Fix: Google Maps not showing directions in Android

Google Maps is unpredictable. It will be your friend and trustful guide 99 times out of 100, but there’s always one time when it will turn into a trickster and lead you to a dead end or completely out of the way.

Showing you the wrong turn one time isn’t a big deal. But what if it turns completely against you and stops showing directions altogether? That’s not something you want, especially if you’re in a foreign city or unknown surroundings.

Luckily, there’s a solution in case Google Maps stops showing directions. So, don’t panic. Instead, check out the following workarounds.

Table of Contents:

  1. Reset Google Play services
  2. Clear the cache
  3. Make sure Location is on
  4. Check the Internet connection
  5. Calibrate your compass
  6. Enable the High Accuracy mode
  7. Download offline maps

Solution 1 – Reset Google Play services

Like any other Google app, Google Maps is tightly connected to the Google Play services. So, if the services aren’t functioning properly, you won’t be able to use Google Maps to the fullest, with most features out of order. In this case, the directions.

The easiest solution is to reset the Google Play services. And here’s how to do that:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Head over to Apps or Apps Manager (depending on your phone). If you can’t find it, simply search for installed apps in the Settings search bar.
  3. Locate Google Play Services in the Apps Manager (if you can’t find it, choose Show all apps or Show system services from additional settings).
  4. Tap Google Play Services and choose Clear data.
  5. Wait for the process to finish, and sign in to the Play Store once again.

Solution 2 – Clear the cache

I know you hate when you see clearing the cache as one of the offered solutions, but it works. Sometimes. Anyway, it won’t hurt if you try clearing the cache. You can either resolve the problem or stay where you are.

Now that we’re over this, let’s move on to the actual work. Here’s how to clear the Google Maps cache in Android:

  1. Go to Settings Apps Manager (as explained above).
  2. Find Google Maps and tap it.
  3. Tap Clear cache.

If clearing the cache doesn’t resolve the problem, you can also try with clearing data altogether. However, keep in mind that deleting all data will erase all your offline maps, so only do this if you have internet access.

Solution 3 – Make sure Location is on

Here’s a quick one. The Location service needs to be running for Google Maps to draw directions from the server. So, go on and make sure the Location service or GPS is enabled. You can easily enable this service by tapping its shortcut in the top settings panel.

Solution 4 – Check the internet connection

Unless you’re navigating an offline map, Google Maps won’t work without a stable internet connection. So, just make sure you’re properly connected to the internet before moving on to another solution.

In case you notice there’s something wrong with your internet connection, check out this article for additional solutions.

Solution 5 – Calibrate the compass

Google Maps will almost exclusively point you in the wrong direction if the compass isn’t calibrated properly. So, if none of the above-mentioned solutions resolved the problem, make sure to calibrate or re-calibrate the compass.

Here’s how to do that:

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

Solution 6 – Enable the High Accuracy mode

There’s one more thing you can do to ensure Google Maps receives as accurate signals as possible. And that is enabling the High Accuracy mode. Here’s how to enable this mode:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap Location.
  3. Go to Mode, and enable High Accuracy.

Bonus: Download offline maps

To avoid connection problems in the first place, you can always download the offline maps of the area you’re navigating. Having offline maps requires neither GPS nor internet connection, so it’s a perfect solution for roaming foreign cities, where you have limited internet availability.

To download the offline map, go to Google Maps > Settings > Offline maps. Select the area you want to download and you’re good to go.

Just keep in mind that offline maps are quite limited compared to ‘regular’ maps. For instance, you’ll only be getting driving directions instead of walking or cycling, and you won’t have traffic info, alternate routes, or lane guidance.

That’s about it. I hope at least one of these solutions helped you resolve the problem with Google Maps not showing directions, and that you don’t feel like you’re in a maze anymore.

If you have any comments or additional questions, write them down in the comments below.

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