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How to Use Google Maps Without An Internet Connection

Feb. 3, 2016

You can search for nearby places and get driving directions while offline

Losing your Internet connection while traveling can be frustrating, especially when you’re relying on your phone to tell you where to go. Whether you’re stuck in a subway car underground or have lost your signal while driving in a remote rural area, we’ve all be there at least once.

It’s a good idea to plan ahead for these types of situations by downloading maps for offline use in Google Maps. Once you’ve downloaded an area, you’ll be able to get directions and view points of interest for that region even without an Internet connection.

Still, there are some limitations to keep in mind. You can’t get walking, transit, or cycling directions while offline; only driving directions are available. If you’re not driving, using Google Maps offline can still be helpful for viewing nearby places when you’re stuck without a signal.

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It’s also important to remember that these maps eventually expire because Google needs to update them to make sure they’re accurate. To see the areas you’ve saved and when they expire, open Google Maps, tap the menu icon, and select “Offline areas.”

Here’s how to download an offline map:

  1. Launch the Google Maps app on your Android phone or iPhone. Make sure you’re signed into your Google account.
  2. Search for the city you’d like to download.
  3. Tap the bar at the bottom of the screen with the name of the place you’ve just searched for.
  4. Tap the button that says “Download.”
  5. Google will then show you a map of the area and ask if you’d like to download it. Tap “Download” again to confirm.