I want to plan a trip through England while I’m traveling on the train, but I can’t guarantee I’ll always be online. Is there a way to download maps in Windows 10 Microsoft Maps so I can use them even when offline?
In our increasingly always-online world there are definitely situations where you are more likely to be offline than on the Internet. Most people don’t want to pay for access on an airplane, for example, not to mention in a car when you’re driving in the middle of nowhere, miles and miles from any signs of civilization. That can be a good thing — it’s not bad to go offline occasionally! — but if you need to have access to online data, then it can get frustrating.
Case in point: Windows Maps, as included in the latest version of Windows 10. It’s a quick, easy program to work with but by default it does require you to be online so it can download maps and segments of maps. Fortunately, however, the Microsoft developers recognize that there are indeed situations where you’ll want to be able to use the Maps program even if you’re offline. To support that, there’s a way you can actually download the map or maps you want for later access.
Let’s have a look! To start, as always, do a search in Win10. Cortana rocks it, as usual:
Choose the first match for this search for “offline maps“.
There’s a lot to explore here, but let’s stay focused on the task. Click on the “+” adjacent to Download maps on the right and you can then step through the extensive map sets to find the one you want. Here’s a subset of the Europe maps:
Step through and find “England” then simply click on it to request a download of the map data. The filesize is surprisingly small: you can see above that the entire nation of Greece is only 268MB of map data!
Once you request the England map, it’ll queue to download:
While that’s going on, check out the other Windows Maps settings in this preferences window. If you’re on a tablet or other device with cellular connectivity, you might want to pay close attention to Metered connections, to ensure you don’t get surprised with a huge download data bandwidth bill after the fact:
Further down you can — and should! — ensure that you have automatic map updates enabled:
Mine is reasonably up to date with maps about 5 weeks old. I expect that they don’t update too often, so that’s alright. Sure better than being a year or three out of date!
While you’re downloading maps, it’s worth noting that you shouldn’t be simultaneously using Windows Maps. If you do, you’ll see this pop up:
Whoops! Just close the app and be patient. And, eventually, you’ll be checking out London in all its historic glory:
Now where did you say you wanted to go?