App Subscriptions

The most common reason for this is that you have two separate accounts. Check Menu 'My Account' and confirm that the email address is the same one you used for the subscription when you purchased it on the web, or the same one that is tied to the purchase in the App Store or Play Store.

If you purchase in-app, it can take a few minutes for your subscription on another device to catch up.

If you are still unable to access Premium features please contact customer services using the contact form at the bottom of this page.

Your newly-purchased subscription will extend any existing subscription no matter where the subscription is purchased from. This means if you renew early you won't lose out.

If you have an OS Maps account, simply log in on your new phone and your subscription will be carried over, along with the rights to any paper map downloads (GB only) Any paper maps will need to be downloaded to your device memory. This will work even if you switch between Android and iOS.

This is because:

  • Your device does not have a data connection, so is unable to sync routes.
  • You may be using two different usernames (logins) for web and app. Wherever possible, please use the same email address to log in to each account as otherwise we will not be able to sync your routes or
  • You may be using an older version app. Please upgrade to the latest version.

OS Maps subscription plans purchased via the different app stores and most bought via web will auto-renew so that you don’t have to worry about the subscription expiring.

If you wish to cancel, you will lose access to the subscriber-only features such as the detailed Premium Topo map, Augmented Reality, Aerial 3D and GPX file exporting. Additionally, the following will happen:

  • Your routes will still be available in the app and web
  • Redeemed paper map downloads are retained and are still available in the app
  • Saved offline maps not based on paper maps are deleted

If you have a Premium subscription and this is not showing in the app, then you may need to refresh the application to make it show. To do this, please log out of OS Maps, uninstall the app and then reinstall. This will ensure that you are receiving the latest version of OS Maps app for your device. Once installed, log in to the app. Your premium subscription should be showing. You can confirm this by tapping ‘Menu’, and then tapping ‘Account' under the ‘My Profile’ section. Here it should state that you are a Premium subscriber. If this is not showing then please contact customer services using the contact form at the bottom of this page.

Viewing Maps

To turn on the compass, go to ‘’Preferences’ under ‘My Profile’ in the main menu. Here you will have the option to ‘Show compass’.

Toggling this to ‘Yes’ will then display the compass on the main map page for you to use on your adventures.

Not all devices have a built-in compass. If yours does not, the compass will show, but won't change as you move your device.

Tap the ‘find my location’ button on the right-hand side to turn off the automatic centre function. The button will turn black and the compass symbol will show. This is most useful when scrolling around to view an area.

Use the ‘find my location’ button to jump directly to your location (pictured by a target symbol, shown in the bottom right corner). This will use the GPS signal to find your location as accurately as it can. If your device does not have a GPS chip, if GPS is disabled or there is no signal (such as in a building or near tall cliffs) this will not work. While the icon is highlighted, the map will centre on your location.

OS Maps uses the location as provided by your device. Ensure that the location settings are turned on, and the app has permission to access them. On some devices, you will need to allow OS Maps to access location at all times. This is to ensure that when following a route, your location is kept up to date, even if you close the app, open another app or turn the screen off.

If the device is unable to show the exact position, it may show an approximation based on the nearest mobile phone mast, WiFi access point or last known position. For some devices, you can force it to only show the position from the GPS chip by going into Phone settings > Location > and setting it to GPS only.

If a clearly incorrect location is shown, often waiting a few moments or tapping the 'locate me' on and off will force the device to update your location.

In the app main menu, go to 'Map Legend' under ‘Support’ and choose the legend you require. You can also download a copy as a PDF from our website.

Use the 'Search' at the top of your screen. As long as you're connected to the internet, we'll give you a list of locations that match your search term. Choose a location from the list and we’ll centre it on the map and give you the option to share the location or plot a new route.

To move around, swipe left - right and up - down. You can zoom in and out using two-finger pinch and zoom controls.

To zoom with one hand: double-tap the map with your thumb, keeping it on the screen on the second tap, then move it up to zoom in and down to zoom out.

Use the 'Map Types' icon in the bottom right of the map screen to switch between the available map types. Some types are only available to Premium users.

