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How to Use GPS without Data Plan on Android

Updated on May 24, 2014

Using GPS without Internet Connection

I do not have an iPhone. That is why I could not test this process of enabling GPS without data plan on Google Maps. So, I can’t tell you that this process, which I am going to elaborate to you, works as well on an iPhone or not. But it has worked like charm on my Android phone and shall also work fine with you.

This GPS without data plan is for Google Map app. If you use any other popular map services, then this method is not for you.

Some Android phone users have their phones heavily locked by the carriers. That is why I cannot guaranty that this method will work on each and every android phone. You may have to unlock or root your phone. But, for the users of free Android phones, no rooting is required.

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Where to Use the GPS without Data

The places where GPS can be most handy, would, in most cases, be without any data coverage. If you are an explorer who loves to climb Nepal Himalaya, or to roam around the vast expanses of North – East Sahara, you should understand what I am trying to convey. Such wild places have no mobile coverage, any 4G, 3G or wi-fi data connection is a far cry. In such a place, you still can use your Android phone’s GPS to find the way! Yes, it is possible. The procedure is very simple and doable.

Screenshot of how to enable the GPS of an Android phone Offline
Screenshot of how to enable the GPS of an Android phone Offline

The Step by Step Process

You shall be in a 2G, 3G or Wi-Fi zone to set your GPS. Just follow the step by step instructions and see the magic.

· Open Google Maps.

· Now you shall have to open the map of the area which you want to explore with GPS without any data plan.

· After that click the options and select “Make available offline” from the pop up menu.

Select the Map area to download
Select the Map area to download

· Now you have to select the area with a square. After selecting it, GMaps start downloading that part of the map on your Android phone.

· Now open Settings. Find Location Services in the PERSONAL category.

Open Location services and uncheck Google Location Services.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Go to SettingsUsing GPS without Data Plan
Go to Settings
Go to Settings
Using GPS without Data Plan
Using GPS without Data Plan

· Now enable A-GPS, GPS EPO assistance, and GPS satellites.

· Now you shall have to open Google Maps again to use GPS without any data connection.

· Tap the blue my location icon to lock GPS.

· It would work as long as you will be in your previously downloaded area. You can enhance your area by selecting and downloading more map areas later.

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Some of the Best GPS Apps

Some of the best Android GPS apps are:

1) Sygic, 2) GPS Status Toolbox, 3) Find My Friends, 4) MapQuest, 5) My Tracks, 6) MapMyRuns etc.

Some Tips

Load more maps from the Google Maps to enhance the capability of your off-line GPS service. To download large sized Map data use Wi-Fi connection to do it quickly.

The size of the area can be determined by the zoom level. If you zoom closer, you shall get smaller area to download. Therefore, if you zoom closer, you shall have a smaller file size to download.

You shall be out of luck if that particular area does not get proper Satellite exposure. At-least, three satellites are needed to correctly find your position.


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    • profile image

      Cherry 3 years ago

      Is it GPS receiver work for Android? So you could use it to connect with the bluetooth. I did not try it before but I have use it with my jailbreak iphone.

    • profile image

      Rodrigo 3 years ago

      I have a Galaxy SIII and could manage to get to Location Services, but I was not able to find the A-GPS, GPS EPO assistance, and GPS satellites options.

      I wasn't also able to "make available offline". Any suggestion??

    • profile image

      Travix 4 years ago

      I went to do this to explore Tokyo, but it kept saying "Offline maps is not available in selected area." Any work-arounds for this?

    • profile image

      Samee 4 years ago

      Is there any way to download a map of a country in one part?

    • profile image

      fabius 4 years ago

      Your statement is true:

      If you are an explorer who loves to climb Nepal Himalaya, or to roam around the vast expanses of North – East Sahara, you should understand what I am trying to convey.

      But the problem is that, as stated in the Google page:

      Certain features such as satellite, terrain, indoor maps, and 3D buildings will not be available offline.

      OK, let's forget crap as 3D and indoor, but without terrain and satellite, what the hell of indication will you get in Nepal and Sahara? Just the highways?