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How to use Google Maps offline

Authored by: Robert Zak — 3 months ago

It is now possible to use Google Maps offline, which is ideal if you find yourself needing to scope out a route or figure out where you are when you have no Wi-Fi or cell reception, and don't want to eat through your monthly data allowance. I use Google Maps almost daily, so being able to download offline maps is a very useful and practical feature. Here's how to use Google Maps offline so that you don’t need to consume data each time you want to look at it.

How to use Google Maps offline

  • Open Google Maps (online) and search for your desired location.
  • Once you've found the location/area you want, there are three ways you can save it for later:
    • Type 'OK Maps' in the search bar,
    • Tap the microphone icon and say: "OK maps"
    • Tap the search bar, scroll all the way to the bottom, then and hit 'Save a new offline map'. 
androidpit google maps 4
You can go into map-saving mode by typing 'OK maps' in the Maps search bar, or scrolling to the bottom and tapping 'Save a new offline map'. / © ANDROIDPIT
  • You will be asked if you want to save this map. Pan or zoom the view so that it displays all of the information you require. Unlike a mere screenshot, the offline maps can be zoomed into and display information such as street and building names as you get closer.
androidpit google maps 2
Pan or zoom until you cover the area you want to save for offline use, then tap Save and give the map a name. / © ANDROIDPIT
  • Once you have saved the map to your device, to access it, tap the 'hamburger' menu icon at the top left of Maps app, then 'Your places'.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the new screen, then you should see all your saved maps under 'Saved places'. Just tap the map you want to to view offline.
androidpit google maps your places 2
Open the Maps hamburger menu, then tap 'Your places' to view your downloaded maps. / © ANDROIDPIT

A downloaded map doesn’t require a huge amount of space. New York, for example, took up only 13 MB when completely downloaded. However, if you're wary of your data allowance, you might want to be connected to Wi-Fi before downloading all the maps you want.

​Here's a video for you more visual types:

Limitations of offline maps

There are some limitations to the functionality of the offline maps, mostly regarding the size of the location you’re looking for. For example, New York and surrounding areas would be a bit too much for just one cached file and you will receive a message saying it can't be saved. In this scenario, it would need to be broken into smaller, surrounding areas.

Also, offline navigation is not available, nor is the ability to conduct a search within the offline map file. The maps you download will be stored for 30 days and after this they are automatically deleted, so don't assume they will last forever.

androidpit maps cache
The cache size before and after downloading a map of central London – not a big difference. / © ANDROIDPIT

Has using Google Maps offline come in handy for you? Let us know in the comments.

A tech aficionado since he first picked up a NES controller, Robert has written about technology, videogames, and film across a range of sites and magazines, including Den of Geek, Gamasutra, and Computeractive. At AndroidPIT, he'll be bringing you the latest Android news and reviews from the front line in the UK.


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  • Open Google map on data or WiFi search rout it may be 100 or 500 km and start navigation, now switch off data and WiFi you will get the entire rout navigation with turn by turn and voice guidance, if you deviate from the selected rout ,from the point of deviation will not get these features, there will not be rerouting with out net connection ,if you come back any way in to selected rout again will get the features. With out net connection Google map will not "rerout" but in off-line map it is limited to 50 km .it is said that Google has removed this limitation for some countries.

    • Thanks for confirming some of my observations. Google Maps finally updated yesterday (Nov 10) making it possible to download a city, county or even an entire country by simply searching for it and then tapping a new download link (or by going to "Offline Areas" in the Google Maps menu and tapping on the “+” button). I'm still waiting for the OTA update. Hope it will be available soon.

