How to Use Offline Google Maps on Android or iPhone

By Lori Kaufman on October 13th, 2015

00_lead_image_offline_maps

You can get offline maps in Windows 10, but what if you want offline maps on your mobile device and you’re using an Android device or an iPhone or iPad? No worries. It’s easy to download offline maps on those devices using Google Maps.

NOTE: Google Maps only allows you to download a 50km x 50km portion of a map to your device and saved areas of maps are automatically cleared after 30 days on your device. Also, if you’re using an iOS device, you must install Google Maps from the App Store.

Open Google Maps on your device and use the search box to search for the area you want to have offline. For our example, we’ll search for Sacramento, CA.

01_searching_for_area

If you’re viewing the map in landscape mode, touch the bar at the bottom that shows the name of the place. Otherwise, if your device is in portrait mode, skip this step.

02_city_found_portrait

Tap the menu button (three vertical dots) at the top of the screen and select “Download offline area” from the popup menu.

03_tapping_download_offline_area

NOTE: If you’re using an iOS device, select the “Save offline map” option.

04_save_offline_map_ios

On an Android device, Google Maps will ask you if you want to “Download this area?” (or “Save this map?” if you’re using an iOS device). Tap “Download” to save the map to your device.

05_download_this_area

NOTE: You may see a message saying “Area too large, zoom in”. To get an area that’s not too large, double-tap on the area into which you want to zoom.

06_area_too_large

A dialog box displays allowing you to name the offline area. Enter a name and tap “Save”.

07_name_offline_area

Once you’ve saved your offline map, you may see a pane on the right side of the screen over the map. If so, tap the back arrow in the upper-left corner of the screen to go back to the main map screen.

08_tapping_back_button

Once you’re back on the map screen, tap the menu button (three horizontal bars) on the left side of the search box.

09_tapping_menu_button

Tap “Your places” on the right pane.

10_tapping_your_places

A list of all maps you’ve saved displays. Tap on a saved area to view it. Google Maps also tells you when each saved map will expire.

To manage your saved maps, tap “View All and Manage”.

11_offline_maps_android

All your offline areas are listed. To manage one of the areas, tap on the menu button (three vertical dots) for that area.

12_tapping_menu_button_for_offline_areas

A popup menu displays allowing you to “Rename”, “Update”, or “Delete” that offline area. For example, we’ll delete our offline area for Sacramento, CA.

13_tapping_delete

A confirmation dialog box displays with a warning statement that your offline area will be deleted. Tap “Delete” to confirm the deletion.

14_delete_confirmation_android

NOTE: A similar dialog box displays in iOS, only they ask you if you want to delete your offline map.

15_delete_confirmation_ios

The offline area is removed from the “Offline areas” list. Tap the back button to return to the “Your places” list.

16_offline_area_deleted_android

When an offline area needs an update, Google Maps informs you at the bottom of the “Your places” pane. Tap the download button to download an updated map for that offline area.

17_update_required

To clear all offline maps at once, you need to clear the app data for the “Maps” app. Your saved offline maps won’t be deleted if you sign out of the Google Maps app, or delete your Web & App activity or your Maps history.

Using the Location services on an Android device consumes a lot of battery life, so we recommend turning off Location services when not in use. Google tracks the location of your device and stores this location history. If you’re concerned about privacy and would rather your location history not be tracked, you can disable this feature.

Lori Kaufman is a writer who likes to write geeky how-to articles to help make people's lives easier through the use of technology. She loves watching and reading mysteries and is an avid Doctor Who fan.

  • Published 10/13/15
More Articles You Might Like

Enter Your Email Here to Get Access for Free:

Go check your email!