How to Find Alternate Routes on Google Maps

Find the routes that work for you

What to Know

  • After entering your destination, go to: Directions > ellipses next to Your location > Route Options.
  • Select which change you'd like to make to your route.
  • You can also choose to Avoid highways, Avoid tolls, and Avoid ferries.

This article provides instructions for how to change the routes on Google Maps when using Google Maps on a mobile device.

How Do I Get Different Routes on Google Maps?

If you don't like the route Google Maps has automatically chosen for you, you can easily change or alter the route.

No matter why you want to change your route, you'll find the options all in one place.

  1. Open Google Maps and use the search field to enter and select your desired destination.

  2. Once you've selected a location, tap Directions at the bottom of the screen.

    Google Maps app with search bar and Directions highlighted
  3. Next to the Your Location box, tap the three dots.

  4. Tap Route Options.

  5. Turn the sliders on for each option you want Google Maps to take into account when calculating your route.

Another Way to Get Alternate Routes

If there's a certain route you want to go, you can use the map within Google Maps to switch to it.

  1. On Google Maps, enter and select your destination.

  2. Tap Directions.

  3. The map will show the route Google Maps has chosen in blue. There will also be greyed-out routes. Tap one of greyed-out routes to switch to this alternate route.

    Google maps showing routes to chosen location with grey route highlighted
  4. Tap Start to begin getting directions for your chosen route.

Using Alternate Route Options on Google Maps

There are four different route options you can choose from in the Google Maps settings: Avoid highways, Avoid tolls, Avoid ferries, and Prefer fuel-efficient routes.

The Avoid highways option can be helpful if, for example, you're carrying something in your car or just don't want to go at high speeds.

The Avoid tolls option has obvious perks, however, it may not always be possible to use if a toll road is the only way. If you don't have this route option turned on, Google Maps will alert you when there are tolls along your route before you start.

The Prefer fuel-efficient routes option will route your travel use the most fuel-efficient options available.

If your route goes through a waterway crossing, turning on Avoid ferries can be helpful in case of road closures.

At the bottom of the route options settings on iOS devices, you can also turn on Remember settings, which will keep these route settings on every time it calculates a new route.

Why Is Google Maps Not Showing Alternate Routes?

There could be a few reasons why turning on any of the avoidance options in Google Maps doesn't change your route. First, an alternate route may not exist; the only way to get to your location may make it impossible to avoid, for example, a highway or a bridge. Or, the alternate route you want to take actually lengthens travel time significantly, so Google Maps doesn't show it.

You may also need to update the app in order for every feature to work properly. Look at the Google Maps app page on the iOS App Store or Android Google Play store to see if updates are available.

Another option is to clear the cache stored from the app. You can do this in your mobile phone's settings, going to Google Maps, and clearing the cache from there.

  • How do I save routes on Google Maps?

    If you're using Google Maps on an Android device, tap the destination on the map, then tap Directions, choose your mode of transit, tap the bar at the bottom that shows travel time and distance, and tap Save Offline. If you're using an iPhone, you'll "pin" your route to save it. Tap Go, swipe up to see suggested trips, then tap Pin.

  • How do I download routes on Google Maps?

    To download maps and access driving directions online on an iPhone, search for the location, tap the details area. Select the three-dot menu, and then tap Download offline map from the bar at the bottom. On an Android, search for the location, tap the location's name, then tap Download from the details tab.

  • How do I find truck routes on Google Maps?

    Google Maps doesn't have a built-in truck route function, but third-party software applications can work in conjunction with Google Maps to create a truck route. For example, download the Sygic Truck & RV GPS Navigation app from the Google Play Store to your Android device, then install the Sygic Truck Route Sender extension on the Chrome or Firefox browser on your desktop. Add a driver, create a map on the Google Maps web page, then use the browser extension to send the route to a driver or mobile device.

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