Here's how you can use Google Maps offline

Here's how you can use Google Maps offline
With the arrival of Nokia Maps on Windows Phone, the platform might have suddenly become the one with the best geographical and navigational support, but Google’s Android is still the most widespread platform out there. And if you’re planning a small trip you might end up surprised that when you go out of your carrier’s coverage range, your maps will simply stop to load and you’d be left on your own in the wild.

Can you do something to prevent yourself from such mishaps? For relatively small areas Google has provided a simple solution that will pre-cache your maps and allow you to use them offline.

The feature is hidden in the maps settings and we’ve made a quick how-to explaining all the little steps to make it happen. 

Note, that Google Maps will only pre-cache the 10-mile area around a certain point, so it’s definitely not enough for big trips, but for city commutes might just do. You also don't get to zoom in as much as you would when using the maps online. And finally, good news is that you can easily pre-cache a couple of 10-mile areas, just in case. Check out how below.



1. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

And we users get credit for pointing this out in the Mobile OS comparison article... Where, exactly?

11. Hammerfest

Posts: 384; Member since: May 12, 2012

no kidding right?

15. ajac09

Posts: 1482; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

you pissed in there apple flakes

2. stillthisguy unregistered

This article is written as if this was the offline maps that Google integrated, rather than the fact that this lab has been available for a long time in the labs section. Should at least make this fact known when writing this article.

3. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

Seriously, it's almost like it is written in such a way that this was a response to apple and nokia's map solutions. But I know I have been using this for at least a year.

16. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Yea...I think it was around the time Google put in the 3D feature....yes that same 3D feature that some Apple folks think is so great now for Apples Map software.. That was Dec 2010 folks....

4. metoyou

Posts: 279; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

Children, there are people that don't know about this feature so chill

5. kach22

Posts: 153; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

That is so cool. Saved me a lot of time searching for this and actually I didn't know it existed.

6. jackhammeR

Posts: 1548; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

still suxx compared to nokia maps

7. shammont

Posts: 32; Member since: Jun 22, 2012

i love google maps. i have used it for many things but this is a joke. nokia is much better when it comes to this mapping feature.

8. ivanko34

Posts: 617; Member since: Sep 04, 2011

I use it since long time But you can cache a very large area, i have full my region. But it is not a cache of the satellite just the roads unless mistaken Anyway the phone cache also the satellite when he got data coverage so the map and latitude work all the time

9. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

Okay, I don't get it. Why isn't 10 miles of cache good enough? I can't imagine going 10 miles and still not having a signal to connect to. Maybe my experience is different since I live in a larger city, and I have Verizon. But (honest question here) is there really a need for more that 10 miles worth of cached maps, or are there other senarios where more would be useful? Or are there other reasons why some feel Nokia's maps are better?

12. Thomas5.3

Posts: 37; Member since: Oct 30, 2011

Well for Europe offline navigation is almost a must. For example i live in the Netherlands and my data bundle only counts within the boundries of the Netherlands. So if you go by car to other countries and want to use google maps for navigation it's gonna cost you a lot of money cause you are using data outside of your own country. In this case offline navigation is really a good solution.

13. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

Aww! Great example, thanks!

10. Turok

Posts: 2; Member since: Dec 09, 2010

You still need an active data connection to initiate the navigation and rerouting is available only with data on. So Offline navigation from Google isn't really offline. Don't think I'm an apple fanboy, i own a SGS 2.

14. Damien_666

Posts: 37; Member since: Oct 16, 2011

How come people flag down when Nokia Maps is claimed to be better? Nokia Maps ALWAYS works offline! And for any location, so need to cache.

17. gabrelov

Posts: 4; Member since: Jun 17, 2013

Google maps are better detailed and quality but mere fact android is free thus offline mapping and turn by turn navigation is not good compared to nokia here maps which is fast searching your location offline mode. Nokia owns Navteq which sells gps equipment no doubt about that.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless