How much effort have you put into customizing Google Maps? It's an incredible tool for locating landmarks and businesses, gauging routes and distances between them, and even finding out how long it will take you to get home from anywhere.But what good are your maps if you can't get to them offline?
Well, you can.
Downloading maps offline is easy, but not intuitive. You need to do it while you're connected to the Internet, so it does take some forethought. Here's how to do it.
How to Download Google Maps Offline
1. Make sure your device has an Internet connection, and sign into your Google account.
2. Open the Google Maps app.
3. Search for the name of the location you want to save offline. It could be a business, a building, or just the name of a town. Note that you can only save maps smaller than 50km by 50km (that's a little more than 30 miles squared). To give you an idea of the distance, it's roughly from the Golden Gate Bridge to Redwood City. In East Coast terms, it's about from Yonkers to the bottom of Brooklyn.
4. Tap the bottom of the screen where the name of the location is shown.
5. A new screen will appear, and you'll see three vertically stacked dots in the upper right corner. Tap that icon.
6. Select Save Offline Map. The app will prompt you to zoom in or out to capture the area you want. Unlike a screenshot, Google Maps lets you zoom in and see more detail in the map once it's saved offline.
7. Tap Download to save it. When prompted, name the map however you want and hit Save.
How to Access Google Maps Offline
1. To get at your saved maps offline, open Google Maps (again, you'll need to be signed into your Google account ahead of time) and tap the three vertically stacked bars (the hamburger menu) in the upper left.
2. Tap Your Places.
3. Scroll down to the section labeled Offline maps. Tap any map to open it. You should be able to zoom in and out easily. If you have any starred locations on the map, they'll carry over into the offline map, too. So go ahead and add stars to locations whenever you see them and want to remember them for later.