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Waze does not show traffic jams on the map: How to fix

Author: Vladimir Brown

If Waze doesn't show traffic jams on my mobile phone, you can easily fix the problem. The most important thing is to find the cause. It might be hiding in the settings of the app or it could be a software failure of the Waze app.

Waze is a great app for updating traffic info and getting real-time info about road accidents. But sometimes it can get stuck, and here's how I fix the problem.

How Waze Displays Traffic on the Road

The Waze app has features that allow me to plan my route with traffic in mind. If the app detects that a particular section of road was jammed on a previous trip, it will prompt me to take an alternate route. From time to time, the Waze navigation system analyzes the traffic situation in this way.

How to Turn on the Traffic Layer in Waze

The Waze app has a traffic layer that can be used to display traffic. To activate this layer, I do the following steps:

Method 1:

  1. First, I zoom in on the map close to where I am now.
  1. Go to Settings -> Search.
  1. In the Map Display section, I find the Show traffic option.
  1. I activate the Show traffic slider.

Method 2:

  1. I make sure I have a stable Wi-Fi or mobile data connection.
  1. I tap on the map.

  2. Then, I tap on the "Reports" icon from the bottom right corner.

  1. Next, I tap on the Traffic button.
  1. The traffic layer with the necessary information will be displayed.

Clean Waze Cache

As I use the Waze app, it accumulates junk data, and after a while, it starts crashing. This results in no data being displayed on the map for traffic or accidents on the road.

I can solve the problem of incorrectly displayed traffic jams by clearing the cache data of the Waze app.

  1. First, I close the Waze app on my phone.

  2. Then, I go to "Settings" on my Android.

  1. I select the "Apps" option.
  1. I find the Waze item in the list and tap on it.
  1. Inside the "Storage" section, I tap the "Clear Cache" button.

The number of steps and item names may vary depending on phone model.

After cleaning, I check the app.

Which App is Better for Displaying Traffic, Google Maps or Waze?

Although Waze is now owned by Google, the app has nothing to do with Google Maps. They have different interfaces, ways they work, and the traffic information may be different. This is because Waze builds its maps and information based on user data.

At the moment, Google Maps is better at showing current traffic jams. As many users on the forums have pointed out, Waze is almost useless for planning routes based on traffic congestion. In fact, if I am stuck in traffic, I can only use the report-sending function and will not be able to quickly reroute for an alternative driving direction.

At the same time, the Google Maps app will display the traffic jam, indicating the degree of congestion and color-coding the most congested areas where the congestion is observed.

So, if Waze does not show the traffic correctly, I switch to Google Maps.

Switching from Waze to Google Maps

To check the situation on the road via Google Maps, I do the following:

  1. I download and install the Google Maps app via Play Market.

  2. Then, I open Maps on my phone or tablet.

  1. I tap the "Go" button at the bottom of the screen.
  1. Finally, I select a route.

This method works on both Android and iOS.

Even if my final destination is not specified, I can use the map to check traffic congestion (intensity of traffic). What other features does the app from Google provide:

  • It finds the quickest way to a selected point - park, gas station, etc.
  • It allows me to search for places along the laid route.
  • It shows how much time it will take to travel along the selected road.
  • It offers basic and alternative route options.
  • It warns about possible delays on the way due to accidents, traffic jams, and road repairs.

Updating Traffic Info via Settings

Sometimes the map will not update automatically. In this case, new changes and traffic information will not appear on the Waze map.

To fix this issue, I update the map manually:

  1. I go to the Waze app.
  1. At the bottom of the screen, I tap on "My Waze".
  1. From the main menu that appears, I open Settings (the gear icon in the upper left corner).

  2. I go to the "General" tab.

  1. Then, I select the option "Refresh map of my area".

After that, the map is updated. I check if there is any change in the traffic display.

Reconnecting the GPS

Traffic reports may not appear if there is no GPS signal. In order to work correctly, the Waze app should be allowed to access location data.

To ensure it's configured correctly:

  1. I go to Android Settings.

  2. I find "Location" and turn it On.

  1. If Waze is not listed in my permissions, I add it.

  2. I restart the device and check if GPS is working.

Checking GPS Status

To check if my phone's GPS is working properly, I use the special GPS Status & Toolbox program. I download it from Google Play and install it on Android.

GPS Status & Toolbox Features:

  • It helps fix the problem of constant GPS signal loss.
  • It helps me find my location quickly by constantly resetting and downloading data.
  • GPS Status shows satellite location and signal strength, acceleration, altitude, acceleration, accuracy.
  • The app allows me to share my location with others.

Closing and Reopening the Waze App

This simple action also sometimes helps the app to refresh data and restore the relevance of maps and update traffic jam reports on the road. I can close the app with two taps on the arrow button on my smartphone control panel. The app will then ask if I'm actually walking out. I tap "Yes."

Another quick way is to go to "My Waze" and tap the shutdown button. The app will close instantly.

If disabling the app multiple times doesn't work, I try logging out of my account and logging back in. Here's how to do it:

  1. I open the Waze App.
  1. Under "My Waze", I tap the "Settings" icon.

  2. I open the "Account" tab.

  3. In the "Extras" block, I tap the "Exit" button.

  4. I exit the app and open it again.

  5. I sign in with my Waze account username and password.

Enabling Waze Traffic Report Feature

The Traffic Detection feature may be unavailable without informing the Waze user.

To turn it on, I can do the following:

  1. I go to Settings.
  1. Under "Trip Settings", I select "Alerts & Reports".

  2. Then, I go to the "Reports" section.

  3. In the list of traffic situations, I find "Congestion" and tap on it.

  4. The ON button should be active. If it is blue, it means the congestion report is on. If the slider is gray, I click on it to activate.

Make sure the automatic traffic update button is also on.

To do this:

  1. I open the Waze app.
  1. I open the Settings menu.
  1. I tap the "Map Display" menu item.
  1. I locate the "Show Traffic" option.

  2. If the slider is blue, it means the function is on. Traffic should be displayed on the map and updated in real-time. If it is gray, I press to turn it on.

  1. I close the app and restart it.

  2. I check if there is any improvement in the map display, and if traffic jams are displayed after changing settings.

Updating Waze via the App Store

If all else fails, I can reinstall the app. This requires uninstalling it from my phone:

  1. I tap the icon on the screen and click "Uninstall" in the popup menu.

  2. I drag the Waze icon to the trash from the phone screen.

  3. If this method does not work, I uninstall through Settings - Apps or any app uninstaller.

  4. Once the app is deleted from the device memory, I download it again. On Google Play, I enter the word "Waze" in the search box and click on the Search icon.

  5. I install the app on my device and launch it.

  6. I enter my username and password to access my profile.

Note: No user data will be lost after deletion. The app will restore all the saved data after I log in to my account.

I'm Vladimir, your guide in the expansive world of technology journalism, with a special focus on GPS technologies and mapping. My journey in this field extends over twenty fruitful years, fueled by a profound passion for technology and an insatiable curiosity to explore its frontiers.