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Google Maps are running slow: how to speed up the app on Android or iPhone

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Since Google Maps are available in browsers and on mobile devices running under Android iOS, in this article we're going to explain in detail how to solve the problem of the app lagging on the specified platforms such as Android an iOS (iPhone).

Accelerating laggy or slow Google Maps:

Table of Contents

5 reasons why is Google maps so slow

Navigation apps have become an inherent part of modern people’s lives. They allow to quickly find the needed location, map a route, explore a new city, etc. There are often other apps with navigation, different handbooks, games with augmented reality which you can find on Google Maps service.

Do you use Google Maps on iPhone or Android? Is it working properly for you? If not, here are 5 reasons why it happens:

  1. The version of Google Maps on your phone is outdated.
  2. The phone is overloaded by apps cache.
  3. An old version of the mobile device you use.
  4. Weak or unstable GPS connection.
  5. Slow mobile internet or unstable wifi connection.

If too many objects are displayed on a map at the same time (which might be the case when you load the maps of densely populated cities), the service can significantly slow down its operation and as a result, it's quite challenging to find the information you need.

Accelerating laggy Google Maps on Android

Slow loading of the Maps via a browser on Android can be caused by the following problems:

Software installed on smartphone is outdated

How to fix it

Download Google Maps

  1. Go to Play Store,
  1. Tap the three-bar Menu icon in the upper left corner and select "My apps and games".
  1. Scroll down the opened list till you see the "Maps" app.
  2. Tap "Update"(see also: how to update apps on your phone).

Too much data is stored in app cache

Every time you open a map, build a route or view any locations, all this data is automatically stored in the memory of your smartphone. Overloaded cache can cause the slow running of the program.

How to fix it

In order to clear the cache, you have to:

  1. Go to your Android Settings and select "Apps",
  1. Select the app from the list (it's easier to use the search bar at the top of the screen),
  1. Go to the "Storage" section,
  1. Tap "Clear cache".

You can also use browser version ofGoogle Maps instead of the mobile app. But this option is pretty inconvenient and we find it suitable only in rare cases.

Ask the experts from Google Help website

Try searching for an answer on the Google Maps help forum for how to fix the laggy app.

  1. Using the search box, you can ask the question related to Google Maps.
  2. Take your time: look at the list of favorite questions. Perhaps someone has already faced a similar difficulty.
  3. Pay attention to posts that are getting more and more popular. You can also look for an answer in the "Categories" section.
  4. If that doesn't help either, click on the "Ask Questions" button and send your feedback about Google Maps and your personal experience.

Visit the forum by following this link: https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!forum/maps

Enable High Accuracy GPS via Settings on Android

You may want to increase the accuracy of your Google Maps. Do the following actions:

  1. Go to Settings.
  1. Scroll down to "Location".
  1. Open the Location services > "Google Location accuracy" section.
  2. The option "Improve location accuracy" will appear. Turn it on.

Remember: the higher accuracy of GPS requires more power. It is recommended to turn on the function on Android only while you are using Google Maps on your phone.

Switch the map display to another mode

Google Maps on Android has 3 types of maps to display:

  1. Default
  2. Satellite
  3. Terrain

According to user observations, satellite-type drawings consume most of the charge. Terrain consumes less traffic and phone resources. If you want to save as much phone resources as possible, choose "Default". In the "Map settings" you can disable 3D mode, bicycle paths, display of traffic jams and transport (if they are circled in blue).

Download and use offline maps

Sometimes you need maps to navigate the area. However, you don't always have access to fast Internet. Consequently, this slows down Google Maps.

To solve this problem, download offline maps on Android or iOS. You should:

  1. Run Google Maps app.
  1. Tap on the profile icon in the upper right corner.
  2. Select the "Offline maps" option.
  1. Tap on "Select your own map".
  2. A window opens with the highlighted area.
  3. Select the area you want to save for offline access.
  1. Tap on "Download" and wait.
  1. Repeat the actions for other cities and locations.

Switch to the Google Maps Go app

The Google Maps Go app is considered a simplified version of Google's regular maps. It takes up many times less space on your device. Works almost like the original version of Google Maps. Uses much less traffic and does not slow down on weak mobile devices. The app also allows you to find out the schedule of the subway, buses and trains.

As in the standard version, you can save your favorite places, use tags and read reviews about places. The Google Maps Go application is available in 70 languages.

Download Google Maps Go

Use Waze navigation as an alternative

The Waze app is good for those who drive a car all the time. It is a good way to study traffic patterns and find out what is happening on the road. You can also find out the locations of the speed cameras, which is a great way to save money.

The Waze app is available on Android, Windows Phone, Windows Mobile, Symbian and Blackberry. On the official site, you can also open maps and use the program via PC.

Download Waze

Mobile Internet is slowing down

It is a quite a common cause of slow Google Maps. Perhaps the problem is not in the cache, laggy app or the phone, but in the speed of the mobile Internet.

