How to use Google Maps offline mode on iOS, Android

Save Google Maps for offline access, so you can navigate the roads even when you're off the grid.

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The moment your phone reads "No service," Google Maps suddenly drops out. That is, unless you've saved your maps for offline access. With this feature, you can store large map areas for guidance, even when you're stuck without reception.

The process is identical on both iOS and Android.

  • First, you'll need to install the update. The iOS version is now at 3.0, while Android is at 8.0. Android users who aren't seeing the update right away should keep checking back. Google likes to slowly release Android updates.

googlemapsofflineprofilejpg.jpg
Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

  • Once you have the updated version, launch the app and tap on the profile icon located next to the search bar. Then scroll to the bottom of the page.

googlemapsofflineoffline.jpg
Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

  • There'll you'll find a new section dedicated solely to offline maps. You have two methods for saving a section for offline use. The first is here in the settings, or by typing "OK Maps" into the search bar at any time when viewing a map.

googlemapsofflinesave.jpg
Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

  • After activating the save dialog, you're able to zoom in and out of an area and save it to your device. If the area is too large, you'll be asked to zoom in, name the area, and save it.

Keep in mind that any saved maps will only remain on your device for 30 days. Presumably, after that the app will purge a saved map to clear up space on your device.

 

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