How to use Google Maps Compass to Easily Find North

Navigating the world has never been easier with Google Maps. With just a few taps on your smartphone, you can pinpoint your location and find out which way is north. This makes it super handy for travel, hiking, or just satisfying your curiosity. Let’s dive in and discover how to use Google Maps compass to find north!

Step by Step Tutorial: Using Google Maps Compass to Find North

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s clarify what we’ll achieve with these steps. By the end of this tutorial, you’ll know how to use the Google Maps compass feature to easily find which direction is north.

Step 1: Open Google Maps on your smartphone or tablet.

First things first, you’ll need to open the Google Maps app. If you don’t have it, you can download it from the App Store or Google Play.

Once you’ve got the app open, you’ll see a map of your current location. If your location services are off, you’ll need to turn them on to proceed.

Step 2: Tap on the blue dot that represents your location.

On the map, you’ll see a blue dot. This dot shows where you are right now. Go ahead and tap on it!

After you tap the blue dot, a blue circle and a small blue beam should appear. This beam points in the direction your device is facing.

Step 3: Tilt your phone forward and backward to activate the compass.

This might seem a bit weird, but trust me. Gently tilt your phone forward and backward.

When you do this, a small compass should show up on the right side of your screen. The compass is there to help you orient yourself in the right direction.

Step 4: Look for the red arrow on the compass.

This red arrow is key. It always points north, no matter which way you’re facing.

The red arrow will help you understand the direction you need to go. If you want to head north, just follow where the red arrow is pointing.

After you’ve completed these steps, you’ll have found north using Google Maps compass. It’s a simple yet effective way to get your bearings when you’re out and about.

Tips for Using Google Maps Compass to Find North

  • Make sure your location services are turned on to use the compass feature.
  • If you’re indoors, try to move near a window for a better GPS signal.
  • Remember that metal objects can interfere with the compass, so step away from cars or metal structures.
  • Calibrate the compass by moving your phone in a figure-eight motion if it seems inaccurate.
  • Practice using the compass in a familiar area to get the hang of it before relying on it in an unfamiliar location.

Frequently Asked Questions

How accurate is Google Maps compass?

The compass in Google Maps is generally quite accurate, but it can be affected by magnetic fields, so it’s always a good idea to cross-reference with other methods if precise navigation is critical.

Do I need an internet connection to use the compass?

No, you don’t need an internet connection to use the compass feature, but you do need it to load the map initially.

Can I use Google Maps compass on any device?

Google Maps compass is available on most smartphones and tablets with a built-in magnetometer, which is the sensor required for the compass to work.

What should I do if the compass isn’t working correctly?

Try calibrating the compass by moving your device in a figure-eight motion, and make sure you’re not near any large metal objects.

Can the compass show me directions other than north?

Yes, the compass will always show north, but you can use it in combination with the map to figure out other directions as well.


  1. Open Google Maps.
  2. Tap the blue dot representing your location.
  3. Tilt your phone to activate the compass.
  4. Look for the red arrow pointing north.


Now that you’ve got the hang of it, you’re all set to navigate like a pro using Google Maps compass. Imagine the possibilities! You could become the go-to navigator on road trips, impress your friends with your newfound orientation skills, or even take up geocaching. Just remember that while technology is incredibly helpful, it’s always good to have a backup plan like a traditional compass or a paper map, especially in areas with spotty reception or in the great outdoors. Happy exploring, and may you always find your way north with ease using Google Maps compass!

Join Our Free Newsletter

Featured guides and deals

You may opt out at any time. Read our Privacy Policy