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Guide to Using Google Maps Without Data

Did you know that the latest versions of Google Maps allow users to download maps to their smartphone so they can be used offline? This handy tool can be a lifesaver when you’re travelling and can’t always get WiFi. Find out below how you can use Google Maps without data.

How to Use Google Maps Without Data

If you’re always travelling to new destinations, you can understand the importance of having access to a reliable map. It’s even more helpful to have a route you can use while offline or if you’re somewhere with unreliable WiFi. Fortunately, there’s still a way to use Google Maps without data for directions when you don’t have a connection.

A step-by-step guide to downloading Google Maps

  1. The process of using Google Maps without data is quick and easy.
  2. Make sure to have the Google Maps app on your device and be signed in.
  3. Search for the location and find the download button at the bottom of the screen.
  4. You can use zoom to define the perimeter of your new map.
  5. The downloaded map saves to the device to be used offline later.
  6. This feature is available on Android and iOS-supported mobile devices.

Further reading: Don’t leave home without these travel apps.

Mapping Offline for Mobile Devices

Whether you’re using an Android or iOS device, download Google Maps from the Google Play store or the Apple App Store. Then you can download maps of a new city or destination that you’ll need later when the internet is not available.

The most recent versions of Google Maps allow users to download several interactive maps directly to a mobile device. You can still use these smaller maps to retrieve driving directions offline if you plan on renting that car from the airport and exploring a new city. But it’s important to note that walking, cycling, and public transport information is not available.

Searching for some restaurants, businesses and traffic information may be unavailable with offline maps from Google.

a young woman looking at her phone while sitting in an airport
Google Maps Without Data | Skyscanner Canada

Download Before You Travel

Remember that you’ll need to download the Google Maps app and any necessary topography while you still have access to the internet and data usage is not an issue. It’s best to download and have the info stored in your device before your trip so you don’t have to use up your data on the road, which is also a great way to reduce your roaming charges on vacation.

Once you’re signed in to Google Maps, the download button is among the additional options along the bottom of the app.

Be mindful of how many maps you are downloading as they can take up to 250MB each. To save space on your phone, we recommend deleting the downloaded map once you’re finished with it.

How to delete a downloaded map

  1. Hit the menu bar in the top left corner, beside the name of the location.
  2. Go to offline maps
  3. Choose the location
  4. Click delete
Two hikers reading a trekking map on table in backlight, rear view. Adventure exploration on the Alps.
Using Google Maps Without Data | Skyscanner Canada

Saving a Google Map Offline

To get started saving maps on your Google Map app, just search your desired location, zoom to your specifications and select the download button at the bottom. The app should ask to confirm whether you want to download a map of the specified area.

At the bottom of the screen, the app will tell you how much data (ex: 65 MB) the download will take up. The app may also be able to tell you how much data is still available on your device.

If you’re flying overseas or somewhere with limited connectivity, downloading the necessary maps from Google beforehand may make the difference between a good trip or a bad trip. A good app can also save you time and money.

If you already have an itinerary in mind, you will still be able to access certain points of interest, routes and driving directions. Having a map saved to your device can be a real lifesaver.

Offline Storage Options

Downloaded maps expire after a year. If you intend to use them over and over, be sure to update them when online. You’ll get a prompt to update when online.

It’s also worth noting that you can save the offline maps from Google to an SD card as well. However, once you change how you store your maps, you’ll have to re-download the offline areas. By default, offline maps on Google save to the mobile device’s internal storage.

Note: Your SD card may need to be configured for portable storage before use.

How to store Google maps on the SD card for Android

  1. Insert an SD card in your Android phone
  2. Open Google Maps
  3. Go to ‘offline areas’ under the menu selection
  4. Select ‘settings’ at the top right
  5. Go to ‘storage preferences’
  6. Tap ‘device’, then SD card

Final Word About Google Maps Without Data

Before you take your next trip or go somewhere where internet access is an issue, consider downloading an offline map to your device. Whether you consider it as insurance, a precaution or a major convenience, having an offline map available may be your saving grace. You can use downloaded maps to navigate, search locations, Google directions or see different routes within the perimeter of your map.