How to Find Alternate Routes on Google Maps on iPhone

See if there’s a different way to your destination

What to Know

  • View available alternate routes in gray on the map. Tap one to use its directions instead.
  • During navigation, tap the Alternate Route icon (available routes appear in gray). Tap the one you want to use and the app will update the route.

This article explains how to find alternative routes when using Google Maps on your iPhone. You can look for different routes and see their directions before you start navigating or after you’ve begun.

Choose an Alternative Route When Planning

When you’re planning to head out and want to see the best route available to your destination, Google Maps on iPhone will display it for you automatically. But perhaps you want to see if there are other routes available first.

  1. Tap the Directions icon and enter your starting location and ending destination in the corresponding boxes at the top of Google Maps.

    Google Maps app on the iPhone with Directions icon and departure and destination box highlighted
  2. You’ll see the best route display on the map with a solid blue line. If additional routes are available, you’ll see these in gray along with the travel time for each.

    Choosing an alternate route on Google Maps on the iPhone with the main route (blue) and alternate route (gray) highlighted
  3. Tap the alternate route you want to use and its details and travel time will update at the bottom for you to view. This route will then display with a solid blue line on the map.

To see the written directions, you can tap Steps at the bottom. But if you’re ready to make the trip, you can tap Start to begin the navigation.

Choose an Alternative Route While Navigating

If your travel is already underway and you want to see if there’s an alternate route to your destination, Google Maps on iPhone offers a helpful feature. Pull over to a safe location and follow the steps below. You do not have to exit your current route navigation first.

  1. Tap the Alternate Route icon at the bottom of the screen. This is depicted by two black arrows inside of a circle.

  2. The map will then display showing other available routes in gray with your current route in solid blue. You’ll also see the travel time for each alternative route.

    Choose an alternate route while already en route in Google Maps on the iPhone with the alternate route icon and a new route in gray highlighted
  3. Tap one of the other routes that you want to use, and your navigation, directions, and travel time will automatically update.

You can view the step-by-step directions before taking the alternative route by swiping up from the bottom and tapping Directions. You can also tap Preview Route to see it on the map.

Keep in mind that there may not always be an alternate route to your chosen destination. And if there is, it may have a similar or even much longer travel time and ETA as your current route. If this is the case, consider sending a custom route to Google Maps on your iPhone before you head out on the highway!

  • How do I make Google Maps the default on iPhone?

    There's no definitive way to replace Apple Maps with Google Maps as your iPhone's default mapping tool. There are some workarounds, however. First, if you use the Chrome browser on your iPhone instead of Safari, tapping an address or location will automatically bring up Google Maps as your navigation tool. Secondly, use Gmail as your default email client, and any address or location information you select in an email will automatically open up Google Maps.

  • How do I use Google Maps offline on an iPhone?

    To save Google Maps for offline use on an iPhone, open the Google Maps app and search for a destination. Select the area you want to save, then tap Download. If you search for a more specific location, such as a restaurant, tap More (three vertical dots) > Download offline map > Download.

  • How much data does Google Maps use on an iPhone?

    On average, Google Maps uses about 5MB of data per hour of driving. This amount will increase if you make stops before you get to your destination, and you can use less by downloading your maps for offline use.

  • How do I get Street View on Google Maps on an iPhone?

    To access Street View on Google Maps on your iPhone, search for a destination or drop a pin on the map. At the bottom of the screen, tap the place name or address, then scroll and tap the photo labeled Street View. Drag your finger on the screen or tap the compass to look around while in Street View.

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