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Create an Offline Cache in Google Maps for Android

Do you have a Android phone or tablet that you’d like to use for Maps on the go, but it lacks a mobile data connection? Have no fear, even after the update to version 7 Google Maps still offers a way to cache areas offline. This is great if you have a device such as the Note 10.1 tablet which has a built-in GPS yet can only connect to the internet via Wi-Fi. And there are still plenty of people that don’t like paying the big monthly fees a mobile data plan can cost.

While version 6 of Maps had a direct option for creating an offline cache, the method now used is more of an Easter Egg than an official feature, but it works none the less.

To use it open the Maps application on your Android device and then select the area you would like to cache. Unfortunately Google Maps won’t let you cache a map of an entire state, the file size is just too big. It does let you cache a moderately large-sized area though so it should be enough for short trips around your town or county.

Once you have the area you’d like to cache in view, type “okay maps” into the search box.

maps areaokay maps easter egg

Google will take a moment to “pre-load” the area and then save the copy to your device’s offline cache. Once it’s cached you can use the map at any time, even in Airplane mode. This will allow you to fully zoom in anywhere within the confines of what was visible at the time of creating the cache. It’s a neat feature that I hope Google brings back (and improves) for tablet users like myself.

pre-loadingzoom in while offline

If the above instructions were unclear, here’s a video demonstration of the feature below:

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5 Responses to Create an Offline Cache in Google Maps for Android

  1. Ben October 22, 2013 at 10:46 am #

    Is there a way to clear the cache, say, if I move house from one state to another?

    • Austin Krause October 22, 2013 at 11:40 am #

      Yup. Go into Settings > Manage Apps > Maps

      Then clear the cache from there:

      Screenshot: http://i.imgur.com/Jgnymdj.png

      ——-

      You can also clear it from within the Maps app by going to Settings > About, terms & privacy > Terms & privacy > Clear Application Data

      ——-

      The first method is simpler since it doesn’t involve navigating the maze that is the settings window within the maps app, and when you view it in the Android app manager it gives you the bonus of seeing how large the map cache files are.

  2. Ramault October 27, 2013 at 10:12 am #

    If you just stay on the search bar for a little while, an option will appear that asks you if you want to cache the map….

  3. Steve Andrews March 12, 2014 at 1:28 pm #

    Can I pre load multiple areas, or just a single cache please?

    thank you!

  4. me January 3, 2015 at 12:25 am #

    What you and every other article on this issue fails to mention is the cache size is limited, regardless of what you download, meaning when the cache is full it overwrites what you previously downloaded, meaning oyu have to download it all over again.
    I’m personally sick of this app due to it’s moronic restrictions, moving to Maverick.

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