How to avoid highways on Google Maps for your directions on desktop or mobile

It's possible to avoid highways on Google Maps by checking a specific option when you search directions.

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It’s possible to avoid highways on Google Maps by checking a specific option when you search directions.
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Avery Hartmans/Business Insider

Google Maps can be a useful tool when it comes to getting from point A to point B in a timely manner.

But sometimes you may not necessarily want the quickest way, or you have a feeling there’s going to be traffic on those larger roads.

That’s when it’s time to take advantage of a lesser-known tool on Google Maps: Avoiding highways.

Here’s how to set up your Google Maps to do that, whether you’re using the desktop or mobile version of the site.

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How to avoid highways on Google Maps on desktop

1. Go to maps.google.com.

2. Click into the blue right-turn icon, located next to the “Search Google Maps” bar.

Click on the blue arrow icon.

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Click on the blue arrow icon.
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Devon Delfino/Business Insider

3. Enter your starting and ending points.

4. Click “Options.”

Click on Options.

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Click on Options.
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Devon Delfino/Business Insider

5. Tick the box next to “Avoid Highways.”

Check the box next to Highways under Avoid.

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Check the box next to Highways under Avoid.
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Devon Delfino/Business Insider

How to avoid highways on Google Maps in the mobile app

1. Open your Google Maps app on your iPhone or Android phone.

2. Select the three stacked lines to open the menu (the location may vary depending on the kind of phone you have).

3. Tap “Settings.”

Tap Settings at the bottom.

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Tap Settings at the bottom.
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Devon Delfino/Business Insider

4. Select “Navigation settings.”

Click on Navigation settings.

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Click on Navigation settings.
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Devon Delfino/Business Insider

5. Scroll down to the “Route options” section and toggle on the “Avoid highways” option.

Switch the toggle on Avoid highways.

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Switch the toggle on Avoid highways.
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Devon Delfino/Business Insider

From there, you can also choose to avoid tolls and ferries if you wish.

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