Google Maps Feeling Slow? Here’s a Trick to Speed It Up
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For many of us, Google Maps has become an integral part of daily life. If that describes you, then there are several Google Maps tricks and tips that you should be using to get the most out of it features.

But a growing number of users are now complaining that Google Maps is slow and bloated — and they aren’t wrong. Smarter algorithms and higher-definition images are great, but they cost at the cost of performance.

Fortunately, there’s one simple trick you can use to dramatically reduce lag: switch into Lite Mode.

google-maps-lite-mode-screenshot

When you’re on Google Maps, go to the very end of the URL and add ?force=lite. For example, the basic URL would be www.google.com/maps/?force=lite. This forces Google Maps into Lite Mode.

Lite Mode is automatically used on older browsers that don’t support the full feature set of Google Maps. After forcing Lite Mode once, you’ll see a lightning bolt icon in the corner that you can click to manually toggle it on and off.

In Lite Mode, the following features are disabled:

  • 3D imagery and Earth View
  • Showing your computer’s location on the map
  • Setting home and work locations
  • Getting the coordinates of a location
  • Searching near a location
  • Measuring the distance between places
  • Draggable routes
  • Embedding maps
  • Sending a location to your car
  • Viewing My Maps in Google Maps
  • Reporting a map data problem in Google Maps

Admittedly, some of those features are pretty important, but if speed is a primary concern, then shifting into Lite Mode is a valid option. (Unless you’re using Google Maps for mobile, which doesn’t have a Lite Mode.)

Does Google Maps feel slow to you? Have you been able to solve it? Share with us in the comments below!

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  1. a_name
    September 12, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    I have found out what makes my Google maps jerky, and not like those smooth trnsitions from films. it's my processor. I've got a pretty strong one, i-5 2500-K and when I zoom in-out it gets 100% loaded. So, it cannot be a video card. I wonder what kind of processors can make Google Maps smooth.

  2. a_name
    September 12, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    Didn't help. They are still jerky.
    I have a 27 display and 2560x1440. IN-BUILT graphic card. I wonder what the bottleneck is - 1)a graphic card (in-built Intel 3000) or 2) my 10 Mbps speed.
    I zoom in and out and the map disappears for some time. it is not smooth and loading new areas takes some considerable time. Of course it is milliseconds, but it is like that ping problem in computer games. I am from Ukraine? and the Internet here is really good, but perhaps it's because I connect to some Google servers in the USA?

  3. Anonymous
    October 28, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    This is very useful, most of the time I just want to do a quick lookup of a location and don't want to wait for the complete Google Map to load nor need most of its features.

    • Joel Lee
      November 8, 2015 at 3:52 am

      Glad this was useful to you, Federico! :)