google maps satellite view

Satellite View is a feature that has been in Google Maps since the service was first released. It can be handy to see a real-world top-down view of any location. We’ll show you how to start in this view by default on Android and iPhone.

Before we enable Satellite View by default, you should know that it will use more data than the minimalist “Map” view. Satellite View will also be enabled during turn-by-turn navigation. Keep this in mind if you use Google Maps with a mobile data connection.

RELATED: How to Change Your Car Icon in Google Maps

The process for enabling Satellite View by default is a little different on Android and iPhone. We’ll start with Google Maps for Android.

Open the Maps app on your Android smartphone or tablet and tap your profile icon in the top-right corner.

Next, select “Settings” from the menu.

select settings from the menu

Scroll down and toggle the switch for “Start Maps in Satellite View.”

start maps in satellite view toggle

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It’s as simple as that. Google Maps will now be in Satellite View when you open it in the future.

Things work a little differently in Google Maps for the iPhone and iPad. Open the app and tap the layers button in the top-right corner.

tap the layers button

Next, select “Satellite” from the “Map Type” section of the menu.

choose satellite view

That’s it! The app will remember this selection and start in Satellite View from now on.


This is a simple thing, but it can save time if you find yourself switching to Satellite View a lot. It’s a little annoying that the Android app doesn’t simply save your selection as the iPhone does, but at least there’s a setting for it.

Joe Fedewa Joe Fedewa
Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has close to a decade of experience covering consumer technology and previously worked as a News Editor at XDA Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews.
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