Fix: Google Maps GPS not working

Although there are many third-party alternatives for the majority of Google apps, Google Maps are basically irreplaceable. The service is substantially improved over time and many people can’t imagine a day without Google Maps. However, some of them report that Google Maps GPS is not working. Users are not getting precise readings from location services and that, obviously, negatively affects user experience.

If you are among affected users, make sure to check the steps we listed below.

Table of contents:

  1. Force close the app and check the network
  2. Check Location settings
  3. Calibrate compass
  4. Clear local data from Google Maps
  5. Test GPS
  6. Reinstall Google Maps

How do I fix GPS in Google Maps?

You can fix GPS issues in Google Maps by checking location services, using a stable network connection or offline maps, calibrating the compass, or reinstalling the app.

Check below for detailed instructions for all steps.

1. Force close the app and check the network

We suggest starting the troubleshooting by force closing the app. Of course, if you don’t have an offline map downloaded to your device, Google Maps require a stable network connection, either Wi-Fi or mobile data. Without connection, maps won’t load at all.

So, close and re-open Google Maps from Recents and ensure that you have a network connection. If you don’t have access to a network connection while on the move, make sure to download offline maps beforehand.

Also, it’s important to keep your Android up to date, so make sure to install all available updates. You can manually check for updates by navigating to Settings > System > Software update.

2. Check Location settings

You can also improve location precision and enable Google Location Accuracy. It shouldn’t be an issue if you disable all these options but, for the sake of troubleshooting, we recommend enabling them. To improve location precision, location services will use Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, along with sensors.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select Location and turn on location.
  3. Tap Improve accuracy.
  4. Enable both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth scanning.
  5. Now, go back and open Google Location accuracy.
  6. Enable the Improve Location Accuracy option.

3. Calibrate compass

You’ve probably been prompted once or twice to calibrate the compass in Google Maps. And you probably went through with it. Location services rely on a magnetometer in your Android to determine directions and you need to follow the on-screen instructions to calibrate it. After that, readings should be much more precise.

On the other hand, if you’ve never seen the prompt, you might as well go out of your way to calibrate the compass on Google Maps manually. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Open Google Maps.
  2. Tap the blue dot that indicates your location.
  3. Select Calibrate.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions (make a figure 8 with your phone).

4. Clear local data from Google Maps

If the previous steps failed and Google Maps GPS is still not working, try clearing local data from Google Maps to reset the app. Although Maps depend on a network connection to load maps, the app still stores some data locally. And, we recommend clearing that local data in order to reset the app.

Follow these instructions to clear data from Google Maps on Android:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select Apps.
  3. Expand All Apps.
  4. Open Google Maps from the list of available apps.
  5. Tap Storage.
  6. Tap Clear data and confirm when prompted.
  7. Restart your device, open Google Maps, and check for improvements.

5. Test GPS

The problem might not have anything to do with the app itself but rather with the GPS. You can usually test GPS with built-in diagnostics or use a third-party app. Most modern devices have a quite precise GPS reading up to 10 meters (30 feet) and ideally (outdoors) 2-3 meters (7 feet).

However, sometimes that’s not the case. Make sure to disable NFC and Bluetooth temporarily to reduce possible conflicts and either use a code to access diagnostics or download GPS Test, here, from the Play Store. Enable Location and test if the readings are precise. Give it some time.

If there are issues with readings, try restarting your device and try again. You might want to take your device for a repair if the results are drastically inaccurate after a couple of tries.

6. Reinstall Google Maps

Finally, the last thing we can recommend is reinstalling Google Maps on your Android. This usually helps whenever there are issues with third-party apps. So, make sure to navigate to Play Store and uninstall Google Maps. In case the app can’t be uninstalled, you can at least remove Google Maps updates and update the app again.

Here’s how to reinstall Google Maps on Android:

  1. Open Play Store.
  2. Search for Google Maps and expand the app.
  3. Tap Uninstall.
  4. Restart your Android and install Google Maps again from Play Store.

If Google Maps GPS is still not working, we suggest resetting your device to factory settings or taking it for a repair. And, with that said, we can conclude this article. Thank you for reading and tell us if this article helped you address the issues. You can do that in the comments section below.

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