For GB users, the Premium Topo map automatically switches between 1:25k (OS Explorer), 1:50 (OS Landranger) and 1:250k OS Road map types. You’ll also have access to map overlays like the National Cycle Network, Greenspace and National Park Pathways.

GB users can also choose to ‘lock’ the map to 25k or 50k mapping from the 'Map Type' menu.

The Standard Map contains mapping data from a number of sources, if you spot an error in Great Britain, please let us know here. If the error is outside Great Britain, please inform Mapbox here.

Premium Topo contains data from a number of suppliers – please contact these organisations directly as Ordnance Survey isn’t able to make updates to their datasets.

OS Maps allows you to get driving directions fromyour current location to the start point of a route. 

Select your preferred route either directly within the map screen or from the 'Routes' section of the main menu.

Select 'Get Directions' and choose from the navigation app options provided.

Note, this feature is only available on mobile.

  1. Tap on ‘Create a route’ in the main menu, or long press on the map and we’ll give you the same option there
  2. Choose an activity type so that we can calculate the duration it would take to complete the route. This will be displayed along with the distance and elevation at the bottom of the screen
  3. The first tap on the screen will be the start point of your route. Then continue to tap the screen to create more waypoints along the route
  4. Open up the style menu (icon on the left-hand side) to find options like undo, remove and style
  5. Once you’ve completed, tap the red save icon to enter some further details then choose whether you want the route kept private or public, for others to see and follow

Snap-to-path is a tool which will help to plan routes more easily by automatically 'snapping' your route to available roads and paths, giving you the shortest possible distance between one waypoint and the next.

Snap-to-path works across the following map types.

  • Web - on Standard and Premium Topo (GB National Parks only) maps
  • App
    • iOS - globally on all map types. For GB Premium Topo maps, snap-to-path is available with National Parks only.
    • Android - using the 'offroad routing' map overlay in GB National Parks

Simply select your map type and begin to plot your route by tapping the screen to create waypoints. Your route will automatically snap to roads and paths, giving you the shortest possible distance between one waypoint and the next.

There may be times when you want to follow a particular route, or avoid certain roads/paths. If you want to turn snap-to-path off, then deselect the 'Snap' feature (represented by the magnet icon)  and you can continue to plot your route manually. Just tap the magnet icon again to return to snap-to-path.

When you are logged in, open up the main menu and select 'Routes'. 'My Routes' displays all the routes you have created. 'Favourite Routes' shows routes created by others that you have favourited. This is done by tapping the heart symbol next to the route’s description.

There is automatic two-way synchronisation between the app and the desktop version for your routes and your favourited routes. When a data connection is available, all routes you have created on the desktop version will synchronise to your mobile device and will then appear in your routes library, even when you are offline. Similarly, routes created on your mobile device using either the record function or the create route function will appear on the desktop version of OS Maps so you can review route details or print maps.

  1. In the menu choose the ‘Record a route’ function and then the activity type
  2. Tap the ‘Record’ button to start. You can pause a recording as needed
  3. To save the route to your routes library, tap the stop button and confirm to save the route in the same way as normal
  4. You can tap the 'X' button to stop recording and discard the route.

To save power, many devices will reduce the availability of GPS data to an app that is in the background, or when the screen is off. This means instead of allowing waypoints to be saved every few seconds, we can only record your position every few minutes, or when you turn the screen back on.

Most devices that do this have a way of disabling it. This may be turning off 'Save power on background apps', enabling an option called 'allow background apps access to detailed location' or similar. If you experience this while recording routes, search your devices power settings for options.

You need to be a premium subscriber to export a route as a GPX file. Find the route from your routes list, select 'Options' and 'Export as GPX'. This will generate the GPX file, and you will be able to send it via email etc

Once you’ve sent a GPX file to your device, choose to open it in OS Maps. The file will then be imported and shown as a route.

Alternatively, you can use the desktop version of OS Maps to import the GPX file and the route will appear on your device as soon as it is synchronised.

Yes. Open the main menu and tap 'Preferences' under ‘My Profile’. The 'Units and measurements' option will then give the choice to switch between Imperial or Metric.

