Using Favorites With the Mac Apple Maps App

Save the places you have seen or want to see

The Mac's Map app showing favorite editing.

Maps, the Apple mapping application that was introduced with OS X Mavericks, is a popular and easy way to find your way around just about anywhere in the world.

Many of the features found in the iPhone and iPad versions of the Maps app are available to Mac users, including the ability to add your favorite locations.

Information is this article applies to the Maps application in the following operating systems: macOS Catalina (10.15), macOS Mojave (10.14), macOS High Sierra (10.13), macOS Sierra (10.12), OS X El Capitan (10.11), OS X Yosemite (10.10), and OS X Mavericks (10.9).

Using Favorites in Maps

The Favorites feature lets you save a location anywhere in the world and quickly return to it. Identifying favorites in Maps is like using bookmarks in Safari. You can store frequently used locations in your Maps Favorites list to bring up a saved site quickly. However, the Maps Favorites feature offers more versatility than Safari bookmarks. Favorites give you quick access to information, reviews, and photos of the places you save.

How to Access Map Favorites

To access your favorite sites, click the magnifying glass icon in the search bar. (In early versions of Maps, click the Bookmarks icon in the Maps toolbar.) Then, click Favorites or the Favorites icon (a heart) in the drop-down panel that appears.

Favorites drop-down menu in Mac Maps

The left panel of the Favorites screen contains categories for Favorites, Recents, All Contacts, and Contacts groups from your Contacts application. Maps provides quick access to all your contacts on the assumption that you may want to map out the location of a contact if the entry contains an address.

The Favorites drop-down screen in the Mac Maps app
  • The Favorites category contains your saved spots. They may be restaurants, businesses, friends' homes, landmarks, or places that you've stuck a pin in on the Maps application. The Favorites feature starts with an empty list, but you can add your favorite spots in several ways.
  • The Recents category contains a list of recently visited locations in Maps. Each time you enter an address in the search bar, use a favorite, or use a contact's address to go to a location in Maps, that location is added to the Recents list. Recents also includes any pinned locations, even when the pin doesn't have a name.
  • The Contacts category contains all your Contacts groups. You can click on any group to find a specific contact. You can also use the search bar within the Favorites sheet to find a specific contact. Contacts that include a useable address are displayed in bold text, while contacts that are missing address information are displayed with grayed text. Click on an address field in a contact to go to that location in Maps.

Adding Favorites in Maps

When you first start using Maps, the Favorites list is empty, ready for you to populate it with places of interest to you. However, you may notice that within the Favorites list, there is no method for adding a new favorite. Favorites are added from the map, using one of several methods.

Add Favorites Using the Search Bar

Use the search bar at the top of the Maps application to enter a favorite location.

  1. Type a location or place name in the Maps search bar. If more than one location has the same name, choose the one you are looking for in the left panel. Maps takes you to that location and drops a pin and address banner on the map.

    Adding a favorite in Mac Maps using the search bar
  2. Click the address banner next to the pin to open the information window. Depending on the location, it may have a lot of information or just give the address and distance away from you.

    Favorites information screen in Mac Maps
  3. With the information window open, click the Favorites icon (a heart) at the top of the screen to add the location to Favorites.

Add Favorites by Manually Dropping Pins

If you wander around a map and come across a location you want to return to later, you can drop a pin and then add the location to your Favorites.

To perform this type of addition, scroll about the map until you find a location that interests you. Then:

  1. Place the cursor over the position you want to remember. Then, right-click and select Drop Pin from the pop-up menu.

    Drop Pin option in Maps right-click menu
  2. The address displayed in the pin's banner is a best guess about the location. Sometimes, you'll see a range of addresses, such as 201-299 Main St. Other times, Maps displays an exact address. If you add a pin in a remote area, Maps may only display a regional name, such as Wamsutter, WY. The address information the pin displays is dependent on the amount of data Maps contains about that location.

    Banner accompanying dropped pin in Mac Maps app
  3. After you drop a pin, click on the pin's banner to open the information window.

  4. If you want to save the location, click the Heart icon in the information window to add the location to your Favorites.

    Information screen for dropped pin in Mac Maps

Add Favorites Using the Maps Menu

Another way to add a favorite is to use the Edit menu in Maps. If you want to return to the same area in Maps, do the following:

  1. Position the area you want to favorite in the Maps window. It's best if the location you're interested in adding as a favorite is roughly centered in the map viewer.

  2. From the Maps menu bar, select Edit > Drop Pin to drop a pin in the center of the map screen.

    Dropping a pin from the Map menu bar
  3. This adds a pin and location flag at the center of the map using the name Marked Location, sometimes with a regional indicator and sometimes with an address. You can edit the name to add more precise information after accessing your Favorites.

    Marked Location information flag in Mac Maps
  4. Click the location flag and select the Heart icon to save the Marked Location as a Favorite. You can edit the information for the location to be more precise later.

    Marked Location information screen in Mac Maps app

Editing or Deleting Favorites

You can change a favorite's name or delete a favorite location in the Favorites screen. However, you can't change a favorite's address or location information there.

  1. To access and edit a favorite's name to make it more descriptive, click the magnifying glass icon in the Maps search toolbar, followed by Favorites in the drop-down menu and Favorites in the sidebar, as described earlier.

  2. Click the Edit button near the bottom right of the Favorites panel.

    The Favorites screen in Mac Maps app
  3. All the favorited locations can now be edited. To delete a favorite, click the X to the right of the favorite's name. Change a favorite's name by clicking in the name field and typing in a new name or editing the existing name. Click Done to save the changes.

    Editing the name of a Favorite in the Maps app

Favorites are a handy way to keep track of places you have visited or want to visit. If you haven't yet used Favorites with Maps, try adding a few locations. It's fun to use Maps to see all the places you think are interesting enough to add as Favorites.