How to Use Google Maps Offline

Never get lost when you lose internet connection

Lost man searching place via GPS map

Johnce/Getty Images 

Google Maps has made traveling in unfamiliar areas a breeze with its detailed maps and turn-by-turn directions, but what happens if you go to an area with no cellular coverage, or you travel abroad where your smartphone can't connect? Fortunately, it's possible to save the maps you need and access them offline later.

Instructions below apply to smartphones and tablets running Android 7 (Nougat) or later no matter who made your Android device: Samsung, Google, Huawei, Xiaomi, etc. You may need to upgrade to the latest version of Android to use Google Maps offline.

How to Download Offline Google Maps

To download Google Maps for offline use, connect to the internet, sign into your Google account, then follow these directions:

  1. Open Google Maps and select a location.

    Denver Museum of Nature & Science on Google Maps
  2. Tap the three vertical dots beside the location name and choose Download offline map.

    Download offline map menu item in Google Maps
  3. Pinch, zoom, or scroll to select the area you want to save, then select Download.

    Download button in Google Maps
  4. The map is saved to your device’s internal storage for offline viewing.

Can't find your offline maps on Android? Offline maps are automatically deleted after 30 days unless you update them by connecting to Wi-Fi.

How to Access Your Offline Google Maps

To make sure you can view maps offline, disable your device's internet connectivity and try to access your maps without Wi-Fi:

  1. Open Google Maps.

    Maps icon on Android
  2. Tap the hamburger icon in the upper-left corner of the screen.

  3. Select Offline maps.

    Offline maps menu item in Google Maps
  4. Tap the downloaded map.

    Recently downloaded
  5. Tap the pencil icon in the upper-right corner to give the map a name.

    Pencil icon in upper right corner of Map
  6. Tap Delete to remove the map from your device, or tap Update to renew the map for an additional 30 days.

  7. Tap the image of the map to view it. You can zoom in the see just as much detail as you can while online.

When using Google Maps offline, you can get driving directions and search for places within the areas you've downloaded; however, you can't get transit, bicycling, or walking directions. When driving, you can't re-route to avoid tolls or ferries, nor can you get traffic information.

If you plan to go for a walk or bicycle ride at your destination, get those directions before you leave and screenshot them. If you want to ride the bus, download a local transit map.

Other Ways to View Maps Offline

Google Maps is not alone in offering offline access. Competing apps such as HERE Maps and CoPilot GPS beat them to it, though the latter requires a paid subscription.