We use the units together, so you can't mix miles with metres for example, or kilometres with feet.

These times are only estimations and may vary depending on individual abilities, local conditions and weather.

We use your average speed for walking, running and cycling to calculate the estimated time. For walking, we also use Naismith's Rule, which adds 10 minutes for every 100 m of vertical ascent. There is no adjustment calculated for descents or difficult terrain.

You can change this in your ‘Preferences’ under 'Calculate Route Times', and then input any values you like.

Your settings for average speed are also shared with the desktop browser version of OS Maps, and any other devices using the same account.

  1. Tap the 'Find Routes' button in the bottom right, or find the same option in the main menu
  2. Select the activity type you want a route for and add any other filtre options such as trusted routes, distance/duration, difficulty and rating
  3. You will see markers shown on the map showing route start points. Click on a marker to see the route details.
  4. Once you have finished searching for routes click the 'Find Routes' button again to turn off the route pins - the button will revert to grey.

You will need to have a data connection to search for routes, but you can turn it off once you have started using the 'follow route' function.

Your own routes are automatically saved for offline use. To save a route you have discovered for offline use in the web or app, tap the ‘Favourite’ button (pictured by a heart) in the route description. You will then be given the option to download the map for offline use.

Once you have a route on screen, you can activate the follow function using the ‘start route’ button. This will use GPS to keep you on course whilst showing you how far along the route you are.

Once you finish following a route you will be asked to rate it out of 5 stars, and whether to add it to your personal activity record log.

You cannot edit a route created by someone else, as they are still the route owner, even if you add it to favourites. However, you can create a copy of the route instead:

Note: the following will only be available if you are a premium subscriber

  1. Open the app or web version and find the route
  2. In the route details, select the 'export GPX' option. If you’re in the app, this will allow you to email the file to yourself then save to your computer. (If you’re on the web version just save the file to your computer)
  3. Open the web version and log in. Only the web version has the advanced tools for route editing.
  4. Open 'Routes' then select the 'Import GPX' option.
  5. Select the GPX file from your local computer. On most, this will mean looking in 'Downloads'
  6. Import the GPX file to create a new route. We recommend making it private to prevent creating duplicate routes
  7. You can now edit the route as normal. It will sync across to the app next time you start the app

Yes. While plotting or editing a route, tap the 'Style' icon on the left of the screen to change the properties of the route styling.

You can also set the default route style for all routes viewed on the device. Go to ‘Preferences’ in the main menu and ‘Route Styling’ to change the default route colour, thickness and transparency.

Tabletop 3D is an augmented reality feature available on iOS that allows you to see your route on a virtual 3D model of the terrain. To use it:

  1. Open a route
  2. Pull up the route details and click 'Tabletop 3D'.
  3. Point the camera at a clear, flat surface and allow it to 'lock on'. If you don't have a clear table, the floor will do.
  4. Once the square appears on the surface it has locked on. Tap the 'Place Model' button at the bottom of the screen to start AR mode.
  5. Try moving around the 3D model. Use pinch to zoom, one finger to move the model and two fingers to rotate the model. Moving the device around and up and down will adjust the view.
  6. End Tabletop 3D by tapping X to close
My Activities

Start the 'My Activities' distance counter by selecting it from Menu, 'My Activities'. It's designed to make it as easy as possible to keep track of how far you’ve walked – even if you forget to record a route while walking. There are three different ways to add an activity:

  1. Record a route: at the end of recording you’ll be asked if you want to add the distance to your activity record
  2. Follow a route: once you’ve followed a route you’ll be asked if you want to add the distance to your activity record. It will log the distance of the planned route, not the actual distance covered
  3. From 'My Activities', select 'Add an activity' and select a route from your route list that you have done, and enter the date. You can also plot a new route and add this.

Your activity record syncs across web, Android and iOS version of OS Maps – you just need to be signed in with the same OS Maps account. You can find the My Activities Section under the main menu on OS Maps mobile, and the user menu on the top right of OS Maps web.

