How to configure and download offline maps in Windows 10

In Windows 10 you can download a regional map, view it offline and you don’t have to worry about unreliable internet connections in locations out of reach.

Image: hkeita, Getty Images / iStockphoto

The inherent adventure of traveling to unknown cities and countries can be very satisfying. In some cases, the experience of visiting a city and / or a restaurant off the beaten track may be the definitive event of a trip. And with modern technology, your always-connected smart device can deliver the maps you need to take you back to familiar territory – unless this is not the case.

Sometimes off the beaten track also means beyond the reach of the nearest cell tower, making your disconnected smartphone or laptop worthless, unless of course you have previously stored a map of the area. With a little thought and a few minutes of downloading, your adventurous excursion can be safely completed using freely available offline map information.

In Microsoft Windows 10 you can download a map for almost anywhere in the world and you don’t have to worry about unreliable internet connections. This instructional video shows how you can configure and download offline maps in Windows 10.

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Configure and download cards in Windows 10

In Windows 10, access to offline maps is available via Settings. Click the Start Menu button (usually at the bottom left of the Windows 10 desktop) and then click the Settings icon. On the home page, click Apps in the list of subcategories, and then click the Offline Maps item in the left navigation pane, as shown in Figure A.

Figure A

Figure A

To choose a map to download, click the plus button next to the text Download maps. In the following set of screens you will be asked to refine your map search based on continent, general geographic area or country and region or state. After all your selections have been made, the download process begins as shown in Figure B.

Figure B

Figure B

Depending on the map you choose to download and the quality of your connection, the process will probably take a few minutes. When completed, you will see your downloaded map on the page (Figure C) and have offline access to it whenever you want.

Figure C

Figure C

If you no longer need offline access to a card, click on it and you will be given the option to delete it. Or you can delete all downloaded maps at the same time when they are no longer needed. As you can see in Figure A, there is also an option to change where you want to save your downloaded offline maps.

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To access an offline map in Windows 10, launch the Maps app in the Start menu, click or tap the View More (3 Points) link in the menuFigure D) and then click the Settings item. From there you can choose which map you want to load for offline viewing.

Figure D

Figure D

Cards versus cards

Many of you may be more familiar with Google Maps and the capabilities of that tool, but the Windows 10 Maps app is also worth trying. With both services, users can download maps for offline viewing, so you may want to compare their respective qualities. Map details can vary depending on the area in question, so you need full coverage between the two apps. Thinking and planning for your next adventure will always be a good idea.

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