Google Maps: how to calibrate for more precise driving directions

Google Maps: how to calibrate for more precise driving directions

When it comes to getting directions, accuracy is everything. So when your GPS is having a hard time identifying your location, things can get frustrating, fast.

If you use Google Maps, there are ways to improve accuracy: calibrate the compass to point in the correct direction, for example, or turn on high accuracy mode on your Android phone.

There are several ways to get better directions and results while using the Google Maps app on your Android phone, as described below.

If you have an iPhone, however, the methods below won’t work, so you should try restarting your phone or enabling Wi-Fi to improve the accuracy of your Google Maps app.

How to calibrate Google Maps with settings on an Android phone

Compass calibration

If you open the Google Maps app and see that the blue dot points in the wrong direction or is in the wrong position, calibration can help you get a more accurate reading. Here’s how to do it on an Android phone:

1. Log into your Google Maps app, if it’s not already open.

2. While holding the phone in your hand, move your hand in a figure-of-eight motion – you should see the radius shrink as you go. Note that it may take a few times for this to work.

Activation of high precision mode

High precision mode is a useful tool for speeding up the Google Maps app. But keep in mind that this method only works if you have an Android:

3. Open your device’s Settings app.

4. Tap “Location”. Depending on the device, it may also be labeled “Security and Location”


5. Enable location setting if needed.


6. Tap “Mode”.

7. Select “High Accuracy”.


How to calibrate Google Maps on an iPhone or Android with other basic fixes

There aren’t many fancy tricks to fix Google Maps on an iPhone.

First, you should turn on Wi-Fi on your phone. You don’t need to connect to a network, just turn the setting on. On both iPhone and Android, turning on Wi-Fi will make Google Maps more accurate, as it scans nearby Wi-Fi signals to locate you.

If that doesn’t work, try restarting your iPhone or Android. You may simply need to restart your phone’s GPS sensors. For more information on how to restart an iPhone, see our article “How to Force Restart and Restart Any iPhone Model”.

Finally, on a particular iPhone, make sure Location Services are turned on. To do this:

1. Open the Settings app and go to the “Privacy” tab.

2. At the top of the Privacy screen, tap “Location Services”.

3. Make sure the switch at the top of the next screen is turned to the right and is colored green. If it isn’t, tap it.

4. Scroll down to the app list until you find Google Maps and tap on it.

5. On the next screen, select “While using the app” or “Always”. This will allow the Google Maps app to access your precise location faster.

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