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How to download and use Google Maps offline

Our guide to using Google Maps offline means you can keep an eye on your location and find your destination no matter your signal strength.

Custom image for Google Maps offline guide with the world and Google Maps icon

If you’re traveling without a reliable signal, Google Maps offline can be a lifesaver. Still, it might not be immediately clear to all that you can use this app offline, so we’ve put together a guide with all the details on how to download maps to your phone and adventure beyond the limits of 4G connectivity.

For more tech support courtesy of Pocket Tactics, check out our Amazon Prime download, Trello download, Netflix download, Microsoft Teams download, and TikTok download guides. Or, if you want to explore some exciting worlds you don’t need Google Maps for, check out our lists of the best open world games, exploration games, and wildlife games.

How to download Google Maps offline

If you want to use Google Maps offline, you need to download the app first. This doesn’t apply to Android and Google Pixel users, as the app comes pre-installed on the phone, but iOS users require both the app and a Google account before starting. Thankfully, you can find Google Maps quite easily on the App Store, and there’s no cost for the download.

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How do I use Google Maps offline?

The caveat to using Google Maps offline is that you need to know where you’re heading first. The thing is, Google Maps can’t register anything when you’re offline, so what you’re essentially doing is downloading a map in advance before heading out into the wilderness. This is particularly useful if you’re heading off the beaten track for a hike going somewhere entirely you’ve never been before.

Check out the instructions below on how to download local information to use Google Maps offline.

  1. Open Google Maps
  2. Select your profile in the top right of the screen
  3. Hit the ‘offline maps’ option
  4. Press ‘select your own map’
  5. Use the window to select the area you need maps information for
  6. Hit ‘download’

You can also save maps of a specific location, like London or Seattle, by following the steps below.

  1. Open Google Maps
  2. Search for a location such as Seattle
  3. Select the location and pull the menu up to cover the map
  4. Select the three dots in the top-right corner of the screen
  5. Hit ‘download offline map’
  6. Use the window to select how much of the location you need to map
  7. Hit ‘download’

Now, whenever you need to use Google Maps offline, you can simply go to your saved offline maps and find your way to wherever you’re going. Just keep in mind that offline maps expire after 15 days, so don’t prepare too far in advance for a trip.

Custom screenshots detailing the instruction on how to use Google Maps offline

How do I use Google Maps directions offline?

Did you know you can also use Google Maps directions offline? It’s not as official as using the maps information, but it’s still helpful if you’re going on a long trip. If you enter your destination while still at home, Google caches the directions, so you can head out of your house, leave phone signal behind, and still find your way to your destination. To avoid any confusion, the exact method is below.

  • Open Google Maps while you have an internet connection
  • Search for the location you’re heading to
  • Select ‘directions’
  • Hit ‘start’

There you have it, our guide on how to use Google Maps offline. If you’re looking for a new phone for your next adventure, check out our picks for the best rugged phones and the best 5G phones.