How to Use the Apple Maps App

Whether you drive, walk, or use transit, never get lost again

With an iPhone in your pocket, you can get directions to almost anywhere in 75 countries. Every iPhone comes with Assisted GPS and the Apple Maps app. Whether you need driving directions, need a bus, are lost in an airport or mall, or want a 3D view of a city, Apple Maps delivers. Here's how to use its most important and powerful features.

Information in this article applies to iPhones with iOS 10 and later.

Get Turn-by-Turn Directions With Apple Maps

The Maps app is used mostly for turn-by-turn directions. Because the Maps app takes into account traffic conditions, tolls, and other data, and because it speaks to you while you drive and tells you which turns and exits to take, it's a great co-pilot. Here's how to use it:

  1. Tap the Maps app to launch it.

  2. Tap Search Maps and enter a destination. It can be a street address, city, a person's name if their address is in your iPhone Contacts app, or a business, such as a movie theater or restaurant.

    Tap a location under Favorites to get directions to a frequently accessed location.

  3. A pin or icon drops onto the map representing your destination. Tap Directions to see available routes and how long it will take to get there, then tap Go to choose a route and launch turn-by-turn directions.

    Apple Maps app with Search bar, pinned location, "Directions," and Go highlighted
  4. To change your travel mode from the default car, tap the Walk, Transit, or Cycle icon.

    Apple Maps directions with the Walk, Transit, and Bicycle icons highlighted

    The suggested routes and travel times change depending on the method of travel and what modes are available.

  5. Tap the Rideshare icon to get available Uber or Lyft information. Tap Next and Request Connect to request a pickup and confirm a pickup location.

    Apple Maps iOS app with Rideshare icon, Next, and Request Connect highlighted
  6. During your trip, tap Add Stop to add a stop to your route. Tap Share ETA to send someone your estimated time of arrival. Tap Details to see specific details of your route.

    Apple Maps with Add Stop, Share ETA, and Details highlighted
  7. Tap Report to report an accident, hazard, or speed check.

    Apple Maps with the Report incident interface highlighted

    As of the iOS 14.5 release, if you're in the U.S. or China, you can use Siri to report an incident. Say something like, "There's a crash ahead," or "Something is blocking the road" to send in a report.

  8. Tap Audio to bring up an audio control and volume screen. Tap End when you've arrived at your destination, or at any time you want to end your route.

    Apple Maps with Audio and End highlighted

Tips When Using Turn-by-Turn Directions

The basics of using Apple Maps for directions are straightforward, but there's more going on in the app. Here are a few tips you may find helpful.

The Maps app can tell you which lane you should be in using a feature called Lane Guidance. With natural-sounding directions, your turn-by-turn instructions will include helpful guidance such as, "Stay in the left lane," or "Stay in the first or second lane from the right."

The app displays local speed limits for a route, where available.

View or print a list of the directions rather than having them spoken to you. On the screen where the Go button is, before you start turn-by-turn directions, tap the time estimate. You won't get location-aware directions this way, so there's no rerouting if you miss a turn, but your phone won't tell you what to do.

You receive better directions and arrival-time estimates if you add real-time traffic data to Maps to identify and potentially route around accidents, road work, and other delays. To view traffic information, tap the i icon in the upper-right corner and move the Traffic toggle switch to On/green.

If you're on a trip and need gas, a meal, or a bathroom, Apple Maps can help. The map contains small icons for things like restaurants, gas stations, pharmacies, and hospitals. Tap these icons for more information about the location and update your directions to take you there.

Favorite Locations

Want to make it easy to get to work, home, a friend's house, or your favorite coffee shop no matter where you are? Favorite those locations. To do that, search for the location, swipe up on the search details, and tap Add to Favorites. If you change your mind, tap Remove From Favorites.

Apple Maps Add to Favorites and Remove From Favorites

You'll find your list of Favorites at the bottom of the swipe-up search panel on the home screen of Maps.


