Let’s face it, we don’t have great cell service everywhere we go. Raise your hand if you’ve gotten lost someplace you’re unfamiliar with and had absolutely no signal. Thankfully, Google allows you to use its maps offline. And, with a little forethought you won’t end up stranded with no understanding of your surroundings.

What you should know about offline maps

The most important thing to know is that you will need to download the map before going to your location — preferably over Wi-Fi. Google Maps allows you to download a pretty large area with a few limitations. Generally speaking, though, you can get an area that covers a whole city with couple of nearby cities.


Depending on the size of the area you choose the offline map can take up quite a bit of storage. Worried about low on storage on your device? An option to save to a microSD card ensures you don’t fill that phone up.

Maps expire after 30 days, presumably because roads are always changing and Google wants you to have the most up to date information. Fortunately, your saved maps will automatically update over Wi-Fi.

Perhaps the best part of offline maps is that you are able to search locations and use navigation with the map just the same as if it were connected online. The rub is that you won’t have access to traffic data, transit details, walking directions, ride services, or biking directions in offline mode.

How to download offline maps

  1. Search the area you want to download
  2. Tap on the hamburger button for options
  3. Select Offline maps
  4. Choose select your own map
  5. Pinch to zoom to select the area you want to store offline
  6. Tap download

Once maps are downloaded, you can manage them by going into offline maps again and tapping on the three-dot menu for the map of your choice. From there you have options to update, view, rename, or delete the map in question.

For more settings, you can click on the settings cog in the top right corner where you can change preferences for storing and updating the maps.

There you have it, now you can store maps for all your favorite or new locations to make sure you’re never up the proverbial creek without a paddle.

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