Worried about racking up data charges when you're away from home? Here's how to download maps in Google Maps and what you can do with them
If you're out and about and you don't want your data charges mounting up while you're navigating your way around, you can download maps from Google to use offline.
First, search for the name of the place you want maps for: that can be either in the UK or abroad.
Then sweep up from the bottom so that the information panel fills the whole screen, then tap the three dots in the top right-hand corner (horizontal on an iPhone, vertical on an Android phone).
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From the pop-up menu, tap Download offline map. On the next screen you can decide how much of the map you want to download: zoom in if you want a smaller area, and out if you want the map to cover a larger area.
Note that the bigger the area you choose, the more space it will take up on your phone, so if you’re planning to download several maps, do make sure you’ve got enough space on your phone. You can see how much space it will take up underneath the map: this map below takes up 120MB.
If your data is limited by your mobile plan, make sure you’re on a wi-fi network when you download your maps: again, the bigger the map, the more data it will consume when you download it.
When you’re happy with the area of map you need, tap the Download button and the map will be added to your phone in the background.
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The offline map behaves much as it would if you were online, with some limitations. You’ll be able to search the map for addresses, landmarks etc, and you’ll be able to get driving directions, but you won’t get live traffic conditions. Nor will you get walking directions or public transport directions.
You also won’t get live information about your destination, which means you won’t be able to check if the business you’re heading to is open, or what time it closes. You also won’t be able to see other people’s contributed reviews, nor live pricing information for, say, a hotel.
But even with those limitations, Google Maps is perfectly functional when offline: you’ll be able to zoom in to navigate at street level, and you’ll see where landmarks, shops, stations and hotels are.