Tips and tricks
If you have a question or want to save time when using Google Earth, check out these tips and lesser-known tools.
Note: These tips are for Google Earth web and mobile, not Google Earth Pro.
See system requirements Google Earth (Web)
- Google Chrome OS 50 or higher
- Make sure to turn on Hardware Acceleration in the advanced Chrome settings
See system requirements for Google Earth (Android)
- Android OS version 4.1 and up
Try one of the latest Google Earth features
Choose between 2D and 3D imagery (where available) to view the world from different points of view.
3D imagery is shown by default, but you can use the Map Style feature to choose between 2D and 3D viewing based on your preference. To switch between 3D and 2D buildings, follow the steps below:
- On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google Earth app .
- In the top left corner, tap Menu Map styles .
- Under “Enable 3D buildings,” tap the toggle to “on” or “off” based on your preference. Blue will indicate that 3D buildings and trees are turned on.
Note: Viewing the world in 2D may show newer imagery in some regions. To see the newest imagery possible, view in 2D mode. The 2D view may also improve overall app performance.
Learn about other helpful Earth features
- Change your flight speed
If you want flight to be faster or slower, select the Menu Settings. Then, adjust the flight animation speed.
- Make map imagery load faster
Try increasing your memory cache size in the Google Earth settings. Learn how to troubleshoot places loading slowly.
- Change how longitude and latitude are displayed
To switch between Decimal Degrees and Degrees Minutes Seconds (DMS), adjust the formatting in the settings.
- Import KML files in Google Earth
To make it possible to import KML files into Google Earth, and to see which KML features work in Google Earth Web and Mobile, first turn it on in the settings. Learn how to allow KML file importing in Google Earth.
Note: Not all KML file types are currently supported in Earth.
- Explore Google Earth faster and easier
On your computer, type ? to bring up the list of shortcuts. Learn more about Google Earth keyboard shortcuts.
- Print Google Earth imagery
The Print action in Google Chrome doesn’t print Google Earth imagery correctly. For best results, take a screenshot and print that instead. Make sure the attribution and copyright info is still visible.
- See how much of the imagery has loaded
If Google Earth images seem blurry, you might have zoomed the map in too closely. Sometimes the image hasn’t finished downloading. On the bottom right, check if the loading indicator says 100%.
- Change units of measurement
You can decide how you want to see distance units and other information. Select Menu Settings. Change the units of measurement.
- Get more help with Google Earth
To open this or other help articles without leaving Google Earth, select Menu Help.