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Get quick maps and routes in your browser with Handy Maps

Google Maps is terrific, but unless you keep it in a dedicated browser tab, it may take a little too long to access. Handy Maps lives in your Chrome Extension Bar and delivers maps and routes quickly.

Getting routes or maps from Google Maps is pretty fast, but it could be faster. Handy Maps is a Chrome extension that pops up with one click to show you where you are, where you're going, and how to get there. Here's how to use it: 

  • Install Handy Maps here. 
  • There should now be a pinned map icon in the Extension bar on the top right of your Chrome window (if not, try restarting your browser or checking the Extensions menu in Settings). Click it to show a pop-up Google Maps window that should figure out where you are pretty quickly, unless you keep Google from keeping track of your location. 
  • Enter a location (or two, if you want a route) and your results should come quickly and cleanly. 
    Handy Maps
    Handy Maps Rob Lightner/CNET

That's it! While it would be nice to get step-by-step directions from the extension, we can hope that'll come in a later version. 

There's plenty more to Google Maps! Check out this piece on the weather layer they added last year. If you've got privacy concerns, this piece on clearing your Google Maps history or this one on opting out of Google's Wi-Fi mapping can help.