How to download offline maps in Windows 10

If you are planning a trip to some exotic location or just to another city in your country, you may need map guidance. Almost everybody owns a smartphone nowadays, or at least some other GPS-enabled device that can help assure him/her that he/she is on the right track. In some situations, you cannot get any signal, or you cannot find an internet connection available the moment you need it the most. To help you in such a situation, Windows 10 has come up with a solution: offline maps. It is as simple as downloading the required map on your Windows 10 laptop or tablet, before leaving on your trip, and using it anytime you wish without needing an internet connection. In this article we are going to show you how to download offline maps in Windows 10 so that you can use them even if you do not have an internet connection:

How to download offline maps in Windows 10

The first step is to open the Settings app, and the easiest way is by pressing the Windows + I keys on your keyboard or clicking its shortcut in the Start Menu. Once the Settings app opens, click or tap Apps and then Offline maps. On the right side of the window, you see maps related settings and options. To download a map, press the Download maps button on the right.

Downloading maps in Windows 10

Next, you are asked to select the continent where the map that you want to download is located.

Select the continent for your map

If the map for your destination country has a lot of data, it is split into regions, like the United States of America. For this country, the map includes 3D data that takes space.

Select the country for your map

After you select the country, select the region. For our tutorial, let's say that we want to go to the Miami Circle in Florida, so we click on the name of the state.

Select the state for your map

After you make your choice, the download starts, and it takes a few seconds or a few minutes to finish, depending on the size of the map and the speed of your internet connection. Once it is done, the downloaded map shows up in the Settings window.

Downloaded maps in Windows 10

Downloading offline maps saves them on your Windows 10 computer or device. You can now use them anytime you want even. Let's see how you can configure the way Windows 10 handles offline maps.

How to configure the location for offline maps

For the offline maps that you download, Windows 10 allows you to change their 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 moves all your maps to the selected drive.

Select the offline maps location

If you scroll down the list of available settings for offline maps, you can set if Windows 10 automatically updates maps. You can also set if maps are downloaded on cellular data (metered connections).

Set automatic map updates in Windows 10

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 and installed updates so that you get a good understanding of how current your maps are.

How to use offline maps in Windows 10

Now that an offline map has been downloaded, it's time to open the Maps app from Windows 10. One of the fastest ways 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.

The Maps shortcut in the Windows 10 Start Menu

You can also search for the word "maps" in the search box on the taskbar and then click or tap on the first result in the list.

Searching for maps in Windows 10

Once the Maps app is opened, you can start planning your route. Now you have a guide which you can use at any time, without having to connect to an internet connection and the best part is that it is free. In our example, we search for Miami Circle Park, the archeological location that created a lot of controversy in the city a few years ago. Type the name of the location that you want to visit, in the search field on the top right, and press Enter on the keyboard or click/tap the search result that interests you.

Miami Circle Park in the Maps app in Windows

Then, you can view information about that location and navigate the map as with any other app of this type. Are you ready for a drive to Miami?

Are you preparing for your next trip?

There is nothing more frustrating than getting lost and not having the proper tools to get out of 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, at no cost at all. Now that you know how to download offline maps, download them for your next itinerary and try them out. Make sure that you test them before going on your next trip so that you get all the maps you need.