How to use Google Maps Offline
The opportunity to use Google Maps offline is one of the most under-appreciated features of Google’s popular app. In fact, while other apps are commonly used at home or in the office, Google Maps is mainly used on the go, and a connection might not be available all the time for anyone. The places to which we need guidance the most are those where there might be a lack of connection due to their isolated location.
Keep reading and find out how to download maps and use them offline – for instance when you happen to get lost during a hike and you have no service on your phone. Been there, done that? It happens to me all the time…
You have two options, and both require Internet connections to get started.
The first option is saving the maps of a place that you researched. Follow the steps described in the following screenshots.
- Look for a place, let’s say Bologna, and wait for the map to load.
- Drag the white space related to the location towards the top.
- Touch the right top part of the screen: a menu will appear.
- Choose Download offline area
- Drag the map and regulate the zoom to choose the area you want to download. If you zoom out too much, the area will become too big to be downloaded. In this case, the app will ask you to zoom in and will disable the download button until the area is small enough to download the map.
- Press Download
- Choose the name of the map and press Save.
It allows saving new maps and managing those already present on the device.
- Open the menu in Google Maps
- Choose Your places
- Scroll down and choose Download a new area offline.
- Keep going with points 5, 6, and 7 from the previous option.
After downloading the maps, you’ll be able to consult them offline, zooming in and out. However, you won’t be able to search or get directions. But don’t panic: these two features will soon be available for offline maps, as Google announced in this post.
Stay tuned and we’ll keep you updated on the topic.
Update - 15 November 2015
As announced, the new version of Google Maps allow you to do search and to get directions offline. The procedure to download maps is almost identical to that described above, in this post.
Differences: if you follow the second option, instead of performing steps 2 and 3 select the "offline areas" that you will find in the menu on Google Maps.