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How to save a route on Google Maps
Google Maps can get you from point A to point B (or C, or D) in many different ways. Most people search for routes on the fly, but you can also save them for convenience, and access some routes offline. Let’s go over how to save a route in Google Maps.
To save a route in Google Maps for Android or iOS:
- Open Google Maps. While connected to the internet, enter your route into the Search here field, including starting, end, and any mid-points.
- At the bottom, tap Pin to pin the route to the Go tab in Google Maps. Alternatively, you can select the ⋮ button in the top-right corner and, from the dropdown menu, select Add route to Home screen. That option isn't available on iOS.
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How to save a route in Google Maps (Android and iOS)
Currently, saving a route on Google Maps entails “pinning” a recommended route, or on Android, adding a route to your homescreen. This doesn’t automatically allow you to access your route or directions offline. To see routes when disconnected from the internet, you need to download an offline map that encompasses your starting location and destination.
How to pin a route in Google Maps
By pinning, Google really means bookmarking. Note that you can’t pin a fully custom route, only recommended ones. This is further reflected in offline use, as you can’t change a recommended route at all when you’re using Maps offline. You get one set of directions.
To pin a route:
- Ensure your Android or iOS device is connected to the internet, then open the Google Maps app.
- Enter your destination in the Search here field, then complete your route by choose a start point and any midpoints.
- Select Directions and make sure your method of transportation is Driving. Pinning doesn’t work for Transit, Walking, Rideshare, or Cycling, at least not yet.
- In the bottom bar, where it shows how long it will take to get to your destination, there should be three buttons: Start, Steps, and Pin. Select Pin to pin this route to the Go tab in Google Maps.
Once pinned, saved routes are available for quick access from the Go tab at the bottom of the Google Maps interface when you first launch. While online, selecting one will offer options to follow the recommended route or a different one. Alternate routes look grayed-out until chosen.
If you’re using offline maps, then you’ll only get the recommended route. No grayed-out routes will even appear.
Add route to Home screen
If you’re on Android and you want even quicker access to your most-frequented routes, you can make them appear on your homescreen. To do this:
- Ensure your Android device is connected to the internet, then open the Google Maps app.
- Enter your destination address in the Search here field. Fill out the rest of your route as well.
- Press the ⋮ button in the top right corner, and, from the dropdown menu, select Add route to Home screen.
- Long-press the icon in the middle, and then you can drag and place that icon anywhere on your device’s homescreen. There’s also an Add automatically option.
After adding this icon to your device’s homescreen, you can tap it to immediately launch Google Maps with that specific route.
Send directions to your email inbox
Another way to save your route is to email your route’s directions to yourself. To send directions to your email inbox from the Google Maps app:
- Ensure your Android or iOS device is connected to the internet, then open Google Maps.
- Enter your route using the Search here field.
- Press the ⋮ button in the top right corner.
- From the following dropdown menu, select Share directions; this will open the Share popup.
How to save a route in Google Maps (PC and Mac)
You have three options for saving routes in Google Maps via your computer. You can send the route to your phone, share it, or print it. When printing route directions, you’re given the option to include the map, or text only.
Save your route as a link
Unlike the mobile app, there’s no option to send all text directions to your email. Instead, you get a link that you can save anywhere. When you open it, you’ll have your route.
To get this link:
- On your computer, open a browser. Go to the Google Maps website.
- Using the Search Google Maps field, enter your desired destination.
- Click Directions.
- Choose your starting point. You can also use Your location as the starting point by allowing Google Maps to access your location.
- Choose your method of transportation: Driving, Transit, Walking, or Cycling.
- Click on your desired route from the options that appear.
- Click the Share button. This may look like three interconnected dots.
- In the following popup, there will be a Link to share. Click the COPY LINK button next to it.
- Paste the link wherever you’d like to save it. You can email the link to yourself by going to your email client, starting a new message, addressing it to yourself, and then pasting the link in the body of the email.
How to see routes and directions offline
Aside from emailing yourself a route, there are limited options for seeing your routes offline.
After pinning a route or adding it to your homescreen, you can download a map (or maps) within the Google Maps app to see all pertinent locations offline. This will allow you to search and get directions without internet access, though only within the saved region(s).
Downloading offline maps (Android and iOS only)
If you don’t have associated map areas saved offline, you won’t be able to access routes or directions when your device is without cellular or Wi-Fi. You’ll just get an error message. In fact, when you’re planning a long trip, it’s wise to save as much as you can for the sake of emergencies and reducing data consumption.
To save an offline map in Google Maps, open the app on your Android or iOS device. At the top, at the far right of the Search bar, tap your profile icon.
In the pop-up menu, select Offline maps.
Tap SELECT YOUR OWN MAP.
Define the area you want to download. Pinch and zoom in so that both your starting and end points are present. When you’re finished, tap Download. Note that there’s a finite limit on offline map size, so if you’re making cross-country or international trips, you’ll need to save multiple maps.
Yes. You can pin that route if you’ve downloaded an offline map that includes both your starting location and destination. You can also get spontaneous directions within the saved area.
Only Google’s recommend routes can be pinned. You can choose alternate options before starting, but only while you’re online. If you’re using offline maps, you’ll only see one set of directions.