Saving offline areas in Google Maps


Because not all of us experienced the Lewis & Clark Expedition, mobile devices are a huge help in navigating the world. Phones and tablets have made it extremely easy for us to get from Point A to Point B without actually being familiar with our surroundings. A service like Google Maps, which has hundreds of millions of users, is able to provide so many details based on your needs. Google Maps can explain the estimated travel time, show turn-by-turn directions, and offer local places to drop by and try. Despite all of its beauty, a missing internet connection or even a poor one can ruin the entire experience. That won’t be a problem, though, if you’re downloading an area in Google Maps for offline use. Google understood there may be times when you just can’t get a connection for maintaining navigation, so the company built offline functionality into Google Maps.

Allow me to show you how to save areas for offline use in Google Maps.

  1. Make your way over to Google Play to download and install Google Maps if, for whatever reason, your device doesn’t have the app pre-installed or you currently have an outdated version.


  2. Once in Google Maps, launch the slideout menu by either swiping from left to right or hitting the dedicated menu button on the far left of the search bar. The next step is for you to choose the obvious selection on the list: Offline areas.


  3. Now you’re going to be faced with either blank list of offline areas or perhaps a recommended one of a surrounding area you frequent. To add an entirely new offline area, select the button at the bottom right represented by a plus sign.


  4. The app will present a rectangular cutout of a designated area. You can pan around the display to choose the area, but you can also zoom in or out to get more or less of what you want to download for offline use. The minimum amount of space an offline area will take up is 225MB while the maximum is 1.55GB, meaning you’ll want to choose areas wisely to avoid consuming a large portion of your device’s internal storage.


  5. The app will generate a suggested name for an offline area, but Google Maps gives you the option to name it for yourself. Decide what you want to name it and Google Maps will start downloading the area directly to your device.


  6. Downloading an offline area will be done in about three minutes or so. The time depends on the size of the offline area.


  7. Want to manage your offline areas? Just head back to the Offline areas page from the second step. The little gear icon at the top right of this page is where you can decide to have offline areas updated automatically and whether or not maps are downloaded over WiFi only.


  8. If you choose an existing offline area from the list, Google Maps will allow you to do actions like renaming, deleting, or updating.


After you’ve completed the steps above, Google Maps will always be your go-to for navigation when needed. Offline areas contain everything you know and love above Google Maps, adding in the extra reassurance that you’ll never be lost somewhere you’ve never been before. We can never predict something bad happening to our devices, and having an offline area is a surety when things take an unfortunate turn.

About the Author: Justin Herrick

Born and raised in New Jersey, Justin is a graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University where he studied marketing with a focus on digital marketing. He's very talkative and enjoys discussing anything from technology and sports to video games and television. As for Justin's current device rotation, he carries around the LG V20 and Nexus 9. In the rare case that his phone or tablet is not in his hand, he is either flicking through cards on his Moto 360 (2015) or typing away on the Microsoft Surface Book. Justin is patiently waiting for the day that Google replicates the Galaxy Nexus with modern day specifications.

  • Graham Cale

    Is it possible to save the offline maps to an external SD card? Or with Marshmellow and Adopted internalized SD cards, is the offline map saved there?

    (I’m bumping up against the ceiling of my internal memory on my Moto G.)