Update Now: Windows Phone 8 devices get maps refresh

We reported earlier in the week on s slew of updates for Maps but in case you missed it these apply to all Windows Phone 8 handsets. Windows Phone 8 has been designed with the ability to download and install maps that can be used offline.

From time to time these will get updated with improved detail or just changes that normally happen to maps over time. Unlike other updates the maps don’t appear to have a push mechanism so you’ll have to kick the process off manually. Read on to find out how.

The ability to download a map for offline use has a few advantages. The first being you will always have access to a map regardless of if you have a mobile data connection or not. The second is that even if you do have a data connection you won’t burn up your precious data allowance re-downloading maps over and over. 

If you are already familiar with how to download maps skip step one and head to step two


Step 1

Download Maps - Find Map - Click to download

Let’s get started, on your phone go to the Settings Menu, swipe over to Applications and click on maps. Here you have the option to download Maps, click on the button which says ‘download maps’.

At the bottom you can see a + sign, hit that and you can then go through the menus to download maps for your entire country or just a specific region. In my case I have the entire United Kingdom Maps installed. Pick your map and it will then download and install. It’s as simple as that. You can download as many maps as you desire, space permitting.


To update you existing maps go to the Setting Menu, swipe across to Applications, select Maps and click the button to update. If there is an update available it will then download and install.

Step 2

Settings - Check for updates - install.

Now that maps are available to download offline its essential that you keep them updated. Now you know how to do so. We have had confirmation from many other readers that updates are going out to most regions.

Let us know if you experience any big changes to maps, comments are open. Thanks, Larry, for the reminder!

Robert Brand
  • Is anyone having problems with directions? It says it need to download an app but then can't find it
  • Is it the issue we reported in this post? http://www.wpcentral.com/more-mapping-updates-nokia-inbound-0
  •   Love my job, since I've been bringing in $5600… I sit at home, music playing while I work in front of my new iMac that I got now that I'm making it online(Click on menu Home) https://goo.gl/CMt3I
  • Actually, the "new" bing map doesn't feature turn by turn navigation, and sadly, bing can't redirect you to existing apps like Navigon if you have it. It's just made to redirect to Nokia Drive if you have a Nokia device...
  • This is because Navagon needs to rebuild there app to take advantage of this feature. Like the apps the can integrate into the wallet. All these navigation apps need to do this!
  • maps require wifi and this is annoying in the year of 2012. 
  • NY was 153MB...I could see why doing that over 3G would be non-preferable.  It's offline maps, how many times do you need to download them "on the fly" versus when you take the phone out of the box?
  • I've got 4G on my Lumia 920, and the spped is faster than my wifi... Furthermore I have 10GB, so I think I'll manage the few hundreds mb...
  • If you wanted to download the entire United State map on your data connection, that would be 2GB. Most map sets are about 200MB minimum. Dont you think its wise they play it safe and ask the download to happen on Wi-Fi?
  • Some of us don't have access to WiFi though.
  • Is there no McDonald's or Starbucks in your area?
  • Or Panera, Barnes & Noble, Whole Foods, or Cosi? Or your local library, many train stations, most malls, not to mention a slew of independent places. There's many free wifi options available in just about all areas these days.
  • Its 2012 how does someone not have access to WiFi
  • Microsoft created a download mechanism called BITS about 10 years ago. Why they don't use it more often (for stuff like this) I will never understand.
  • BITS is just a background downloader service - it would still have to use Wi-Fi or 3G.
  • Fair enough to warn but there should be the option to proceed. I have unlimited mobile data and it's around twice the speed of my pitiful DSL connection at home.
  • This is the issue.  Not everyone is on a provisioned plan.  I am now (switched to AT&T) but I came from Sprint, and it was maddening that there were things I could not download over 3G.  It is absolutely reasonable to warn someone, even to make them click through "Are you sure?"  "Are you really sure?"  "Are you really, really, sure?" but there should always be a way to override everything that is built in "for my protection."  I do not need to be coddled by my phone.
    In that respect WP is very condescending.
  • http://i.minus.com/ibteAJykxZWcR0.png
    not sure if i wanna do this over 3G....
  • Agreed, it shoudl at least be your choice. It is easy enough to do right? Just put up a warning.
  • Thanks for the heads up...just another reason I love WPC!
  • I'm just happy we are able to download them for offline use. Going to see how things go next week when I utilize my downloaded Croatia and Bosnia maps.
  • Thanks guys for the heads up would have never known this on my own lol. You guys know if they plan giving notifications for these updates in the future?
  • Or making it auto check every month at least.
  • Need to be able to download and save maps to SD card.
  • Noticed this a good few days ago... There was an update for Florida.
  • My 920 told me Florida was up to date....
  • Should of bought a Nokia Lumia 920
  • Is this a update for Bing maps that's hidden or Nokia maps?
  • Both apps use same mapping cache.
  • Can these be downloaded onto the micro SD card?
  • Hi this is Pino from the HERE team at Nokia. At the moment Windows Phone doesn't allow to store maps on a SD card.
  • Nokia Maps doesn't quite have the clarity in satellite images that imed to from both Bing and Google, the updated map didn't help. https://t.co/pSRBCuay
  • Takes forever even using WiFi
  • This must be US only because there's no updates available in UK
  • I actually received a notification that "your maps are out of date. Would you like to update them now?" a couple of days ago while I was out in central London. I first downloaded them about a month ago - so maybe you had already downloaded the updated maps and the notification is just late. Note to article author: while there is no push notification, it does apparently check every now and then if you actually open the maps app.
  • Agreed, also in UK
  • No update for Australia.
  • I just downloaded an update for Australia.. And I only reset phone a week ago, so definitely an update.
  • Wasn't WP8 maps (not Nokia branded maps/drive) just a downgrade of 7.5 maps? 7.5 had turn by turn.
  • Hi this is Pino from the HERE team at Nokia. Tapping your smartphone to get the next instruction is not turn-by-turn navigation. This is provided by Nokia Drive which is being made available to other WP8 manufacturers.
  • hey when are you guys making a wpcentral app for windows 8
  • Wp8 gets the map refresh and Wp7 get lost on the roundabout. Awesome.
  • LOL.  OnStar got me lost on a roundabout a couple of weeks ago.
  • Hi this is Pino from the HERE team at Nokia. Actually there is also a maps update for WP7 being rolled out right now. However, on WP7 there is no central repository for offline maps, those are only available in Nokia Drive.
  • I currently have just the USA map (Bahamas and Cayman Islands came installed for some odd reason but I deleted those), is there any difference in the national map vs just getting a few state maps.  What I mean, is there better detail on the individual state maps versus the national map?
  • No difference.
  • Works fine for me.  Love window phone 7 & 8 but never new you could swipe setting left and right!  Still learning I guess.
  • If they don't have voice turn by turn, with street name, it will never be 100% I use it to look for places but for navigating I use Garmin because I need the voice
  • Hi this is Pino from the HERE team at Nokia. Nokia Drive for WP8 does have spoken street names. To enable this option, please go to Nokia Drive > Settings > Navigation Voice and download any voice with "announced street names".
  • I get this issue with maps. http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/winphone/forum/wp8-wpfeatures/htc-8x-...
  • No updates showing here for the California or Idaho Maps.
  • OMG word UPDATE has become so popular to some of you that is almost disgusting!
  • Just updated my UK maps, my 2 year old house on its 3 year old road apparently still don't exist, thanks nokia :(
  • I'm sure you know where you live though lol just navigate back to your town!