When you download offline maps, you can access Google Maps’ most useful features even when you’re not connected to the internet. If you’re traveling in a distant place with spotty service or to a foreign nation where you may not have access to a data plan, it’s a terrific option.

When using Maps offline, not all functions are available. You won’t be able to get instructions for public transportation, bicycling, or walking, and you won’t be able to get real-time traffic statistics. You will, however, be able to acquire directions and routes, as well as navigate and search for sites.

Not only can you manually download maps of specified places, but Google Maps will also attempt to automatically update these maps. Because there are many regions in my hometown where the internet connection is sketchy at best, I keep an offline map downloaded at all times to ensure I don’t get lost.

How to download an offline map

  1. Tap your profile icon in the top right of Google Maps.
  2. Tap Offline maps.
    1. Google Maps may also suggest maps based on saved addresses and upcoming trips. To download, simply tap the blue arrow to the left of the location.
  4. Pinch in and out to set the area to download.
    1. There is a limit to how far you can zoom out. If you wish to download a more extensive area, you’ll need to repeat this process for each section.
  5. Tap Download.
offline maps

Your map will now start downloading. The app will return you to the Offline maps screen, where you can monitor its progress.

  1. To rename the map, tap the three-dot overflow menu to the right of its name.
  2. Enter a name and tap Save.

Update an offline map

It’s critical to update your maps on a regular basis, and configuring your offline maps to update automatically saves you time. Most maps will expire a year after being downloaded, and you’ll be notified two weeks ahead of time if they haven’t been updated.

Automatically update and download maps

  1. Tap your profile icon in the top right of Google Maps.
  2. Tap Offline maps.
  3. Tap the Settings button in the top right of your screen.
    • Toggle the Auto-update offline maps switch to turn on automatic updating.
    • Toggle the Auto-download recommended maps switch to automatically download recommended maps (e.g., home, work, upcoming trips).

How to manually update maps

  1. Tap your profile icon in the top right of Google Maps.
  2. Tap Offline maps.
  3. Tap the three-button menu to the right of the map you wish to update.
  4. Tap Update.

You don’t need to do anything extra after downloading an offline map. When you’re not connected to the internet, simply open Google Maps to see your saved maps.

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