How to Drop Pins in Google Maps for More Accurate Directions

Drop Pins Maps Featured

If you’ve ever wanted to use Google Maps to go to a place that does not have a specific mailing address, you may remember the frustration it causes. Searching for specific areas of parks, camping sites, or a particular location with a fabulous view can be difficult – and sharing those with others even more so.

Google Maps makes this easier to do by allowing you to drop pins onto their maps in any location you want. It allows you to save a memorable spot, then ,quickly share it with family and friends so that you can all meet up there later. You can even drop pins then create navigation routes using those pins. The option is available in Google Maps for Android and iPhone, as well as your PC.

How to Drop Pins on Mobile

The process of dropping a pin in Google Maps is the same no matter what mobile OS your device is running.

  1. Open the Google Maps app on your Android or iPhone.
  2. Either search for the address or drag your finger around the map until you find the location you want to mark.
Drop Pins Maps Android Search
  1. Press and hold to drop the pin. (If you are using an iPhone, don’t press with so much force that you engage 3D Touch.) A red pin will appear at the spot.
Drop Pins Maps Android Create Pin Directions
  1. To get directions to the pin’s location, either tap the pin or “Directions” at the bottom of the screen.
  2. Quickly tap the pin to open the Pin menu.
  3. You can also save or share the directions to the pin by tapping the pin, then tapping the appropriate button.
Drop Pins Maps Android Save And Share
  1. That’s not all. On the pin screen, you can use the “Measure distance” option (found under the Pin menu) from the pin to any other location.
Drop Pins Maps Android Measure Distance
  1. Once you’ve tapped “Measure distance,” just drag the screen to update the distance in real time.
Drop Pins Maps Android Drag For Distance
  1. Tap “Add point” in the bottom-right corner to change the angle, which is particularly handy if you’re wandering out in the wilderness!
Drop Pins Maps Android Add Point
  1. Back on the Pin menu, “Add a missing place” if there’s something noteworthy there that isn’t shown on Google Maps.
Drop Pins Maps Android Add Missing Place

How to Drop Pins on Your PC

On your PC, the process of dropping a pin is relatively similar:

  1. Open Google Maps in your favorite browser.
  2. Either search for the address you want to find or click and hold on the map and drag it around to find the place in question.
Drop Pins Maps Pc Find Location
  1. Click the spot where you want to drop a pin. If you’re marking a place close to an existing pin, you may need to zoom in further and click a little to the left or the right of the pin to create a new one. You’ll see a small grey pin appear.
Drop Pins Maps Pc Gray Pin
  1. To get directions to the location, click the coordinates in the information box that appears at the bottom of the screen after you drop the pin.
Drop Pins Maps Pc Coordinates
  1. This will open the Pin menu on the left side of the display.
Drop Pins Maps Pc Directions
  1. Click the blue “Directions” button.
  2. Google Maps will generate your route.
Drop Pins Maps Pc Full Directions Instructions

How to Drop Multiple Pins in Google Maps

One major limitation of dropping pins for directions is that you can only drop one pin at a time. If you want to make a map with more than one dropped pin, create a custom map using Google Maps to save or share. Use your computer and follow the directions below to create these maps.

  1. Open Google Maps and sign in if you are logged out.
  2. Click on the menu icon (the three horizontal lines) in the top-left covern.
Drop Pins Maps Pc Menu
  1. Click on “Your places.”
Drop Pins Maps Pc Saved Places
  1. Switch to the Maps tab.
Drop Pins Maps Pc Saved Maps
  1. Click “Create map” at the bottom, and a new window will open.
  2. From the top-left corner, give the map a title and description if you’d like and edit the information in the box that appears.
Drop Pins Maps Pc Name Map
  1. Click “Save” if you changed anything.
  2. Use the search bar at the top to go to the location where you want to add pins or click to drag the map around until you find what you’re looking for.
Drop Pins Maps Pc Go To Location
  1. Locate the place you want to highlight and press on the Pin icon underneath the search bar to drop the pin.
Drop Pins Maps Pc First Point
  1. Click on the location on the map to drop a marker, then give it a name, then press “Save.” Repeat this process to drop as many pins/markers as you’d like.
  1. After you’ve saved a pin, click on it to customize it. Add pictures using the Camera button to make it easier for others to recognize the location or press the adjacent button to get directions to the spot.
Drop Pins Maps Pc Add Photos Directions
  1. Alternatively, change the color of the pin to avoid confusing it with other pins.
Drop Pins Maps Pc Change Color

How to Generate Directions Between Two Pins in Google Maps

Custom maps also allow you to create directions between two pins and customize the view. To create a navigation map showing how to travel from one dropped pin to another, do the following:

  1. Click the arrow icon under the search bar. A new layer will be added to the box on the left.
Drop Pins Maps Pc Multiple Pin Directions
  1. Click on the starting location box (A) in the new layer, then click on the dropped pin that represents the starting point. The name of the starting point will appear in the box.
Drop Pins Maps Pc Starting Layer
  1. Repeat the process for the ending point (B). The route will appear on the map.
Drop Pins Maps Pc Directions A To B
  1. If you wish to walk or bike rather than drive, click on the mini car icon above the route and change your preference.
Drop Pins Maps Pc Change Method
  1. You can change some other options for your map from the layers menu. Click on the paint roller labeled “Individual styles” to organize the pins by different features or add their labels and descriptions directly to the map.
Drop Pins Maps Pc Paint Roller Icon
  1. By clicking the “Base map” option on the layers map, you can also change the map from the standard map view to satellite or terrain images or to any of the six other options available.
Drop Pins Maps Pc Base Map Options

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I drop multiple pins in Google Maps for mobile?

Unfortunately, no. You can only create custom maps using Google Maps on your PC. It’s not even possible to access Google Maps from your Android mobile browser (even if you have enabled “Desktop mode”). You’ll be redirected to the app. Given that most Android phones today have Google Maps preinstalled, you won’t be able to remove the app either without making additional tweaks, such as rooting your device. On iOS, however, you can access Google Maps in a browser. While “Your Places” is available, the “Maps” tab is not.

Can I quickly share a pin from PC to my mobile?

Yes! Once you’ve dropped a pin on Google Maps, click on its coordinates in the description card below to bring up the information panel on the left. Press the “Send to Phone” button underneath the coordinates. It’s also possible to do it the other way around. On mobile, after you’ve dropped a pin, press “Share,” select “Copy link,” then paste this link into a messaging app or send it via email. The person who receives it will simply need to tap the link to open it in Google Maps on their device.

How can I share a custom map?

On the custom map card, which appears on the left, press the “Share” button under “Last edit was X minutes ago.” to generate a link for your map. Copy it, then share it via your favorite chat or email apps. Alternatively, share it on Google Drive.

Image credit: cottonbro via Pexels. All screenshots by Alexandra Arici.

Alexandra Arici
Alexandra Arici

Alexandra is passionate about mobile tech and can be often found fiddling with a smartphone from some obscure company. She kick-started her career in tech journalism in 2013, after working a few years as a middle-school teacher. Constantly driven by curiosity, Alexandra likes to know how things work and to share that knowledge with everyone.

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