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How to fix Google Maps when it's not working

Here are a few different ways to resolve any issues Google Maps may be having.
By
February 2, 2024
Google Maps stock photo 6
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Is Google Maps not working? Of course, it’s never fun when technology isn’t performing as intended, so here are some troubleshooting options to fix the service and get you back on track.

QUICK ANSWER

To fix Google Maps, try restarting the app, checking your Wi-Fi connection, updating the app, optimizing Google Maps' location accuracy, and clearing the cache and data in your device's storage settings. Keep reading for more tips.


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Editor’s note: We used a Google Pixel 7 running Android 14 and an Apple iPhone 12 mini running iOS 17.3 to formulate these steps. Some menus and settings may be slightly different, depending on your device and software version.

How to fix Google Maps when it’s not working

If Google Maps isn’t working, it’s likely to be an issue with the mobile app, particularly on Android. If the Google Maps app on your phone or tablet crashes or has other problems that affect your experience on Maps, try the following solutions.

Check your internet connection

Of course, Google Maps will need an internet connection for almost everything. You’ll need to make sure your internet connection is alive and healthy.

If you’re using Wi-Fi, you should ensure it’s connected to the internet. You can do this by testing any other app that requires an internet connection, or another device connected to the same network. If the router is to blame, try restarting it. Some routers have a reset button; others can be rebooted using the app. If yours doesn’t have these options, unplug the router, wait for about 30-60 seconds, then plug it back in.

Now, if you’re using mobile data, you’ll need to make sure you actually have it turned on.

How to enable mobile data on Android:

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Go into Network & internet.
  3. Under SIMs, select your main line.
  4. Select your SIM.
  5. Make sure Mobile data is turned on.
  6. Alternatively, you can also enable Roaming. Just remember this may incur extra charges. Check your plan details to learn more.

How to enable cellular data on iPhone:

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Go into Cellular.
  3. Toggle on Cellular Data.
  4. You can also tap your SIM to turn on Data Roaming. Again, this may incur extra charges.

If you’re connected to the internet, there is one more option you should check. You may have turned on Wi-Fi only mode on Google Maps. This feature is great for saving data, but it may interfere with key features in Google Maps.

How to disable Wi-Fi only on Google Maps for Android:

  1. Launch Google Maps.
  2. Tap on your profile icon, in the top-right corner.
  3. Go into Settings.
  4. Make sure Wi-Fi only is toggled off.

This option is not available for iPhone. By the way, you can use Google Maps offline, with some limitations. It requires downloading map data. Check out our guide to using Google Maps offline for all the details.

Restart the app

The first thing to try is restarting the app. We’ll need to make sure the app isn’t just hiding in the background, though. It must be completely closed. Let’s show you how this is done.

How to force close an Android app:

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Go into Apps.
  3. Tap on See all apps.
  4. Find and select Maps.
  5. Hit the Force stop button.
  6. Confirm by tapping OK.

How to close an iPhone app:

  1. From the home screen, swipe up from the bottom of the screen, and hold.
  2. After a couple or few seconds, the app overview page will show up. Find Google Maps and slide it up, away from the screen.

Relaunch the app and see if it works now.

Restart the device

Oh, the good ol’ restart. It just seems to fix all tech woes, so you might as well give it a try.

How to restart an Android phone:

  1. Simultaneously press the power and volume up buttons.
  2. The power menu will show up. Tap on Restart.

How to restart your iPhone:

  1. Simultaneously press and hold the power button, and either the volume up or volume down button for a few seconds.
  2. Use the slide to power off option.
  3. Once the iPhone is completely off, press and hold the power button until the Apple logo appears.

Note: iOS doesn’t allow taking screenshots of the power menu, so we can’t show you the process visually.

Update the app

Ensure you are using the latest version of the Google Maps app to use its most recent features.

How to update an Android app:

  1. Launch the Google Play Store.
  2. Tap on your profile icon in the top-right corner.
  3. Go into Manage apps & device.
  4. Select Updates available.
  5. Look for Google Maps and select the Update button next to it.
  6. Alternatively, you can take care of all available app updates by hitting Update all.

How to update an iPhone app:

  1. Launch the Apple App Store.
  2. Tap on your profile icon in the top-right corner.
  3. Under Upcoming Automatic Updates, find Google Maps and select the Update button next to it.
  4. Alternatively, you can take care of all available app updates by hitting Update All.

Clear cache and data

There is an ongoing debate on whether you should clear your cache or not. Cache stores constantly downloaded data locally, so that it can be opened more efficiently next time an app is loaded. This inherently makes cache a good factor for speeding up performance. That said, this locally stored data can sometimes fail or get corrupted. It’s a good idea to clear it out every now and then.

How to clear app cache on Android:

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Go into Apps.
  3. Tap on the See all apps option.
  4. Find and select Google Maps.
  5. Hit Storage & cache.
  6. Select Clear cache.
  7. You can also clean everything by selecting Clear storage. This will remove all info, including log-in credentials.

There is no way to delete cache on iOS. The only effective way to do this is to uninstall and reinstall the app.

How to uninstall iPhone apps:

  1. Find the app you want to uninstall. In this case, it’s Google Maps.
  2. Tap and hold onto the app icon.
  3. Select Remove App.
  4. Confirm the action by tapping on Delete App.

Use incognito mode

Apps like Google Maps store, download, and use a lot of info all the time. There are many cogs moving when you try to do anything, and many of these can fail. Try to give the app less work by using incognito mode. This makes it so that no data is stored in your history, local storage, and more.

How to turn on incognito mode on Google Maps:

  1. Launch Google Maps.
  2. Tap on your profile icon, in the top-right corner.
  3. Select Turn on Incognito mode.

By the way, the steps are identical using both Android and iOS.

Improve Accuracy

Google Maps has a specific feature for improving location accuracy. Here’s how to access it. By the way, you can’t get location accuracy tips on Google Maps for iPhone.

How to improve location accuracy on Google Maps for Android:

  1. Launch Google Maps.
  2. Tap on your profile icon.
  3. Go into the Settings.
  4. Select Location accuracy tips. If there is anything you can do to improve accuracy, Google Maps will let you know.

You can also try re-calibrating your Google Maps. This process is identical on Android and iPhone.

How to calibrate Google Maps on Android:

  1. Launch Google Maps.
  2. Tap on your location bluet dot.
  3. Select Calibrate.
  4. The app will ask you to move your camera around and point at things. Follow the instructions.

Download Maps for offline use

Many of Google Maps’ issues are related to connectivity. If this is the case for you, you can opt to download Google Maps content for offline use. This will also cut down on data consumption while out and about.

How to store Google Maps areas for offline use:

  1. Launch Google Maps.
  2. Tap on your profile icon, in the top-right corner.
  3. Select Offline maps.
  4. Google will offer recommendations. If your desired area is not recommended, hit Select your own map.
  5. Pick the area you want to download. You can pinch-to-zoom in and out, making the download area larger or smaller.
  6. When done, hit Download.

These steps are also identical whether you’re using Android or iOS.

Is Google Maps still not working? Try these alternatives

If you find that none of the above solutions resolve the issue or have to troubleshoot often, it may be worthwhile trying an alternative. One option is Google Maps Go, a lightweight Progressive Web App variation of the original Google Maps app.

It’s also worth reading our list of the ten best GPS and navigation apps for Android.


FAQs

This is likely an issue with Google Assistant. Follow our step-by-step guide to fix it.

The web version of Maps sometimes fails to load, so here are some quick fixes to solve the problem.

Google Maps does require an internet connection to do most things. That said, it can be used offline. Follow our guide to learn how to use Google Maps offline.