How to download offline maps in Windows 10

Whether you are planning a trip to some exotic location or simply to another city in your own country, it is possible that, at some time during your trip, you will require guidance. Of course, almost everybody owns a smartphone or a GPS-enabled device that can help assure you that you are on the right track. But, in some situations, you can't get any signal or you can't find an internet connection available the moment you need it the most. That's a nasty situation to be in so Windows 10 came with a solution: offline maps. It's as simple as downloading the required map before leaving on your trip and using it anytime you wish, without needing an internet connection, and at no cost. In this article we are going to show you how to download offline maps in Windows 10, so that you can use them when you need them:

How to download offline maps in Windows 10

The first step is to open the Settings app and the easiest way is by holding the "Windows + I" keys on your keyboard or clicking its shortcut in the Start Menu. If you want to see other ways to open Settings , check our article: 9 Ways to open the Settings app in Windows 10.

Once the Settings app is opened, click or tap System and then Offline maps.

On the right side of the window you will see maps related settings and options. To download a map, press the Download maps button on the right.

Next you are asked to select the continent and the country of the map that you want to download.

Some countries have lots of data and are also split in regions, like the United States of America. For this country, the map includes lots of 3D data that takes a lot of space.

After you select the country, select the region. For our tutorial, let’s say that we want to go to Florida, in the USA, so we clicked on the name of the region.

For countries where there’s less data available, like Romania, you just select the continent (Europe) and then the country (Romania).

After you've made your choice, the download will start and will take a few minutes, depending on the size of the map and the speed of your internet connection.

Wait for it to finish and then you can configure certain ways in which Windows 10 handles offline maps. Downloading offline maps will save them on your Windows 10 computer or device. You can use them anytime you want because they don't need an internet connection once they are downloaded.

How to configure the offline maps that are downloaded by Windows 10

For the offline maps that you download, Windows 10 allows you to change the storage location. If you click on the Storage location drop-down list, you can select one of the drives that are available on your Windows 10 computer and device, and the operating system will move all your maps to the selected drive.

If you scroll down the list of available settings for offline maps, you can also set whether Windows 10 automatically updates maps and whether maps are downloaded on free Wi-Fi as well as cellular data (if available).

You can also force a manual check for map updates, by pressing the Check now button. Last but not least, you can also view when Windows 10 last checked for updates and when it last installed updates, so that you get a good perspective on how fresh your maps are.

How to use offline maps in Windows 10

Now that the map has been downloaded, it's time to open the Maps app from Windows 10. The fastest way is by typing the word maps in Cortana's search box on the taskbar and going for the first result in the list.

Another way to open it is to click or tap the Start button and, in the Start Menu , click or tap on its shortcut in the list of apps under the letter M.

Once the Maps app is opened, you can start planning your route ahead. Now you have a guide which you can use at any time, without having to connect to an i nternet connection and the best part is that it's free.

Who wants to go to Miami?

Conclusion

There is nothing more frustrating than getting lost and not having the proper tools to get out from that situation. The offline maps feature in Windows 10 offers a handy solution to this problem and it can save your trip from becoming unpleasant, and at no cost at all. Now that you know how to download offline maps, download them for your own country and the country that you plan to visit next and try them out. See how they work before going on a trip.