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Create a “Go Home” Shortcut for Your Android Phone’s Google Maps Navigation

One of the best features on an Android phone is the Google Maps & Navigation, which gives you excellent turn-by-turn navigation for free. To make it even better, you can create a shortcut to your own house, so you can immediately get directions to take you home from anywhere.

Creating these shortcuts isn’t rocket science, but this is a useful tip that we figured we’d share. If you already know how to do this, you can always share it with somebody else.

Other potential use cases: If you’re planning a trip to a city and you want to see a number of different sites, you could create a couple of shortcuts for each place you want to visit and put them in a folder—then just hit the icon for the one you want to go to next and get directions no matter where you are.

Create the “Go Home” Shortcut

Long press on an empty spot on your phone’s background, and then choose Shortcuts –> Directions & Navigation.

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Next, you’ll want to put in your full address into the Destination box, and then select whether you want directions by car, public transit, bike, or walking. Give the shortcut a useful name, like “Go Home”, and then choose the icon you want—personally I chose the one with a house on it, since it seems relevant.

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Now whenever you hit the shortcut, you’ll immediately be taken into the navigation system with directions to take you home.

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Again, this isn’t very tough, but it’s a useful tip that a lot of people don’t know about.

Update: There’s been quite a few commenters on here, Facebook, and other places, saying that putting a shortcut to your house on your phone is dangerous in case somebody steals your phone, because then they know where you live. This is technically correct.

However, it’s also a little overly paranoid. If somebody steals your Android phone, they have access to your email (with your address in it), your contacts (with loads of addresses), your browsing history (with loads of private data), your maps/navigation history (with your address in it), and so on, and so forth… A simple shortcut is the least of your concerns.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 08/17/10

Comments (12)

  1. Matthew

    To be honest, I wouldn’t do this. If a thief picks up your phone, and finds the ‘Go Home’ link, that’ll be the next place that they’ll go.

  2. _NathanBaxter_

    Love it :)

    @Matthew *cough* WaveSecure *cough*

  3. 216

    Nice to see that someone lives in NOVA

  4. Brian

    Yup @ 216, reporting from DC

  5. R.J.

    @Matthew – A couple things… first of all, if you’re concerned about security, put a passcode or pattern unlock on your screen. Second, the shortcut doesn’t have to be directly on your main homescreen and say “Go Home”. Mine’s tucked away in a LauncherPro dock and is nothing more than an inconspicuous icon that I will remember.

  6. The Geek

    The type of people that would steal a cellphone while you’re out and about are probably not the breaking and entering type. Now if you were mugged, and they stole your phone, then maybe.

    Personally, I live in an area without a lot of crime, so it’s just not an issue for me.

  7. The Geek

    After thinking about this, I think concern over this are really a little too paranoid.

    It’s also worth pointing out that if the thief has access to your Android phone, they have your email, browsing history, contacts (with addresses, most likely), maps history, navigation history, and everything else.

    A simple shortcut is the least of your concerns.

  8. TheOtherThing

    The other thing is, if someone has a shortcut to your house, what’s different about your house versus your neighbor’s? It’s not as if a person who lost their phone is also likely to keep their doors unlocked or any more susceptible to a break-in than their neighbor.

  9. llessur

    Tough crowd huh Matt? I get what ur saying bro.

  10. Michael Wales

    Everyone should install an app to nuke, or at least track, a lost/stolen phone anyways. A thief won’t have the opportunity to come to my house, the police and I will meet him half-way.

  11. Markus

    You don’t have to target your exact home location. I set Home on my GPS to the police station in an adjacent town; I can find my own way from there, and any would-be home invaders will get a nice little surprise. I’ll do the same thing once I’ve got an Android phone.

  12. Kelli

    Thanks for this. I had it set up before the update and couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to do it again. I appreciate the tip!

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