Google Maps has come long way from its bare basic launch in 2005 and today it allows you to see the world in 3D, check for traffic information and get voice instructions that help you easily navigate while driving.


But sometimes we need to use it merely for its map feature without all the extra trinkets that come with it. As useful as those extra features are, they do make the app slower (even when being used on the PC), not to mention the fact that the all those awesome features consume a lot more data- something that should be a concern if you are on a limited data plan or using it on a mobile device.

Thankfully, Google has integrated a Lite mode into Google Maps that provides with you with a stripped-down version that is still extremely useful. This version hasn’t been publicized much, but it works like a charm.

To enable it, click here. Do not forget to bookmark the link for later use.

Even though it is called the ‘Lite mode’, you will still be able to see all the map routes and even access the satellite imagery. When accessing the Lite mode, only features like 3D imagery or the Earth View (that take up a lot of resources) are disabled. Essentially Google Maps in Lite mode is like a classic version of the app- highly useful but light on resources.

map 1

At first glance, the appearance seems the same and until you notice the lightning icon at the bottom right, you won’t be able to tell whether you are in Lite mode or not. By clicking on the icon, you can always choose to go back to the full version of the app with all of its bells and whistles.

map 2

The link works whether you are accessing Google Maps from a PC, a Mac or a mobile device. As of right now Google has not integrated this version in its mobile apps, which is a shame, as it would allow us to save on data usage and make our devices work in a much smoother manner. Thankfully the web version works as smooth as the full app.

Click on the 3 bars on the top left to access all the features and start using the Lite version just like you would the regular one. As you can see, there is barely any difference between them and as you will realize over time, the Lite version is much more effective in terms of resource management.

~ Yogesh