Map’ button at the screen. It will open a map with a blue box. You can pinch to zoom out and scroll over the map to fit the area you want to download within the blue box. There’s no search functionality, so that is the only way you can select the area of your choice.
Once you have selected the area you want to download, you can see the amount of data you need to shell out to save the map for offline usage. If you are okay with that, tap on the ‘Download’ button at the bottom. That’s it.
Notably, your offline maps are set by default to get automatically updated. If you do not want this, you can head over to the Settings from within the Offline Maps and disable this option. You can also set your download preferences for the Offline Maps here.
How to use Google Maps offline
- Open the Google Maps app.
- Tap on your profile picture in the top right corner.
- Tap “Offline Maps.”
- Tap “Select Your Own Map.”
- Move the rectangle over the area you plan to visit.
- Click “Download.”
And if you’re staying in a specific location — such as a city or a town — there’s an even simpler way:
- Search for your destination in Google Maps. (For example: “Philadelphia.”)
- Tap the three dots in the top right corner of the information panel.
- Tap “Download offline map.”
Maps will still give you the option to make adjustments to the range of the area. And that’s it.
In both cases, Maps will show you an estimate of how much space the file will take up on your phone before you download. Generally speaking, the more precise you can be with your location, the smaller the file size. If you turn on “auto-update” in the settings menu, your maps will refresh about once every two weeks to include the latest data.
When offline, keep in mind that you won’t have real-time traffic data until you have connectivity again. Any travel time between destinations before then will be an estimate calculated as if there is no traffic congestion.