How to download map data for offline use in Google Maps for Android

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 20, 2015
Updated • Aug 25, 2018
Google Android

Google added map downloads, offline navigation and other capabilities to the most recent version of its maps software Google Maps.

I'm still looking for a travel app for my trip to Asia next January that allows me to download maps to the device in advance so that I can use the mapping app even if I don't have access to Internet.

The new capabilities were reason enough to take another look at Google Maps.

How to download map data on Google Maps (new way)

google maps download

The new Google Maps on Android highlights downloads for offline use so that it is less likely that you will overlook the functionality.

  1. Search for a place, e.g. a city name that you are interested in or use the map to find it manually. If you do the latter tap on the name to select it.
  2. Tap on the name at the bottom of the interface afterward (it lists Directions, Share and Save underneath it) to display details.
  3. There you find listed the new download option which you need to activate.
  4. A preview of the area is displayed afterwards including an estimate of the storage space that you need to download the data to your device. You can change the area using touch, e.g. using zoom in or zoom out, or moving the captured region.
  5. You may cancel the operation at this point, or tap on download again to start the download.

Download map data was available for 30 days initially but Google increased the retention to 365 days recently for offline maps.


The option to download maps for offline access is welcome and helpful, for instance if you are in an area with bad mobile reception or don't want to use mobile data at all in a location.

You may notice however that some areas are not available which may limit the usefulness of the feature depending on where you need it.. I tried Tokyo, Bangkok and Peking and all three are not available while Berlin and San Francisco are.

That's rather unfortunate as I cannot use Google Maps for my Asian trip because of it. Google's explanation for that is the following:

Downloading offline areas isn't available in some regions because of contractual limitations, language support, address formats, or other reasons.

Now You: Which map software are you using?

How to download map data on Google Maps (old way)

Please note that you need Google Maps version 9.17 for Android. The update rolls out gradually to all users which means it may take a while before you get it on your device. The new features are enabled from the server side which means that even if you have version 9.17 of the app, you may not have access to some or even all of the new features.

The feature is somewhat hidden and not easily discoverable at all. Here is what you need to do to download maps for offline usage.

  1. Run a search on Google Maps, e.g. Berlin to locate the German capital.
  2. Tap on the name of the location displayed at the bottom of the screen. This opens information about the place including photos and a short description. There you find save and share options as well.
  3. Tap on the menu icon in the top right corner of the screen and select download offline data.
  4. You are taken back to the map where you are asked to pan and zoom to adjust the region that you want downloaded for offline use.
  5. Tap on download to start the download to the device.
How to download map data for offline use in Google Maps for Android
Article Name
How to download map data for offline use in Google Maps for Android
Find out how to download maps on Google Maps so that you can use them without Internet connection.
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  1. Albert said on August 18, 2023 at 1:49 pm

    Thanks for the tip Martin.

    It is for these kinds of posts that I follow GHacks.

    1. Mike Williams said on August 26, 2023 at 8:55 pm

      What’s up with the generic comment, are you a bot?

  2. Tachy said on August 18, 2023 at 3:23 pm


    Where on the planet is that still in use? I was forced to give up using my RAZRV3 years ago because 2G was phased out by AT&T.

    1. arbuz said on August 20, 2023 at 5:02 pm

      Everywhere 3G has been turned off and you don’t have LTE coverage, and believe me there are many developed countries where this is the case and if it weren’t for 2G you wouldn’t even be able to make a phone call.

    2. Doc Fuddled said on August 31, 2023 at 5:55 pm

      Maybe I missed it, but I don’t believe tha term “2G” is in the article. Perhaps you are referring to “AGM G2”??

  3. Tachy said on August 18, 2023 at 3:27 pm


    Your website has gone insane.

    When I the post button I then saw my comment posted on a different article page. When I opened this article again, it is here.

