Do you ever go to Google Maps on your computer, only to see a blank mother-of-pearl grid? It’s really annoying, and it doesn’t happen for any obvious reason. It’s still possible to use Google Maps when it gets like this—you can use search and find specific addresses—but the core functionality is more or less shot. It looks like this:
It turns out that this happens because of a bugged cookie Google left in your browser. To get things back into working order again, you need to delete it.
To delete specific cookies (and avoid removing the other cookies that enable things like your “remembered” logins to work), you’ll have to dive into the Chrome settings menu. Click the menu button, the three dots in the upper-right corner of the browser window, then “Settings.”
Scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Advanced.” Under the “Privacy and security” heading, click “Content settings.”
Click “Cookies.” On the next page, click “See all cookies and site data.”
There’s a search bar in the top-right corner of the menu (the smaller one in white, not the one in blue). Type “www.google.com” into the bar, and you should narrow the list down to a single entry. If you’re outside the US, use your local Google URL, like “www.google.co.uk” for the United Kingdom. Click the one entry in the list.
In the results, you’ll see a ton of different cookies specific to your browser and your Google account. The one that’s causing your Google Maps view to be blank is labelled “gsScrollPos.” You’ll probably see a lot of these with three- or four-digit numbers following the label.
Unfortunately, it’s not possible to determine which specific cookie is bugged, so just delete them all by clicking the “X” icon on the left side of the settings column. Repeat the step and click “X” on every one with the gsScrollPos label.
When you’re finished, open a new tab and go back to maps.google.com. It should be showing up as normal now.
You can achieve the same effect by simply clearing all your cookies (Settings menu icon, “More tools,” “Clear browsing data”), but that’s not ideal, since it will log you out of all other websites.
Unfortunately, this bug tends to come back on a regular basis. If you’re in a hurry, you can just load Google Maps in an Incognito tab to make the map layer visible without clearing any cookies.