  1. The easiest way is to restart your mobile device.
  2. After rebooting, you should clear the application cache to resume stable operation.
  3. Also the cause of a weak connection to the network can be an old version of the device. Some outdated phones still work on 2G.

Connect to Wi-Fi if possible

The Google Maps acceleration method is suitable for those who use Google Maps at home.

If you're not at home surrounding and it's not easy to join a Wi-Fi network, try to find the nearest access point.

Note: Using unknown networks can compromise your security. Abusers often take advantage of such scams: under the guise of virtue, they open a free hotspot. That's how users fall into a trap.

Fixing Google Maps on iPhone

The problem with the slow loading of the Maps on Apple smartphones is usually also caused by either the absence of the latest update or the overloaded memory of your smartphone due to the excessive amount of cache.

Clearing cache

How to fix it on iPhone or iPad

In order to update the navigation app on iPhone / iPad, you have to:

  1. Go to the official App Store.
  1. In the lower right corner of the screen, tap "Updates".
  2. Tap the "Update all" button.
  3. Wait until all the programs and games installed on your smartphone are updated.
  4. Relaunch Google Maps.

If it doesn't work, clear the cache on your phone. In order to do this you have to:

  1. Open the official Google Maps app on your iPhone.
  1. Open the menu via the three-bar icon and select"Settings".
  1. Tap "About, terms & privacy" > "Clear application data".
  1. Tap "Clear data".
  2. Confirm your action by choosing "OK".

Keep in mind: Clearing cache will remove all data stored by the app, including previously built routes, fragments of downloaded maps (which you can view offline), search inquiries and tips.

When you start the program for the first time (after deleting its cache data), you will have to wait for some time until the needed data is reloaded into your device memory.

Disable Power Saving Mode

This mode slows down both the Internet connection and the device itself. This function should be used in extreme cases. In daily life, it is not needed.

To disable the power saving mode on iPhone 10, 12 and above, do the following:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Go to "Battery".

  1. If the "Power saving mode" option is enabled, disable it by tapping on the slider.

Speeding up Google Maps in browser (the manual for Windows PC)

Google Maps usability is undeniable since they are available on almost all gadgets, including personal computers via a browser. But even owners of powerful PCs can face the issue of the app loading too slowly.

The problem is rarely related to the speed of your Internet connection. It usually occurs when a map size is too large, as well as when objects are displayed in too much detail after you zoom in an area.

How to fix it on Windows 10

You can tackle the issue by activating the lite version of the app in your browser. This version is designed specifically for weak PCs and browsers which can't support the app full functionality. In order to enable it you have to:

  1. Open the browser you use.
  2. In the address bar enter www.google.com/maps/?force=lite instead of the standard link.
  3. You will be automatically transited to the Lite version of the Google Maps service which loads faster.
  4. After the mode is enabled you will see the lightning icon by tapping which you can automatically switch to the full version with all its features.

Update your browser

Next we will talk about Google Chrome. The reason for the slow performance is the outdated version of the browser. To update your laggy browser,

  1. Click on the three dots and go to "About Chrome Browser".
  2. If the version of Chrome is too old, the program will automatically prompt you to update. If so, there will be an "Update" button on the right.
  3. If you don't need to update, there will be a green checkmark on the right.

Restart your browser and reboot PC

Sometimes the Google Maps service works fine, but something strange happens in other browser tabs, as a result of which not only Google Maps, but the whole browser is slowing down.

Solution:

  1. Close the browser and reopen it
  2. Log in to Google Maps using your personal account.
  3. Check Wi-Fi network connection.
  4. As a last resort, reboot computer.

Clear DNS cache

The DNS cache stores the IP addresses of websites that have been visited. It is needed to load the browser page faster by finding it in the local IP address database. But sometimes it should be cleared. To do this:

  1. Press Win + R.
  2. Type cmd in the line.
  3. The console will open. Type the command "ipconfig/flushdns" into it.
  4. Press Enter.

Now try to open the desired web site. The maps should display properly.


Slow running of the Maps can also be caused by the following facts:

  • Problems with your browser. Simple restart of the program often helps. In addition, you can check for the latest version of the browser on its manufacturer website > Download Chrome
  • Outdated operating system. We recommend to allow your computer to download and install the latest Windows OS updates (you can enable this feature via "Update Center").
  • Your computer doesn't have the latest version of DirectX. This software speeds up the processing of graphic objects. It's quite possible that the latest version of DirectX will help the Maps load much faster.

If the mentioned above methods don't solve the problem and the app continues to load slowly regardless of the speed of the Internet connection you have, you can report on the issue directly to the Google Maps support via the link.

Ilia is a professional writer. He has expert knowledge in GPS and cartography with 15 years of experience. Additionally, Ilia has extensive experience in data recovery on PC and mobile. He started his career as a journalist by reviewing PC and mobile apps. His current responsibilities are to keep track of users' questions on MGT and answer them.