How to Save a Route on Google Maps

Google Maps Featured

Google Maps is the most popular navigation app out there thanks to its host of features, fast relay of traffic information, and, well, because it’s Google. Strangely, there’s one feature on Google Maps that just isn’t used all that often because Google doesn’t make it super-convenient to use, and that’s the option to save a route in Google Maps. There are a couple of ways to save your favorite routes in Google Maps, which we show you here.

Tip: Google Maps also helps you check the traffic. Learn how to do so.

Save a Route on Google Maps for Android and iOS

Saving a route on Google Maps for Android or iOS involves pinning a recommended (by Google) route via the app.

  1. In the Google Maps app, press the “Directions” icon in the lower right corner.
"Directions" button in the Google Maps app.
  1. At the top of the screen, tap both the “Start location” and “Destination” fields and add the information. Note that you can only pin a driving route. The option is not available for transit, walking, rideshare/cycling.
Pressing the "Pin" button at the bottom of the Google Maps app.
  1. Google Maps will now create the route for you. Once it has, look at the bottom of the display and tap on the “Pin” button.
  2. The route has been saved to the app.
  3. To find your saved routes, tap on the “Go” tab at the bottom of the screen. This brings up a section where all your “Pinned” routes pop are listed, giving you easy access to all your favorite routes.
Checking our your saved routed via the "Go" tab in Google Maps apps.
  1. Keep in mind that if you’ve selected a “Start location” that is different from your current location which Google Maps can detect automatically, you’ll be shown the route from “Your location” to the destination, once you press on “Start” next to a Pin.
"Your location" option in directions via the Google Maps app.
  1. To unpin a route, just select it under the “Go” heading, then tap “Pinned” at the bottom right corner.
Google Maps Route Unpin

Tip: learn how to drop pins in Google Maps so that you can share more accurate directions whenever you need to.

Save a Route to Your Android Homescreen

Now, if you want to access the exact route you’ve previously created, you can do so by saving it to your Android homescreen. On iOS, this option is not available.

  1. Go to the Google Maps app and set the route you want to save by entering the destination into the box and tapping “Directions.”
  2. Next, tap the three-dot menu icon at the top right, then tap “Add route to Home screen.”
"Add route to Home screen" option under "More" options in Google Maps app for Android.
  1. This will create a widget that you can touch and hold and then drag wherever you want on your home screen. You can even create a folder full of these routes.
Saved Maps route widget on Android home screen.

Send Route from Android or iOS to Email

It’s also possible to send the route you’ve created from your mobile device to email (yours or anyone else’s.)

  1. In the Google Maps app, press on the three dots in the upper right corner again and select “Share directions.”
"Share directions" option in Google Maps app.
  1. Select an email account from the pre-generated options (based on your usage.) Alternatively, you can copy the link or share it via one of the social apps on your phone (such as Facebook.)
Google Maps sharing options.

Tip: You can improve Google Maps functionality with these sites and extensions. Check them out, right now!

Save a Route on Google Maps on PC

It’s also possible to save a route via Google Maps for PC. We show you how to do so below:

  1. Open Google Maps in your browser on PC.
  2. Click on the “Search Google Maps” search bar in the upper left corner and input your destination.
Google Maps for PC showing search bar.
  1. Now click on the “Directions” button to add your starting point.
Directions button in Google Maps for PC.
  1. If you can spot your destination on the map on the tap, click it to automatically add it to Maps.
Clicking on preferred route in Google Maps for PC.
  1. Select your method of transit including driving, walking, or cycling, and then click on the desired route on the left.
  2. Press on the “Share” icon to generate a link for this route. Now, you can save this link to a file or share it with a friend or family member.
Sharing options in Google Maps for PC.
  1. Alternatively, you can press the “Send to” button and have your route sent to your phone, email, or directly to your phone.
Sending route to phone option in Google Maps for PC.
  1. You’ll get a notification on your phone. Tap on it to open the route in Maps.

Good to know: Google tracking your every move can actually prove useful. Learn some things you can do with Google Maps Location History.

Save a Route for a Longer Trip

If you’re planning a road trip, My Maps is a great way to create a map with all the points of interest you want to go through. You can also use My Maps to create routes with multiple destinations, which you can then access in the Google Maps app.

  1. Go to Google My Maps in your browser to create the map.
  2. Tap “Create a New Map” or the “+” icon at the top of the screen.
Google My Maps "Create new map" button in Google Maps for PC.
  1. Give it a name.
Name new map in My Maps.
  1. In the map you’ve created, tap the “Add directions” icon under the search box.
"Add Directions" options in My Maps by Google Maps.
  1. Add the first two destinations to the route on the left side of the screen.
Adding destinations in My Maps by Google Maps.
  1. You can add more by clicking “Add Destination” and either entering the destination into the new box or using your mouse to add that point to your route directly on the map.
"Add Destination" button in My Maps by Google Maps.
  1. You can add as many destinations as you want this way or even create different routes on the same map by clicking the “Add directions” icon again to create another route map layer.
New map full view in Google Maps for PC.
  1. Once your route is ready, open the Google Maps app, and tap “Saved” at the bottom.
"Saved" button in Google Maps app.
  1. Next, press “Maps” and select the map you’ve created.
My Maps options in Google Maps app.
  1. Now you can press on one of the destinations and then “Direction” to access information on how you can get there.
"Directions" button for My Maps in Google Maps app.
  1. You’ll need to manually input your “Start location” though.
Manually input location for Directions in My Maps in Google Maps app.

Good to know: Did you know you can also show speed limits in Google Maps for multiple countries? We show you how.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to save routes if you're offline?

It’s not possible. Your Google Maps app needs to be connected to the Internet so that you can save routes.

Can I see saved routes offline?

Unless you’ve downloaded Google Maps for offline view, it’s not possible. Note that you’ll still need to have access to the Internet to create the pin. Once you’ve done so, download the maps on your device. Your saved routes should be available there.

How do I download maps off the Google Maps app?

Open Google Maps and press on your profile picture in the upper right corner of the display. Go to “Offline maps -> Select your own map.” Select the map of the area you need to download. Make sure you include the part where your saved routes are located. Once done, press “Download” at the bottom. Other Maps apps offer this functionality as well. If you’re curious check out the best Google Maps alternatives here.

Image credit: PhotoMIX Company 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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