Paper Map Downloads (GB Only)

All OS Explorer (1: 25 000 scale) and OS Landranger (1: 50 000 scale) series paper maps have a digital download included. Mobile downloads are not available for OS Tour maps or Historical Maps. You can identify the maps with mobile download by the blue ‘Includes mobile download’ badge on the cover.

Yes, you'll need to install the OS Maps app. You can get this from App Store (iOS) or Google Play Store; it's absolutely free and doesn't take long to download.

You can't download these maps to a computer. For this, please look at OS Maps online Premium. For OS maps on your GPS device please check with the device manufacturer.

You have to redeem the code on our website using the same details you use to log in to the OS Maps app on your device. Follow the instructions on the page to claim your download.

Once redeemed, that code is locked to your account, and cannot be used again. However, you can download the map to any device where you are logged in.

Follow the instructions here to redeem the map code and attach it to your user account. Make sure you login with the same email address you use to login to the app.

Go to Menu, 'My offline apps', 'Paper maps' to see the list of maps redeemed against your account. Tap 'Download map' to download that specific map to your device.

Tips for offline Paper Maps:

  • Logging out of the app will remove all existing downloads, as they are tied to the user, not the device. Check you have the downloads you need before heading out, and do not log out in normal use.
  • Downloading many maps at once can cause issues, overloading your device and causing slow response or crashing when you try to view maps. Delete maps you are not currently using to both save storage space and improve app speed. You can always download them again later.
  • The total number of maps you can have at once depends on your device and other apps installed.
  • When you have just redeemed a new map, it may take a few minutes to show up in the app. Close the app and wait for a short while before checking again.
  • If a download gets 'stuck', restarting the app will usually resolve it. Sometimes you may need to log out and back in to clear all downloads and tray again.

Go to Menu, 'My offline apps', then 'Paper maps' to see the list of maps redeemed against your account. Tap a map name to open the map and view it.

In the main menu navigate to 'My offline maps' and then to 'Paper maps'. Maps you have already downloaded will show a coloured bar and 'Map downloaded' under the name. Maps available to download will show with a grey bar and are marked as ‘Not available offline’.

On iOS only, under 'My offline maps' you can turn on ‘Show offline areas on map’. Return to map view and zoom out. Offline areas will show with a green highlight. Maps available to download (but not currently downloaded) will show as a grey highlight.

Yes. You can download your map to multiple devices, as long as you log into OS Maps using the same account details. Our terms state that each map should only be on one device at a time, so once it’s removed from one, you can download it to the next.

Maps you have purchased and redeemed the code for are stored against your account in the OS Shop. If you delete the map, change your phone or even switch between an Android device and an iOS one, you will still have access to your maps. In the OS Maps app please ensure you log in with the same username and account as you use on this site and the list of available maps will be shown under 'My Maps'

This means that you may want to add a map just for a trip or holiday and then delete it afterwards to save space, with the knowledge that you can download it again at any time.

No, the digital version you've downloaded will match the version of the paper map you bought.

The downloader system means the area will not match exactly. We have 'rounded up' so you may get slightly more than the extent of the paper map.

Check the OS shop website to see when we issued the latest version. It is listed under 'Specifications' in the product description and compare this to the publish date on your paper map that you got the code from.

Please check that you have entered the code correctly. The codes are all letters and are printed in upper case. If your code still does not work please contact customer services using the contact form at the bottom of this page.

The app uses the same login details as your OS Maps online account or OS Shop account. By using the same account in both the app and desktop we can help you keep track of your maps and automatically synchronise your saved and favourite routes.

Only maps with the 'Mobile Download' logo on the cover will have a code. Look for the silver scratch-off panel on the inside cover, and scratch this off to reveal your 12-letter code. If this is already scratched off it may already have been used - please return the map to the retailer for a new copy with an unused code, or contact customer services using the contact form at the bottom of this page.

Offline and Map Downloads

Subscribers to OS Maps can download mapping for any part of the country for offline use.

There are two methods

Method 1: download a map for a route

  • Go to Main Menu and 'Routes' under 'My Routes' to show your current list of saved or favourite routes. Underneath the route, you will see a links that says ‘Map available to download'. Tap this, then tap ‘Download Map’ on the route card.
  • A square section of map is downloaded that’s big enough to contain the entire route. It’s available even when not following the route, even if you are just browsing the area.

