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Find & improve your location’s accuracy

Google Maps may have trouble finding your location. If the GPS location of your blue dot on the map is inaccurate or missing, you can take steps to help fix the problem.

Tip: These steps will also improve your search results and make them more relevant to you.

Find your current location on the map

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google Maps app Maps.
  2. The blue dot on the map will show your location. If there isn’t a blue dot, at the bottom right, tap Your location My location.

How Maps finds your current location

Maps estimates where you are from sources like:

  • GPS: Maps uses satellites to know your location up to around 20 meters. When you're inside buildings or underground, the GPS is sometimes inaccurate.
  • Wi-Fi: The location of nearby Wi-Fi networks helps Maps know where you are.
  • Cell tower: Your connection to mobile data can be accurate up to a few thousand meters.

Turn on high accuracy mode

To help Google Maps find your location with the most accurate blue dot, use high accuracy mode.

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Settings app Settings.
  2. Tap Location.
  3. At the top, switch location on.
  4. Tap Mode and then High accuracy.

More ways to improve location accuracy

If your location is still wrong, here are some things you can try.

Turn on Wi-Fi
  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Settings app Settings.
  2. Choose Wi-Fi.
  3. At the top, turn on Wi-Fi.
Restart your phone or tablet

To restart your Android phone or tablet, turn it off and on.

  • Turn your phone or tablet off: Hold down the power button and then Power off.
  • Turn your phone or tablet on: Hold down the power button until your device turns on.
Calibrate your phone or tablet

If your blue dot's beam is wide or pointing in the wrong direction, you’ll need to calibrate your compass.

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google Maps app Maps.
  2. Make a figure 8 until your compass is calibrated. You should only have to do this a few times.
  3. The beam should become narrow and point in the right direction.

Compass calibration

Calibrating Live View

Orient yourself with Live View

Quickly orient yourself to your surroundings and nearby landmarks in Live View. You can also find how far away certain landmarks are from you and how to get there. These landmarks can include iconic places, like the Empire State Building in New York City, or easily recognizable places, like local parks and tourist attractions.

There are 2 ways to orient yourself in Live View with the use of landmarks: 

  • Search for a place or tap it on the map. Then, in the bottom right, tap Live Maps AR.
  • Search for a category, like “restaurants” or “shopping malls,” then tap View map.
    • Scroll through the selection of places, then choose one.
    • Tap Live Maps AR.

Once you’re in Live View:

  1. Follow the on-screen instructions to help Maps find your location.
    Tip: Point your phone camera at buildings and signs across the street, instead of trees and people.
  2. Once Maps knows where you are, you’ll get the distance to your destination. You can also enter Live View walking navigation.
Tip: Your place’s information card might let you know if your destination is on an upper floor in a building.
Improve accuracy of your location with Live View
  1. On your iPhone or iPad, while you're outside, open the Google Maps app Google Maps.
  2. Tap the blue dot My location and then Calibrate with Live View Maps AR.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions.

Tips: 

  • Point your phone camera at buildings and signs around you, instead of trees and people.
  • Depending on Street View availability, Maps may or may not open the Live View Calibrator.
  • Your position on Maps becomes more accurate as more data is gathered on your location.

What the blue dot means

The blue dot shows your location on the map. When Google Maps isn’t sure about your location, there will be a light blue circle around the blue dot. You might be anywhere within the light blue circle. The smaller the circle, the more certain the app is about your location.

Tips:

  • If the blue dot isn’t visible or is gray, Maps can’t find your current location and shows you the last location you visited.
  • If there’s something between you and cell towers, like a parking garage or tall buildings, your blue dot might not be accurate.

Find your location on other sites & apps

To find your location in Google Maps on other sites and apps, follow the steps above. However, some features will be different:

  • You’ll use a different site or app, not Google Maps.
  • You must first give location permission to the site or app used, not Google Maps.
  • If you open Google Chrome or Safari, you'll only find your location on secure web pages. You'll find "https" in the address bar.
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