  • I just tested Google Maps offline with turn-by-turn navigation and dynamic rerouting. I have no Wi-Fi or cellular connection in my car. Everything worked well, completely offline. Well, almost completely. I have a Wi-Fi only Nexus 7 (2012). Before leaving the house I used a Wi-Fi connection to setup a route in Google Maps. Then I got in the car and started driving. To my surprise it worked! I'm guessing the online setup had the effect of downloading and/or caching the route for offline use, but I really don't know how or why it works. It seems to be similar to sending a route from Google Maps on a PC with the "send to device" (to a cellphone or tablet); but in my experience "send to device" does not let you choose a particular route. For my purposes, this is all I need because I travel locally to different spots in the SF Bay Area. It may also work in remote areas, outside of 50 x 50 meters limit for caching, but I haven't tested that yet. Would appreciate if others would test and comment, or just comment. Maybe Google's promise of offline maps is already here?

  • Hi,

    Thank you for the article. I find Google Maps Offline Maps very useful. I think the next step would be to allow offline navigation or offline route or offline directions. My use case is this one : I am used to build a specific route on my computer on by creating way-points, which is easy to do by dragging the route to the point. Once it is done, I share it on Google Plus. Then I temporary connect my phone to the network and open Google Plus application and open the link I shared. The route is displayed in Google Maps application. I then can save the related map as Offline Maps but I cannot save the route. Using any other application does not fill the gap as they do not provide the ability to easily build a route on a computer, as far as I know. Tell me if you build routes for offline use with any other software/application.

    a+, =)

  • The best offline map I have used.

  • Alex Fung 3 months ago Link to comment

    Only for a few selected cities, otherwise says "Area Unavailable".
    I think you can do the same by selecting a location (city, cathedral, whatever) that has additional information (photos, opening hours, etc).

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  • Yes, this is the information I am looking for. Google Maps are very important especially of you are always on the go.

  • Nokia Here Maps App is the best real-time offline Maps App.

  • Offline Google Maps is a joke and an embarrassment to Google. As the author stated, no offline navigation is possible. What savvy people do is download OmAnd which gives you offline navigation for free. I used it for getting to offbeat places in Aruba and it worked great. The first ten download of maps are free.

    • L.K. D. 3 months ago Link to comment

      I use another app called MAPS.ME, you can download unlimited maps and it's completely free
      it even supports offline search and navigation

  • Jinner 7 months ago Link to comment

    There is a shortcut app in the Play Store which let's you access the save offline maps function with just one click. App name: Save offline maps / developer: Appz bv

  • Anindyo Nov 25, 2014 Link to comment

    I got the message 'area unavalaible' at the top of my screen after I type 'ok maps'. I'm using maps version 9.0.0.
    What's the problem?

  • I hope an admin will help me out with this one!

    I have the last version of Google Maps (8.3.1) and I think I master the "OK maps" method quite well. However, the probem I'm always stuck with is the terrible lack of details with the offline maps. For example, if a do a "OK maps" for a respectable pan of the map of a city, let's say Manhattan again, I end up having access to an offline maps showing around 1 street name on 10. (Thus, I can see the 42nd Street crossing the 1st Avenue, but I have to scroll north for a couple of others to see another street name appearing, which is, for instance, the 50th street)

    Why do I have this problem? Why won't google maps let me save a map with a higher resolution ?

    • L.K. D. 3 months ago Link to comment

      I can't help you with this problem, but I can recommend that you use another app for offline use.
      I think MAPS.ME is a really good app for that, you can download whole countries and it doesn't take up much space
      it also supports offline search and navigation, along with information about many places.

  • I can't install Google play services pls help me installing time this msg ( incompatible with same shared users I'd) please help how to I install?....

  • Google Maps is also the default GPS system for the new Android phone, making it an attractive, convenient alternative to the traditional GPS device.

  • Kris Carlon
    • Admin
    • Staff
    Jul 15, 2014 Link to comment

    OsmAnd also does offline navigation and even search if I'm not mistaken.

  • Sygic provides offline navigation if I am not wrong. You can try that.

    • I have navigator, free AND offline, but not rly fast... Lafs everywhere, but better than nothing...
      Also Kris if this is gonna be an evergreen (and since there is no update, it certainly is one) it probably should be marked as such...

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