Google Maps relies on an active Internet connection to download map data as you search, pan and zoom, meaning that if your smartphone loses cell service, you can't access the maps. Plan ahead by saving an area of the map for offline use, and the app will continue to work properly even without a connection.
The computer version of the Google Maps website doesn't have a similar function; it can save locations on the map but cannot use them without an Internet connection. If you need a Google Map on your computer while offline, either use a screenshot or leave the page open.
Google Maps Mobile App
Search for a landmark at the area you want to save or swipe the map to the desired area and tap a location. Tap the name of the location at the bottom of the screen.
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Tap Save to save the location as a favorite, which marks it on your map with a star. Saving a map with the Save button does not download the map for offline use, however. To do so, open the menu button with the icon of three vertical dots.
Tap Save Offline Map to save the current location for offline use.
Pan and zoom the map to show the exact area you want to save. Tap Save and name the map.
The app also has a hidden shortcut to skip directly to the save screen: Search for -- or speak using voice control -- the phrase "ok maps." Here's a video of that method in action:
Google Maps Website
To save a location on your computer, search the Google Maps website for it -- or click it on the map -- and click Save. Google marks the location with a star on your map, but doesn't save the map for offline use.
Unlike the Google Maps mobile app, the website doesn't offer offline maps, but you have a couple of options to take a map with you on a laptop. If you leave your Web browser open with the map on your screen, you can continue to look at it even after you disconnect from the Internet, but you won't be able to pan, zoom or search for a new location.
Your other option is to take a of the map. In Windows 8, press Windows-Print Screen to save a copy of the current screen to your pictures directory, in the Screenshots subfolder. In older versions of Windows, press Print Screen to copy the screen to the clipboard and then in an image-editing program such as Paint to save it. Take multiple screenshots if necessary to cover the area you want to save.