In this article we will explain how to use the Waze navigation app offline, what data requirements are needed for the app to work correctly on the iPhone or Android in 2023, and discuss the offline features of Waze.
We've tested how Waze works offline, checking what features are available to users. We'll also share with you apps that can seamlessly complement Waze's offline capabilities and compare which app handles maps best in situations where the internet is not available.
Table of Contents
- How to set up Waze to use offline maps
- Can I use Waze with no internet connection?
- How to save Waze maps for offline use
- How to download maps on Waze
- The volume of data stored in Waze for maps
- Clearing Waze cached files
- Can I use Waze maps without downloading data?
- Limitations of offline maps usage in Waze
- Building Waze routes for offline use
- How to update Waze offline maps
- What you can save for use without internet
- Downloading maps offline in Waze: pros and cons
- What is the best offline map? Alternative apps
- Offline navigation FAQ
- Can Waze be used offline on iPhone?
- Does Waze have pre-downloaded offline maps?
- Is Waze a 100% offline app?
- Does Waze need high speed internet connection?
- Can you download offline maps on Waze?
- Can I modify Waze offline maps?
How to set up Waze to use offline maps
We have looked into using offline maps on mobile devices. Some users note that so far, Waze developers have not implemented this feature in their app.
This is true, but it should not be overlooked that Waze maps are available without a WiFi connection if the user has previously looked up information on the region of interest. Based on our usage experience, we offer you the following instructions on how to prepare your mobile device.
The video instructions:
To use offline maps, first prepare the Waze app for autonomous operations. To do this,
Step 1. Turn on the Internet (wi-fi or mobile data) on your mobile device
Step 2. Build the route to the final point (do this while Waze is online and connected to the internet!)
Step 3. After preparing you can disconnect the Internet and use maps offline on Waze.
Basic GPS navigation will work, because Waze knows how to drive and all the information is in the app cache. At the same time, keep in mind that real-time data will not be available to the driver when using Waze offline.
Step 4. Read on for more details.
Can I use Waze with no internet connection?
Waze functionality involves active use of the internet for syncing data with other drivers and pedestrians, but it can also be used as an offline navigation app.
Officially, there is no way you can save the data you need in the memory of your phone via this app, but its users have found a way out. This method has a number of limitations, but you can use the basic features of Waze without a network connection.
How to save Waze maps for offline use
In order to save data for future offline usage, complete the following steps:
Download the latest version of Waze
1. Connect the device to a Wi-Fi network which has Waze installed on it. This step is relevant only for new routes.
2. Open Waze app on Android or iPhone;
3. Enter the address you want to build the route to.
4. If necessary, you can specify the starting point, if it's different from your current location;
5. After the route is created, tap on Go button, as if you're planning to go to the specified point right now;
6. The app calculates the best route taking into account traffic jams and other travel conditions and then saves this route to cache.
7. Now that the data is written to the app memory, you can use this saved route without an internet connection.
How to download maps on Waze
Data which was saved while your device was connected to the internet will remain in the app even after you close it. Thus, you can record several various destination points to the Waze memory. You can get them in the nearest future, so all of them will be saved and GPS navigation features can be enabled when your device isn't connected to any network.
How to download previously recorded routes:
Step 1. Open Waze app;
Step 2. Make sure that your device is disconnected from internet;
Step 3. Tap on the Search icon in order to open the list of previously specified routes;
Step 4. The search history is displayed in the tab "Favorites". In the same section you can add frequently visited places so that in the future you don't have to rebuild them;
Step 5. Now select any location to which you've already built the direction when the software was connected to a network. Launch the feature.
The volume of data stored in Waze for maps
On average, the app uses between 50 and 100 MB for offline maps. However, if you use Waze frequently, the amount of space used can increase proportionally up to 200 MB.
By the way, in this article we explain in detail how Waze consumes mobile data when downloading maps and getting other necessary information: https://mygpstools.com/how-much-data-waze-use
You can clear your phone memory by getting rid of unnecessary cache. In this way you can save 100-200 MB of space, which may benefit navigation applications.
Clearing Waze cached files
However, we advise you not to delete the Waze cache manually as deleting the cache will cause the maps to stop working offline. Instead, use the CCleaner app.
Initially CCleaner was a program for clearing the memory of computers and laptops. Then its developers created a mobile version for working on Android.
The process of clearing Waze cached files is similar to the one via Clean Master:
Download and run the app;
Go to "Cleaner" section
Tap on "Analyze" button;
Select unneeded files from the menu and tap on "Clean" button;
Wait for the program to get rid of system cache.
