Avoiding Highways Using Google Maps

Google Maps can be an effective and helpful tool when traveling on time from one location to another.

Google Maps

However, you may not always want to take the shortest route, or you may suspect that larger roads will be congested. This is the best time to utilize the lesser-known Google Maps feature, avoiding highways.

Here’s how to configure Google Maps to do so, whether you’re using the desktop or mobile version of the website.

On Desktop

1. Open your browser then go to Google Maps.

To begin, you must open your browser and then navigate to Google Maps.

2. Tap the blue right-turn icon beside the search bar.

A blue right-turn icon will appear next to the search bar, which you must click. This will open a window to enter your destination, starting point, and other information.

3. Type in your starting point and destination.

In the new window, enter your current location as well as your desired destination.

4. Click the “Options” button.

After you’ve entered the addresses, you’ll need to click the “Options” button located just below your destination.

5. Go to the “Avoid” section then tick the box next to “Highways.”

There are two sections: avoid and distance unit. Mark the checkbox next to the option labeled “Highways” under the avoid section, and this will immediately be applied to the routes Google Maps will provide for you.

On The Mobile App

1. Launch the Google Maps application on your device.

First, you will need to launch Google Maps on your phone and then log into your account using your Google credentials.

2. Click your profile icon beside the search bar.

Following that, click your profile icon or your initial, which is located next to the search bar. This will bring up a drop-down menu on your screen.

3. Choose “Settings” from the options.

Choose the option “Settings” from the drop-down menu near the bottom of the list.

4. Select “Navigation” from the list.

If you are already on the “Settings” page, select “Navigation” under the “Getting Around” section.

5. Toggle the button beside the option “Avoid Highways.”

Go to “Route options,” then toggle the button next to “Avoid highways.” This will be applied to your route immediately and automatically.


Although Google Maps is commonly used to provide the quickest route to your destination, it also includes a feature that allows drivers to avoid highways if they so desire. Aside from highways, Google Maps can also avoid tolls and ferries if you enable it in the app’s settings. Swipe Tips has everything you need to know about the other features!