As the world becomes increasingly dependent on Internet connectivity, it becomes all the more terrifying to go without this connection. While you’ll likely survive a short trip out of town without your favorite Spotify playlist, the same can’t always be said for navigation. Getting lost in a strange place, surrounded by unfamiliar landmarks and people – or worse, surrounded by nothing and no one – can sometimes be absolutely terrifying. It’s even worse if you’re in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language to ask for directions.
Luckily, with a little foresight, you can just pull out your phone and get out of this mess with Google Maps’ offline maps feature. After all, Google Maps is one of the best apps for Android. So let’s see how to do just that.
How to Download Google Maps
Whether you’re on Android or iOS, you can download Google Maps through the app to ensure you don’t get lost when navigating the signal-poor boonies. Before you begin, there are a few things to know. The most important thing to know is that you will be have access to navigation features when using offline maps – it would be useless if you didn’t. However, you won’t get access to nifty Google Maps features like Street View, traffic updates, transit navigation, bike directions, or Google’s busy areas feature.
Additionally, you will need free storage space on your device to download the maps; the larger the map, the more space you will need. With that out of the way, let’s look at how to download Google Maps for offline use.
If your internal storage is full and you need to save offline maps to a microSD card, read this guide till the end and change the storage location first.
If you update storage preferences after downloading maps, Google Maps will delete any maps you’ve already downloaded. Unless your internal storage is very limited, you might be better off leaving offline maps on your internal storage.
- When connected to Wi-Fi, open the Google Maps app.
- Find the map of the location you want to download before by heading to the download option using the search bar. It is easier to search for landmarks or cities.
- Then press the back arrow in the search bar to close the search result while keeping the area on your screen.
- With the area you want on your screen, tap your circular profile picture in the search bar to open the scrolling menu.
- In the drop-down menu, tap Offline Maps to open the Offline Maps page.
- Faucet SELECT YOUR OWN CARD to start the download.
- Use a two finger pinch to zoom in or out to change the size of the blue rectangle—the blue rectangle determines the size of your map.
- In this step, include all landmarks or areas you are likely to surrender.
- Click Download to add the map to your stored data.
There is a size limit to the amount of map area you can download, not in terms of data, but physical map area. If you find that the selection rectangle starts to shrink when you pinch to zoom out, download as many as you can and repeat the process to download additional maps. Downloading multiple overlapping maps is the easiest way to save offline information for a large area. Plus, you can download as many offline maps as your storage space allows.
Configuring Offline Maps
Now that you’ve downloaded your first offline map, let’s take a look at some auxiliary settings you need to adjust to get the most out of the offline maps feature. A crucial factor is that offline maps expire after one year, which means that if you don’t update them or activate the auto-update feature, you will no longer have access to your offline maps. after a year. With that, here are some options that come with offline maps.
Rename maps offline
First, you need to label your offline maps. This can make card identification easier if you need to erase some old cards. You can rename maps offline by accessing the Offline Maps page— see stages four and five of the download process and following these steps:
- Find the offline map you want to rename and tap the three points to the right of the card details. This will bring up a pop-up window with management options.
- Select Rename.
- Enter the name you want to use for your offline map. It’s best to make it accurate and easy to remember, especially if you plan to upload multiple maps in the same area.
- Faucet to safeguard to save your new offline map name.
Auto-update offline maps
As mentioned earlier, offline maps should stay up to date. Although Google Maps allows you to manually update maps, unless your internet access is very limited, it makes more sense to allow automatic updates of downloaded maps. To enable automatic updates, go to Offline Maps page and do the following:
- On the Offline Maps page, touch the cog in the upper right corner to open Offline Maps settings. This page will have a few options that you can enable or disable.
- To allow Google to automatically update your maps periodically, turn on Auto-update offline maps at the top of the page.
And that’s all. Your maps will be automatically updated. Worry no more if your downloaded map is the latest and most accurate.
Offline map network options
Next, let’s update your network preferences to ensure offline maps only update when you want them to. While on the Offline Map Settings page, follow these steps:
- Locate and press the Download preferences option to display a pop-up window with download options.
- If you want maps to only be downloaded when you’re connected to Wi-Fi, tap Download preferences and select Via Wi-Fi only. This applies to maps you start downloading manually and automatic updates.
- If you need to download your maps offline on a mobile network, select Via Wi-Fi or mobile network.
- Faucet to safeguard to apply your changes.
Update offline map storage preferences
If you’re lucky enough to have a phone that still includes the microSD expansion, Google helpfully includes an option to let you save offline maps to your expandable storage. To enable microSD storage for offline maps, go to Offline Maps page and do the following:
- Find and tap on the option labeled Storage preferences to open the storage selection pop-up window.
- Select SD card to upgrade to microSD storage for offline maps – Google Maps easily shows you how much storage is left on your SD card and internal storage, so you can make an informed decision.
- Once you have selected your preferred storage location, tap to safeguard to close the pop-up window.
While you’re on the Offline Map Settings page, you’ll notice there’s a setting we haven’t covered yet. Automatically download recommended maps is an option that will automatically download maps that Google thinks you might use. It uses frequently visited locations as well as your home and work addresses to determine which maps to download.
We didn’t touch this setting because any option you don’t have direct control over is never as reliable as it should be. If you want offline maps for your work or residential areas, it is best to download these maps manually through the process described above.
How to delete unused offline maps
You have now downloaded offline maps and set them to automatically update how and when you want, but when you finish your journey or move to a new town or city, you definitely don’t want those maps unused ones consume storage space. on your phone. Most offline maps are under 100MB, but can be over a gigabyte in size.
Let’s see how to clean up your offline map catalog by deleting those dusty old maps you no longer use. To delete offline maps, go to the Offline Maps page (stage five in the How to Download Google Maps section of this guide) in the Google Maps app and follow these steps:
- Find the card you want to remove and tap the three dots to the right of the card information to view the management pop-up.
- In the management pop-upfaucet Wipe off— this will open another pop-up asking for confirmation to delete the card.
- Faucet Yes to delete the offline map.
Do not get lost
Most of the time getting lost sucks… but sometimes it’s an adventure. As long as you know you’re safe, getting lost can lead you to discover new places and get to know your country better. Offline maps can act as a safety net in situations where you want to explore a bit without risking getting lost in a dangerous direction. If you’re not one to go exploring without a plan, Google can help you plan your trip so you can focus on having fun.