Top Tip: download a large area by creating a dummy route that extends from the top left corner to the bottom right corner of the area needed. You only need two points. It’s ideal for grabbing a large section of map when you have planned a number of walks in one area - but be careful of the file size.

Method 2: download a specific area

  • Navigate to 'Offline maps' in the main menu and then tap the 'Add a custom offline map' button. Find the area you want to download, and zoom in until the button changes to 'Download'. Your download will cover the area on screen, plus a margin in each direction, and in the current map scale. Tap the ‘Download’ button to start the download.
  • Name the download and tap save in the top right. You can continue to download additional sections to cover a larger area. as needed. Tap the 'cancel' button in the top left to cancel the download mode and return to normal mapping.
  • Downloaded maps will appear in 'Offline maps' under 'Custom offline maps' with the name you set. You can delete them when no longer required to save storage space.

The total size of downloaded maps you can have depends on your device and other apps installed. It’s recommended to delete any offline maps you aren’t using to improve the performance of the app.

In Menu 'My offline maps' and 'Custom offline maps', you can see a list of maps you have already downloaded.

On iOS only, under 'My offline maps' you can turn on ‘Show offline areas on map’. Return to map view and zoom out. Offline areas will show with a green highlight. Maps available to download (but not currently downloaded) will show as a grey highlight. Turn the function back off to revert to normal. (For Android only the list of downloads is available at the moment)

Navigate to 'Offline maps' then 'Custom offline maps' then choose the ‘Remove map’ option.

Not automatically. Delete the downloaded map and then download that area again. You will need a data connection to do this.

The most common reason for this is because you have logged out. As all downloads are linked to your OS Maps user account, they will be deleted if you choose to log out.

Your downloads may also be lost if your subscription expires, and your downloaded maps are subscriber-only map types. To avoid this, ensure you remain a paid subscriber.

You may also lose maps if you update the app and the new version is not compatible with your existing downloads, but this is rare. If you are planning to use the app offline, we suggest you check your downloaded maps list after running any updates.

Other Features

In the main menu, tap on the ‘Open AR viewer’ label and follow the onscreen instructions to setup AR. This will turn on the rear camera and the AR labels.

Hold the device up to the horizon, and labels will show the feature name and distance. Click on a text label to open a web page with information about that point. AR will work with no mobile phone signal but opening the information page will require a data connection.

To change what kind of features you see, use the options button in the bottom right to turn features on and off - a solid colour circle is on, a transparent circle is off.

Press and hold on the map at the point you wish to display the grid ref for. A map pin will be dropped with the Grid Reference and the option to plot a route from that point or share that location using any compatible messaging apps.

GB users will also get Northings and Eastings values.

Press and hold on the map at the point you wish to share. Select 'Share' and choose from your installed apps to share the location as a link. This link can be opened by anyone, even if they do not have OS Maps.

There are over 200,000 points in the AR database, which means we cannot show every point at once. There is currently a maximum distance of 10 miles (16km). The app will choose which points to display based on how far away they are and their 'priority' score to ensure the screen is not overcrowded. Generally, closer features and more important ones will be shown. You can filter by tapping the settings button and choosing which types of features you are interested in, which may make more distant features visible.

When you start AR for the first time you will be asked to set it up by downloading the set of points to your device. Until this is done you will not be able to use the AR feature. You will need a data connection to do this the first time, but after that AR mode will work offline.

You also need to hold the phone up to the horizon, as the motion sensor is aware of where the phone is pointing.

AR relies on two functions: GPS location and compass. Please ensure these are turned on and the app has permission to use them.

GPS location can take a few minutes to be accurate, especially if you have not used it in some time. Waiting with the app active will slowly give increased accuracy. If a GPS signal is not available, such as inside a building, AR may incorrectly estimate your location.

Your built-in compass needs regular calibrating in order to be accurate. In iOS Use the built-in compass calibration system by turning it on at Settings > Privacy >Location Services > System Services > Compass Calibration and then use the built-in compass app to trigger calibration.