    1. Martin P. said on August 31, 2023 at 4:39 pm

      @Tachy @Martin Brinkmann

      ” Your website has gone insane. ”

      Same here. Has happened several times.

      1. owl said on September 1, 2023 at 3:42 am

        @Martin P.,

        For over two weeks now,
        I’ve been seeing “Comments” posted by subscribers appearing in different, unrelated articles.
        For the time being,
        it would be better to specify the “article name and URL” at the beginning of the post.

  4. Anonymous said on August 18, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    @tachy a lot of non-phone devices with a sim in them rely on 2G, at least here in europe.
    Usually things reporting usage or errors/alarms on something remote that does not get day to day inspection in person. They are out there in vast numbers doing important work. Reliable, good range. The low datarate is no problem at all in those cases.
    3G is gone or on its last legs everywhere, but this stuff still has too much use to cancel.

    Anyhow, interesting that they would put that in. I can see the point if you suspect a hostile 2G environment (amateur eavesdroppers with laptop, ranging up to professional grade MITM fake towers while “strangely” not getting the stronger crypto voip 4G because it is being jammed, and back down to something as old ‘stingray’ devices fallen into the wrong hands).

    But does this also mean that they have handled and rolled out a fix for that nasty 4G ‘pwn by broadcast’ problem you reported earlier this year? I had 4G disabled due to that, on the off chance that some of the local criminals would buy some cheap chinese gear, download a working exploit and probe every phone in range all over town in the hope of getting into phones of the police.

  5. Andy Prough said on August 19, 2023 at 3:04 am

    >”While most may never be attacked in stingrays, it is still recommended to disable 2G cellular connections, especially since it does not have any downsides.”

    The downside would be losing connectivity. I spend a lot of time way out in the countryside where there’s often no service or almost none. My network allows 2G, and I need it sometimes. I have an option on the phone to disable 2G, I may do that when I’m in the city and I have good 5G connectivity, but not out in the country.

    I would imagine that the stingray exploits, like most of the bad things in this world, are probably things you will run into in the crowded big cities.

  6. owl said on August 21, 2023 at 3:40 am

    I stopped using it in a mobile (Wi-Fi line) environment, so I’m almost ignorant of the actual situation,
    But the recent reality in Japan makes me realize that “the infrastructure of the web is nothing more than a papier-mâché fiction”.

    It is already beyond the scope of what an individual can do.
    What we should be aware of is the reality that “governments and those in power want to control the world through the Web”, and efforts to counter (resist and prevent) such ambitions are necessary.

  7. Anonymous said on August 26, 2023 at 9:27 pm

    Why do you want people to disable the privacy features? Hmmmmm?

  8. Anonymous said on August 27, 2023 at 2:30 am

    Now You: do you plan to keep the Ads privacy features enabled?

    I’d like to tell you, but apparently if you make a post critical of Google, you get censored. * [Editor: removed, just try to bring your opinion across without attacking anyone]

  9. Tachy said on August 27, 2023 at 5:15 am


    You website is still psychotic. Comments attach to random stories.

  10. John G. said on August 28, 2023 at 2:46 pm

    @Martin please do fix the comments, it’s completely insane commenting here! :[

  11. ECJ said on August 28, 2023 at 5:37 pm


    The comments are seriously messed up on gHacks now. These comments are mixed with the article at the below URL.

    And comments on other articles are from as far back as 2010.

  12. Naimless said on August 29, 2023 at 12:57 am

    What does this article has anything to do with all the comments on this article? LOL I think this Websuite is ran by ChatGPT. every article is messed up. Some older comments from 2015 shown up in recant articles, LOL

  13. Paul Knight said on August 31, 2023 at 3:35 am

    The picture captioned “Clearing the Android Auto’s cache might resolve the issue” is from Apple Carplay ;)

  14. Anonymous said on August 31, 2023 at 9:57 pm

    How about other things that matter:
    Drop survival?
    Screen toughness?
    Degree of water and dust protection?

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