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How to use Google Maps offline

Update: Newest method added!

Authored by: Scott Adam Gordon — 2 weeks ago

It's 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 have run out of your monthly data allowance. Many people use Google Maps almost daily, so being able to download offline maps is a very practical feature. Here's how to use Google Maps offline.

androidpit google maps gps 1
This is how to use Google Maps offline. / © ANDROIDPIT

How to use Google Maps offline

The one caveat to using Google Maps offline is that you will have to use it online in order to store the required data first. With that in mind:

  • 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.
androidpit google maps offline screen 1
Navigate to offline areas in your menu once you've found the location you want to save. / © ANDROIDPIT
  • 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.
androidpit how to use google maps offline screen 2
Hit download and give your map a name. / © ANDROIDPIT
  • 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. 
androidpit how to use maps offline 3
You will find your saved map in Offline areas. Rename it by tapping the pencil icon at the top right. / © ANDROIDPIT

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. You cannot download a map of, say, the whole of Denmark: the box you draw around the area you want has a limited size, and it's not possible to download anything that takes up more than around 1.5 GB of storage space.

Downloaded Google maps tend to require quite a lot of storage space to accommodate the detailed information they provide, so we recommend connecting to Wi-Fi before downloading all the maps you need. Additionally, 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.

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

Originally from the UK, Scott graduated in Popular Music Studies at Newcastle University and attributes most of his success there to his beloved Samsung Galaxy S2. A dedicated Android fan, Scott has never owned an Apple device, of any kind, and doesn't see this changing anytime soon.


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  • Sue W 1 week ago Link to comment

    how do you download a route for offline use later?

  • Thanks for this article..

  • I wanted to download the whole map of the small island where I live (Koh Phangan, Thailand)
    The download will be 225 Mb and I have 55 Gb free on my Note 5.
    Google's answer is "this area is not available offline "
    So, I presume that among limitations there are some not relating to technical possibilities.
    Like advertising money for example.
    No problem : I'll stay with Here, former from Nokia, which "offers" entire offline Thailand map, among a lot of other maps, for free and works better than Maps in my island because Koh Phangan is too small to benefit from frequent Google's updates.
    B.T.W, Google downloads are not well optimized because the estimated size of Phangan's download is 225 Mb for 191 km².
    The entire Thailand's map on Here weights 483 Mb, for 555 000 km² !

  • Nice app..liked it

  • Google has the best online maps but loses (in the regions I go to) to OSM maps in off line detail and functionality, as well as the map restrictions noted in the article. It also fails to play well with microSD storage (though I might have missed the solution to that.)

    While I often fire up Google on wifi, I use OSMAnd offline (good user interface improvements last fall in version 2.x). Maps have a learning curve, otherwise I'd have a look at Here.

  • Very usefull thanks

  • I don't think so that offline map will show current traffic status.

  • Faizan 2 weeks ago Link to comment

    here maps by Nokia is much better. you can download the maps of entire cities/states. and it is stored until you delete it. Also it's just as good as google maps

    • Here map is not detailed as Google map,if comparing only ten %. Here map not says street name in all countries. Here map is not showing live traffic data in online for all countries.

  • --- 1 month ago Link to comment

    This is good info, but being offline when using Maps will prevent live traffic info from being provided. Maybe I'm just crazy, but live traffic info is the main reason I use Maps to begin with, most of the time.

  • First of all check the " Google play services " and " Google play store " , and Google map is the latest versions,if not update all of these . Then open map >menu>setting>offline areas tap here and download the areas that you want to use. (Each areas maximum 120000sq/km)over WiFi and download and install this app" GPS status & tool box "also. When you want to use navigation switch off WiFi and mobile data if you want you can remove sim card also. First open gps status& tool box app look into circle see white colour dots changing into green as they are fixing your location this will take a few seconds or minutes, when it is fixed open Google map,the map will go automatically to the downloaded areas and opens, then see a small circle in bottom right corner of the map tap on this your present location will be fixed then go to search options and tap on the navigation button , you are able to get turn by turn navigation ,voice guidance, rerouting in offline using of Google map but live traffic. Data, and multiple rout options and lane guidance is not available in offline Google map.

  • Will my saved maps show me my current location on the move even with no cell network

  • 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 5 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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