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Fix Google Earth errors

Select the problem you'd like to fix.

Can’t sign in with your Google Account

If you're using Google Earth version 7.1.4 or earlier, open your favorite web browser and upgrade to the latest version.

To check which version of Google Earth you have:

  • Windows: Click Help Next About Google Earth.
  • Mac: Click Google Earth Next About Google Earth.
Fix blurry or outdated imagery

You might see an error message if:

  • The imagery has not streamed completely.
  • We do not have high-resolution imagery for that area.

Fix blurry imagery

  1. To verify that you're not blocking the imagery with an overlay, turn off all layers in your Places panel.
  2. Clear your cache.
    • Windows: Tools Next Options Next Cache Next Clear disk cache
    • Mac: Google Earth Next Preferences Next Cache Next Clear disk cache
  3. Turn off Anisotropic Filtering.
    • Windows: Tools Next Options Next 3D View
    • Mac: Google Earth Next Preferences Next 3D View
  4. Check the status bar at the bottom of the image:
    • If the status bar is at 100% and the image still appears blurry: We don’t have high-resolution data for this location.
    • If the status bar is incomplete after several minutes: There may be an issue with your internet connection, firewall settings, or graphics card drivers.

 

Fix crashes and graphics issues

Here are some steps you can take if you experience any of the following:

  • 'Unknown Graphics Card' error
  • 'Missing .dll' error
  • White globe
  • Patches, green squares, flashing lines, flickering, or blacked out areas in 3D view
  • Other graphical or display errors
  • Crashes

Step 1: Clear your cache

To fix issues like strange patches of imagery appearing in the wrong location, try clearing your cache.

Mac

  1. Open Google Earth.
  2. Click Google Earth Next Preferences Next Cache.
  3. Click Clear disk cache.

If you can't sign in to Google Earth, you'll need to delete dbCache.dat and dbCache.dat.index files from your directory folder:

  1. Locate your cache folder.
  2. Ctrl + right-click "dbCache.dat" and "dbCache.dat.index" files. Then, click Move to Trash to delete these files.

Windows

  1. Open Google Earth.
  2. Click File Next Server Log out.
  3. Click Google Earth Next Preferences Next Cache.
  4. Click Clear disk cache.

If you can't sign in to Google Earth, delete dbCache.dat and dbCache.dat.index files from your directory folder: 

  1. Show hidden files and folders.
  2. Open the C:\Users\%username%\AppData\%Local or LocalLow%\Google\GoogleEarth directory and look for the .dat files.
  3. Right-click both the dbCache.dat and dbCache.dat.index files, choose Delete, and select Yes to move the files to the recycle bin. These files will be recreated the next time you log in to Google Earth.
  4. Look for the unified_cache_leveldb_leveldb2 folder.
  5. Right-click it, choose Delete, and select Yes to move the folder to the recycle bin.

Step 2: Turn off atmosphere

  1. Open Google Earth.
  2. Click View.
  3. Deselect Atmosphere.

Step 3: Remove myplaces.kml file (Earth Pro only)

If Google Earth Pro is still crashing at startup, you may need to remove a myplaces.kml file:

  1. Make sure that Google Earth Pro is closed.
  2. Mac: Go to Macintosh HD Next (Your Username) Next Library Next Application Support Next Google Earth folder.
  3. Copy all files in the "GoogleEarth" folder. Then, save the files to a different folder or location.
  4. After backing up the files, delete everything in the "GoogleEarth" folder.
  5. Close the "GoogleEarth" folder.
  6. Open Google Earth.
  7. After logging in, Google Earth Pro should create new files in the "GoogleEarth" folder to replace the ones you've moved out.

Step 4: Switch between DirectX or OpenGL (Windows only)

To fix graphics issues, try using Google Earth in DirectX and OpenGL mode to see if one works better for your system.

Switch between DirectX and OpenGL mode

  1. Close Google Earth.
  2. Click Start Next All Programs.
  3. Mouse over "Google Earth." Then, choose Start Google Earth in DirectX mode or Start Google Earth in OpenGL mode.

If you have graphics issues when using both DirectX and OpenGL modes, you may need to update your graphics card drivers.

If these steps do not fix the problem, uninstall then reinstall Google Earth.

Stop Earth from spinning

The Google Earth globe may spin if your game pad, joystick, or other controller, is not calibrated.

If using a controller: Follow the manufacturer's instructions on how to calibrate your controller.

If not using a controller: Open Google Earth, then:

  • Windows: Click Tools Next Options Next Navigation. Then, uncheck Enable Controller.
  • Mac: Click Google Earth Next Preferences Next Navigation. Then, uncheck Enable Controller.
Clear cache and search history to save memory space

Google Earth stores images and info from previous searches so you can go to those places faster. Clearing out this info saves memory space.

Mac

  1. Open Google Earth.
  2. Click Google Earth Next Preferences Next Cache.
  3. Click Clear disk cache.

Windows

  1. Open Google Earth.
  2. Click File Next Server Log out.
  3. Click Google Earth Next Preferences Next Cache.
  4. Click Clear disk cache.

Mobile devices

Clear images or cache

  1. Open the Google Earth app.
  2. In the top left, tap Menu .
  3. Select Settings Next Clear Data Cache or Clear Cache.

Clear history

  1. Open the Google Earth app.
  2. In the top left, tap Menu .
  3. Select Settings Next Clear Data Cache or Clear History.
Improve performance

By increasing your memory and disk cache size, you can improve performance for tasks like printing or making movies.

Increasing the size of memory or disk cache can impact the performance of other applications.

  1. Open Google Earth.
  2. Windows: Click Tools Next Options.
    Mac: Click Google Earth NextPreferences.
  3. Click Cache.
  4. In the "Memory Cache Size" field, enter a value. Google Earth automatically limits the size according to the physical memory available on your PC.
  5. In the "Disk Cache Size" field, enter a number below 2000.

Delete disk cache

Google Earth uses disk cache when you are viewing imagery offline. To recover some disk space, delete the disk cache:

  1. Open Google Earth.
  2. Click File Next Server Logout.
  3. Windows: Click Tools Next Options.
    Mac: Click Google Earth Next Preferences.
  4. Click Cache Next Clear disk cache.