Windows OS

What Are Offline Maps in Windows 11, and How To Use Them?

Offline maps in Windows 11 are a modern practical feature that can come in handy for finding directions or preplanning routes in the absence of an internet connection — for example, say when traveling to a remote location or on an airplane without Wi-Fi. Precisely, its essence lies in helping out — and now even in larger Windows devices such as laptops — when one knows for sure that they will not have access to the internet.

Additionally, it can also serve as an excellent utilitarian tool in the event of connectivity issues with your ISP.

Requirements for Using Offline Maps in Windows 11

There aren’t any fancy setups or prerequisites for leveraging the Offline maps in Windows 11. The only requirements are two. They are:

  1. Downloaded Maps — while an internet connection is available.
  2. Having the “Maps” app installed on your Windows device.

Continue reading this post to understand the details around both of these requirements/points.

How To Download Offline Maps in Windows 11

Step 1: Open Your Main System Settings in Windows 11

There are multiple methods of navigating to the main Windows 11 system settings. Use the preferred approach, and open it up.

Step 2: Select “Apps” From the Left Panel and Then Choose “Offline Maps” From the Right

After heading over to Settings, divert your attention to the list of options on the left panel. As a subsequent step, click on “Apps.”

Going to Apps from the system settings in Windows 11
As shown, head over to the “Apps” from the main Settings in Windows 11.

Next, from the available choices on the right, select “Offline Maps.”

opening Offline Maps in Windows 11
Opening Offline Maps in Windows 11.

Step 3: Download the Maps You Want

As soon as you’re inside the Offline Maps, the very first item you’ll notice is the “Download maps” button.

The download maps button inside the Offline maps in Windows 11
The “Download maps” button inside the Offline maps service in Windows 11.

Click on the depicted button in the image above, and you’ll notice that:

  • The categorization of maps is by six Continents. It excludes Antarctica — at the least, as of writing this post.
  • Once you go a level deeper into any, you’ll be presented with all of the available country maps to download — for that continent.
  • Click on the associated Download button to save these maps on your device. In the case of a country with many states & regions, instead of a direct download button, you’ll first have to hit the “Choose region” button to further dive into the list of available maps. Consequently, at that point, you can decide to either download the map for all regions/a.k.a., the entire country, or handpick the ones you want. Check out the screenshot below to get a visual reference.
the choose region button for large countries in Windows 11 offline maps
The Choose region button for large countries in Windows 11 Offline maps.

How To Use the Offline Maps in Windows 11

When you’re done downloading the maps you wanted, open the “Maps” application on your Windows device. You can simply search for it in the start menu.

searching for the Maps app in Windows 11 start menu
Find the “Maps” app in Windows 11 start menu, as shown.

Next, search for an area/country/region — what have you, in the Map app. You’ll realize that you have full access to mostly all the bells and whistles of your search as if you were online. (This can easily be tested by cutting off your internet connection and then using the maps).

an example of planning a navigational route inside Windows 11 Offline Maps
An example of planning a navigational route inside Windows 11 Offline Maps — without an internet connection.

Moreover, navigation is also at one’s disposal — without needing any online connectivity.

a real-world example of guided navigation in Windows 11 Offline maps
An actual illustration of guided navigation in Windows 11 Offline Maps.

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Offline Maps Equips One To Not Get Stranded

Many things in life are assumed to live forever unless we find ourselves without them every once in a while. Great examples are electricity, water, food, etc. Even a momentarily lapse in getting access to such resources immensely handicaps us.

Internet is such a commodity, too, so much so that a gap in connectivity to the online world can result in huge losses.

In the case of directions, navigations, and understanding territory, Offline maps from Windows 11 is a hallmark of innovation, creativity, and realizing genuine human need. The beauty of it all is that you won’t need an internet connection to leverage these. In some instances, it could literally be a matter of survivability if you ended up in a far disconnected part of the world.

A great rule of thumb is always to have a few Offline maps downloaded — especially of those you’re traveling to, and have them at the ready. You never know when the need may arise to wield its power.