CCleaner has paid features (the cost of its annual subscription is $12.49), but the free version of the app is suitable for removing system cache.
Can I use Waze maps without downloading data?
The routes themselves don't take up space since they're simply marked with a different color on the already loaded Waze map.
If you usually move within the same city and rarely add new routes, the amount of data stored on your device will be around 50 MB. The larger the area you want to save, the more the files in Waze cache will weigh.
You can use Waze without downloading internet data, but the app's functions will be severely limited:
- The app will stop receiving live traffic updates
- Waze will not display the maps of cities and countries that have not been downloaded to your device
Limitations of offline maps usage in Waze
In its offline mode there is no possibility to receive up-to-date information on live road traffic
It is not possible to sync the data received from Wazers
Another significant drawback of the offline mode of Waze is its inability to switch to 3D display. Even if you enable it in advance while your device is connected to an unlimited Wi-Fi network, this kind of data won't be stored in the app cache.
All other features work in the same way as they do in online mode, provided that the map of an area has been previously downloaded.
Building Waze routes for offline use
If there is no internet connection and you haven't previously created any route, you won't be able to build a new route to the point specified on a map via the Waze app. In order to obtain reliable and up-to-date information, this navigation app requires a network connection, although what makes it different from other apps of the same kind is its correct operation even with an unstable network connection.
How to update Waze offline maps
Due to the fact that Waze actively uses data received from other users, the app is updated every time your device has access to the internet. It's enough to update the map itself every 1-2 weeks, especially if you often move around densely populated districts.
The best way is to update the data on the route you need right before you go on a trip, so that the app has time and possibility to assess the travel conditions and offer your the best path which then will be saved in the search history.
What you can save for use without internet
Summarizing the information we've presented above, we can highlight the following key points of working with Waze offline:
- The app allows you to save and use a map of an area and prebuilt routes;
- While you're moving on a chosen path with no access to the internet, the data on how suitable the selected route is won't be updated. So there is no way how you can save the information on multiple path options for offline use;
While following a predetermined route, you won't be able to change the way a map is displayed. In order to work without connection to the internet only 2D mode is saved, with no detailed information on the objects located along your route.
Download the best navigation apps for free
Downloading maps offline in Waze: pros and cons
- Basic routes will work without internet
- Offline maps take up little space on your phone
- No way to download maps of cities and regions
- You can't quickly check if routes are available offline
What is the best offline map? Alternative apps
As you can see, the offline functionality of Waze is only partially implemented. However you can use other apps.
- HERE WeGo is an offline map and navigation app for major European cities. It supports about 50 countries for autonomous operation.
- Offline maps features
- Voice navigation support
No multipoint functionality
It is unstable
Sygic - the app does not use mobile data if you have previously downloaded maps to your device. The maps are very fast, they are well detailed and available offline in 3d format.
- Highly precise address data
- Offline navigation features
Bad routing features
Google Maps - the app is installed on Android. Select an area and download an offline map. You can download a map of an entire city, state or region. All features are free, using the navigator is very convenient for pedestrians and motorists alike.
- Great offline functionality
- Great user experience
- Limited iOS functionality
- Limited Accuracy
Offline navigation FAQ
Can Waze be used offline on iPhone?
Yes, of course. The Waze mobile app is identical on Android and iOS versions. You can download Waze maps to your mobile device in advance, switch off the internet and check if the offline maps work.
You need to update your Waze navigation app via your phone settings for offline functions to work correctly on iOS.
Does Waze have pre-downloaded offline maps?
No, you need to download the data to your phone yourself. See the instructions above for how to do this. In short, you need to zoom in on the map. This will allow Waze to download the data to your iPhone or Android. The maps will then be available offline.
Is Waze a 100% offline app?
No, as we wrote above most of the features only work when your phone is connected to the internet. You need wifi connection for updates and up-to-date information about what is happening on the road.
Does Waze need high speed internet connection?
You need a stable internet connection to work the app correctly and avoid errors. Mobile internet or wifi is usually sufficient for this purpose. Since Waze does not use much internet traffic (a few MB/hr), a high speed internet connection is not necessary.
However, if you want to download offline maps to the phone, check if the internet connection is stable. Please check Waze requirements to use it with great UX.
Can you download offline maps on Waze?
Sure, Waze offline maps are available for free download in the US and Europe.
The app can be downloaded from the official website on Android, iOS, BlackBerry OS and Windows Mobile devices.
Can I modify Waze offline maps?
Every user using Waze can make various marks on a map, for example, a section of a road which is closed for a repair or a point with heavy traffic due to an accident.
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.