The Nearby feature shows categories of nearby businesses, such as restaurants, gas stations, and many more. Tap a category for a list of nearby destinations. The Nearby categories appear when you tap the search bar from the Maps home screen, then scroll down.

Apple Maps Find Nearby screens

Avoid Tolls or Highways

Want your driving directions to avoid roads with tolls or highways? Type your location into the search bar, tap Directions, then swipe down to the Avoid section and toggle on Tolls, Highways, or both. You'll be given new routes that meet your specifications.

Apple Maps Avoid Tolls and Highways screens

Print Directions

Want to print out a list of directions to your destination? From the Go screen, tap the time to see the full list of directions for your route. Swipe to the bottom of the list and tap Share. Tap Print to send the directions to a connected printer.

Apple Maps with Go, Share, and Print highlighted

Parked Location

Want Maps to locate your car in mall or airport parking lots? Your iPhone must be paired via Bluetooth with your car stereo or CarPlay unit. Tap Settings > Maps, then move the Show Parked Location toggle switch to on.

Apple Maps in settings with Show Parked Location highlighted

Use Maps to share your current location on the iPhone or iPad with friends and family to make it easy for them to meet up with you.

Transit Directions, Ride Sharing, and Walking Directions

Driving isn't the only way to get around, and Maps can help you navigate via mass transit, ride-sharing service, and on foot.

Open the Maps app and select a destination. Then, on the directions screen, tap Transit, Ride, or Walk.

  • Tap Transit to show options using bus, subway, light rail, ferry, and other methods to get to your destination, if your local mass transit system has been mapped by Apple (see the full list here). Pick your preferred choice and tap Go.
  • Tap Ride if you are in an area that supports ride-sharing apps such as Lyft or Uber installed on your iPhone. Your installed ride-sharing app opens, and its estimated price appears. Tap Next for the one you want to use.
  • Tap Walk for a list of streets and roads to walk. Using an Apple Watch with Maps is helpful when you are walking because the Watch vibrates to let you know when to turn. If any of the roads you have to walk are unpaved, Maps provides a warning. Tap Go to start your walk.

Indoor Mapping

Finding your way to the right shop, restaurant, or bathroom in a large indoor space like an airport or mall can be a challenge. If you've ever been lost in that situation, you may have wished for turn-by-turn directions like you have in your car. For some locations, Apple Maps has these directions.

Indoor directions in Apple Maps

Apple has full lists of locations with indoor maps here:

To use indoor maps, search for an airport or mall. If you're inside the location, open the Maps app. Use the Nearby icons—Food, Drinks, Shops, and for airports, Terminals, Gates, and more—to browse lists of options. Tap the place you want to go, and the Maps app provides directions to it.

As with other maps, zoom in and out to see more detail. Browse by floor, terminal (in airports), parking levels, arrival and departure levels (at airports), and more.

Augmented Reality Flyover Cities

Getting driving directions isn't the only way to explore a city. Use the Maps app to enjoy augmented reality, 3D flyovers in hundreds of cities worldwide. These flyovers show you the city as if you are taking a helicopter tour through the streets and between the buildings.

Here's what you need to do:

  1. In Maps, search for a city.

  2. If the feature is available, the results page includes a Flyover button. Tap it.

  3. Move your iPhone left and right, up and down to see different parts of the city in 3D. Pinch the screen to zoom in on locations. Swipe left, right, up, and down to move through the city.

  4. To take a helicopter-style tour, tap Start City Tour.

    Apple Maps with Boston City Flyover and Start City Tour highlighted
  5. Tap X to close the flyover feature and return to the standard Maps experience.

Do Not Disturb While Driving

Distracted driving is a major cause of accidents. Apple included a feature in iOS 11 and later to help users focus on the road and cut down on driving risks. Do Not Disturb While Driving blocks calls and texts while you drive and sends automatic responses so that you can keep your eyes on the road.

Do Not Disturb While Driving isn't a part of Apple Maps, but it's a good idea to learn how to use it.

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