How to Fix Google Maps Not Working

Troubleshooting issues with the go-to navigation app

Problems in Google Maps can come from a variety of sources and can happen at any time. They include inaccurate location data, a failure to load directions, or even opening at all. The specific kind of issue you encounter depends on several factors, including which platform you're on and where you're trying to use the app. When Google Maps is not working, you may have to try several solutions to fix it.

A screenshot of Google Maps

Causes of Google Maps Not Working

Several factors can cause Google Maps not to work reliably. They can be both software- and hardware-based, so you might have to try a few things to get back to using the service. Among the reasons for interruption are:

  • Google's servers being down
  • An app in need of an update
  • Location services not being active on your device
  • An interruption in Wi-Fi or cellular service
  • A malfunction in the computer or mobile device you're using to access Google Maps

How to Fix Google Maps Not Working

This issue can apply to both the website version of Google Maps and the mobile apps for both iOS and Android. Follow these steps to try to get navigation working again.

  1. Check to see if the service is up. A website like Is It Down Right Now will tell you if Google Maps is not working for everyone or just you. If it is down, the only thing you can do is wait until Google restores the service.

  2. Confirm your location services. Whether you're using Google Maps on your PC, laptop, or mobile device, it may not work properly if you aren't sharing your location with it. Turn on location services for your device to see if that solves your problem.

    Google Maps will usually prompt you to share your location automatically when you open it.

  3. Check your connection. Google Maps won't work without an internet connection. If you're trying to use it at home, make sure your local network is working properly. More likely, however, you're trying to use it on a phone when you're away from your house or office.

    In that case, you're relying on the strength and availability of your cellular network. Even if your phone is working perfectly, check the cellular status icon at the top of the screen to make sure you can send and receive data to Google Maps.

  4. Calibrate your device. If Google Maps on your Android phone is pointing you the wrong direction, or the location isn't specific enough, you can quickly recalibrate the GPS.

  5. Restart your device. This troubleshooting step is more relevant to phones and tablets, but your computer can benefit from it, too. Restarting can clear out bits of memory and some caches that can affect how your device runs, and it's a quick way to solve a lot of issues.

  6. Try a different browser. Odds are you have multiple web browsers loaded on your computer already. If Google Maps isn't working in your favorite one, try opening it in another, like Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Opera.

  7. Clear your browser cache. If the web version of Google Maps isn't working properly, you may need to remove some temporary files. A quick way is to quit the program and then reopen it, but for a more thorough job, you can completely remove all of the cookies and other data from the browser's preferences menu.

  8. Check for updates. One reason Google Maps may not be working is that the version you're using is out of date. How you look for an update depends on your platform, however. Google automatically updates the web version behind the scenes, but for other versions, you'll want to check the iOS App Store or Google Play.

    For the web app, make sure your browser is up to date by checking the Mac app store, Windows app store, or the developer's website for a new version.

    To make sure Google Maps and your other apps keep the most current version loaded, turn on automatic updates for iOS or Android.

  9. Delete and re-install Google Maps. In some cases, just restarting your phone or tablet may not be enough. A more extreme fix is to completely remove the app from your device and download it again. Again, the process of deleting an iOS app is different from the one to delete a program on Android. But once you do, go to the respective app store to re-install it.