In Android, you can download a compass calibration app, or with the AR mode open just wave the device around in a figure-eight for around 30 seconds to improve accuracy.

If the compass is inaccurate, features will not line up in AR view.

AR features will be disabled if you do not have a GPS chip, a compass (magnetometer) and motion sensor installed. Some Android devices, such as Motorola 'Moto' and Huawei P10 phones do not have a compass so cannot use AR features. Some Samsung models have camera systems that are incompatible with the AR viewer, so the AR function is disabled.

Please also check that you are a paid subscriber as Augmented Reality is a premium (paid) feature.

Technical Questions

The OS Maps mobile app is available on Apple iPhones and iPads running iOS 11 and higher and on Android devices using Android 5 and higher. It is not available on Microsoft devices or Amazon Kindle. You can also use the OS Maps browser version, using the same username and password on both mobile devices and computers with a recent web browser.

Please keep your Android and iOS devices updated to the latest versions to enjoy the best OS Maps experience. This will allow you to access the latest version of the OS Maps app and benefit from our continued improvements and app updates.

Viewing online maps, search, login, calculating route profiles, downloading maps and some other functions all require data, either Wi-Fi or over the phone network. Viewing a lot of map area or downloading maps can use quite a lot of data, so if you have a limited data plan, we recommend using Wi-Fi where possible.

Viewing maps uses the screen and mobile data (unless you are using offline maps), which will use the battery. Using GPS functions, including the find my location, route recording and route following features can also have a significant impact on battery life. We suggest turning these features off when you don’t need them.

Top tip: to maximise battery life, do not use the record or follow functions, as this requires the device to constantly update your location. Instead, show the route on screen, and check your position against the route manually. You may need to wait a few seconds after unlocking your device for the location to update.

To maximise battery life, use your device’s built-in power saving options by reducing the time to standby/sleep, turning down screen brightness, turning off WiFi and Bluetooth and using any other power saving features.

Offline maps download to where your device automatically saves content. This may be internal storage even when you have and SD card installed.

Security restrictions inside the Android and iOS operating system prevent most users from saving downloaded or saved maps on to an SD card. However, if your device has insufficient space there are two possible ways to resolve this.

1. Android: Use an app. Some apps allow data that cannot normally be transferred to be moved to SD card storage. Success will depend on your exact device model and the app available, so test your offline maps at home as you may need to download your maps again or re-install the app if it does not work as expected.

2. Use an SD card as your device’s internal memory. With Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) and later, you can set your device to use an SD card instead of the internal memory. This is most useful where you have relatively small internal memory, and have purchased a larger capacity, high performance SD card. Not all devices are capable of this, as it depends on the manufacturer, but some general instructions are available on HowToGeek.


We need access to various permissions:

  • Location access is required to show your position on the map, record routes, send you off-course alerts, and display the correct labels in AR mode. On some devices, you will need to allow location access 'At all times' to ensure your location is updated even if you open another app or turn your screen off.
  • Email to import and export routes as GPX files from your email. Disabling this will prevent you from creating routes from imported GPX files. Exporting GPX files is limited to subscribers only.
  • Camera for the AR functions including feature labelling and table surface AR (iOS). • Location settings are used to show your location on the map using the built-in GPS functions
  • Storage is used to save offline maps and routes.
  • Notifications are used to warn you when you are off a route you are following, or for other alerts from the app.
  • Storage is used to save offline maps and routes.
  • Contacts are used so you can use the 'route share function and send them to a contact by email, text or other messaging service.

These times are only estimations and will vary considerably depending on individual abilities, local conditions and weather.

We use your average speed for walking, running and cycling to calculate the estimated time. For walking, we also use Naismith's Rule, which adds 10 minutes for every 100 m of vertical ascent. There is no adjustment calculated for descents or difficult terrain.

You can change this in your ‘Preferences’ under 'Calculate Route Times', and then input any values you like.

Your settings for average speed are also shared with the desktop browser version of OS Maps, and any other devices using the same account.

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