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Using Google Map Offline and Without Data: Easy Step by Step Guide

Using Google Map offline is easier than you think! This post shows you how so you can save money on data while traveling.

There is a handy function to use Google map offline WITHOUT wifi or data.

That’s right— you can use Google Maps in airplane mode! Even in airplane mode, Google Maps will show you the blue dot so you know exactly where you are.

This feature is perfect for anyone who’s trying to minimize the use of their data or don’t have data at all. It’s been my go-to way to get around Prague, Paris, Tel-Aviv and more and one of my best international travel tips.

I’ve shared this feature with family, friends, and even fellow travelers I’ve met on public transportation and have been quite surprised how helpful this offline function. Thus, here’s the post on how to use Google Map offline to spread the good word on how not to get lost and save money on data!


How to Download Google Maps for Offline Use Without Data or Wifi

Before we begin, please note that using Google Map offline without data or wifi on your trip is meant to be a pre-travel preparation item.

Thus, you must follow these instructions when you are at home, office, Airbnb, or wherever you have good wifi connection. After you complete these instructions, Google Maps will work wifi and in airplane mode.

It will have its limitations though. It won’t work as it usually does where you can pull up step-by-step directions wherever you are. If you check the section on “Downside of Google Maps Offline”, you’ll see what I’m talking about and how to remedy it so you’re always prepped with directions.

The following instructions for the iPhone, but this function is available on all Google Maps apps on any phone like a Samsung Galaxy.


iPhone Steps

Click here for screenshots.

This function is available on any Google Maps app regardless of phone type.

  1. When connected to wi-fi, open the Google Maps app on your iPhone.
  2. Search for the city that you are going to.
  3. Once you see the city you’ll be visiting, click the Three Horizontal Lines in the top left of the app on the search bar.
  4. Click ‘Offline areas’.
  5. Click ‘Custom area’.
  6. Zoom in and out to adjust the map to the area you want.
  7. Click ‘Download.’ Your map will download in a few minutes as long as it remains connected to wi-fi.
  8. Once downloaded, you can rename your offline area with the city name, and click ‘Save’.

Now that your map is downloaded, click here to learn how to prep Google Maps to work without wifi.


iPhone Steps With Screenshots

This function is available on any Google Maps app regardless of phone type.

When connected to wi-fi, open the Google Maps app on your phone.

Search for the city that you are going to, then click the Three Horizontal Lines in the top left of the app on the search bar.

how to use google maps offline without data or wi-fi Using Google Map Offline

Click ‘Offline areas’.

how to use google maps offline without data or wi-fi

Click ‘Custom Area’.

Zoom in and out to adjust the map to the area you want.
Then click download.

Your map will download in a few minutes as long as it remains connected to wi-fi. Once it’s downloaded, you can click on the pencil in the top right corner, and rename it.

To prep your map with places you’ll be going to, keep reading this post!


How to Prep Google Maps for Offline Use Without Data or Wifi

Now that you downloaded the Google Map area you need for offline use, you’ll want to prep it even further by adding in locations you’ll be going to often just in case you don’t have wifi or data to give you specific instructions. These points will be saved on your downloaded map so you can figure out how to get there yourself.

Steps Without Screenshots

  1. Open the Google Maps app on your phone.
  2. Search for the hotel that you’re staying at.
  3. Click on the hotel, and hit ‘Save’.
  4. Now your hotel is saved and will be marked on your map with a star.
  5. Repeat the above steps until you get everything on the map that you want.

Steps With Screenshots

Open the Google Maps app on your phone.

Search for the hotel that you’re staying at.

Learn how to use Google Maps offline without data or wifi. Save money on data and time getting lost! Click through to find out how.

Click on the hotel name in the white bar for more information to pull up, and hit ‘Save’.

Learn how to use Google Maps offline without data or wifi. Save money on data and time getting lost! Click through to find out how.

Now your hotel is saved and will be marked on your map with a star.

Learn how to use Google Maps offline without data or wifi. Save money on data and time getting lost! Click through to find out how.

Repeat the above steps until you get everything on the map that you want.


How to Get Google Map to Work Without Wifi Once You’re Abroad

Now imagine you’re in downtown New York, and you’re lost without wifi or data to help you get directions. Don’t fret! You have Google Maps offline, and the locations you need to find saved on the map. Here’s how:

  • Open your Google Maps in airplane mode. Wait a couple of minutes, and the GPS will kick in. A blue dot will appear telling you where you are.
  • Now you can use the map just as you would a paper map, and head towards your marked star that you saved in your phone before.

Downside of Using Google Map Offline

There is the obvious downside of not being able to get specific walking, driving, or even subway directions when using the map offline.

To prep for this, when I’m at my hotel or Airbnb, I get directions to a place while I still have wifi. Then as I leave my accommodation, I turn my phone onto airplane mode. That way, I still have specific directions without incurring any data costs.

Also, if you use the Google Maps app, you are still dependent on technology so make sure to always have a charger on you. I use the Anker external charger, which is almost as small as a lipstick and only $13!

I’ve used this weekly since I bought it three years ago, and it still holds a charge and a half for my iPhone. I’ve also given this out as gifts over 10x– hehe– so if your birthday is coming up, expect this charger I love so much.

Lastly, Google Maps doesn’t work so well in Asia, or at least in South Korea, so you can’t download offline maps!


If you found this post on using Google Map offline, please share it with family and friends or comment below! This is a handy feature that everyone should know about.

Thanks for stopping by! xo.


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Using Google Map Offline

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Monday 11th of March 2024

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Stefania Schindler

Saturday 1st of February 2020

It is indeed a great tool, just do not forget that it does not work for walking, only if you are driving. At least, it was like this when I used in Germany...

Sherry

Saturday 4th of January 2020

This is cool! It's all about being prepared, right? We were a hot mess the last time we were traveling without a signal. This is a definitely a tip I will use! THANKS!

Jeff

Monday 4th of November 2019

You are a genius! I upgraded my iPhone 5 with a Samsung Galaxy 10 when the battery misbehaved. Then my Navman GPS packed it in and it would have cost AUD230 to replace. With your advice I have resurrected the iPhone as my GPS (works a treat and Navman won't transfer the OS maps I bought to another device anyway) with the Samsung free and available as a backup GPS.

The Zimms zoo

Monday 14th of October 2019

I just found this! We are going on a backpacking trip. I will be using this as backup for our map.

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Thank you so much for your awesome support.