How do I stop my Maps from talking?

Google Maps provides turn-by-turn navigation and voice guidance to help users get to their destination. According to a 2023 Statista survey, 37% of respondents aged 18-29 reported using their phone for maps and GPS navigation [1]. With voice-guided navigation, Google Maps will speak up audibly to announce directions, street names, and when to turn. This can be extremely helpful when driving or walking to an unfamiliar location.

While voice guidance is useful for many, some users may find it distracting, annoying or unnecessary in certain situations. Luckily, Google Maps provides options to temporarily or permanently mute voice guidance.

Understanding Voice Navigation

Voice navigation, also known as voice guidance or turn-by-turn navigation, provides spoken directions as you travel so you can keep your eyes on the road. With voice navigation enabled on Google Maps, your phone will speak the street names and directions aloud through your phone’s speaker or car stereo using a synthesized voice. The key benefits of voice navigation include:

Increased safety – Voice commands allow drivers to navigate without looking away from the road to read a map or screen. This helps reduce driver distraction for safer driving.

Hands-free convenience – Following spoken directions allows for hands-free operation while driving without needing to hold and interact with your phone.

Precision instructions – Voice navigation provides very precise turn-by-turn directions, often calling out individual street names, distances, and upcoming maneuvers.

Multi-tasking – Having your route spoken aloud makes it easier to focus on driving while still following your planned directions.

Accessibility – Voice navigation assists those with visual impairments and allows route following without needing to look at a map.

According to this article, voice navigation maps provide smart features for safe driving by allowing drivers to navigate well without losing their way.

When Voice Navigation Can Be Disruptive

While voice navigation can be helpful in many situations, there are times when having your map speak directions aloud can be disruptive or unwanted:

  • In quiet areas like libraries, church, or theaters, the audible directions can disturb others around you.
  • When you’re in a meeting or classroom, the voice could divert attention.
  • If you’re driving with sleeping passengers, voice navigation could wake them.
  • Some find the voice distracting or irritating when trying to focus on other tasks.
  • Speaking navigation directions may not be appropriate in some social situations where you want to be discreet.

The voice is designed to be helpful for turn-by-turn guidance, but it doesn’t always account for your current environment or circumstances. There are times you may want to silence Google Maps to avoid disrupting yourself or others around you.

Muting Voice Navigation Temporarily

If you only need to mute Google Maps voice navigation for a short time, there are a couple quick and easy ways to do it temporarily on both Android and iPhone devices:

  • Press the volume down button on your device during navigation to mute the voice.
  • Tap the speaker icon in the bottom left corner of the Maps screen to toggle voice guidance on or off.

The speaker icon will have a slash through it when muted. Tap it again to turn voice back on. This provides a convenient way to quickly mute the voice as needed without fully disabling navigation voice (source).

So if you only need a temporary break from the voice cues, use the volume buttons or speaker icon to mute and unmute as desired during your trip. Just bear in mind it will turn voice back on for the next navigation session.

Disabling Voice Navigation Completely

If you want to disable voice navigation in Google Maps completely, so the app never provides voice guidance for turn-by-turn directions, this can be done through the settings.

To fully disable voice navigation:

  1. Open the Google Maps app on your device.
  2. Tap on your profile icon in the top right corner of the screen.
  3. In the menu that opens, select “Settings”.
  4. In Settings, select “Navigation settings”.
  5. Under “Voice guidance”, toggle the switch off next to “Get voice guidance”.

With voice guidance disabled here, you will no longer receive vocal instructions as you navigate with Google Maps. The app will provide silent, visual turn-by-turn directions only.

This setting will make voice guidance permanently disabled, so you won’t have to mute it for each new trip. It’s a good option if you never want vocal navigation commands.

Using Silent Street Names

One way to stop Google Maps from speaking street names aloud during navigation is to enable the ‘Silent Street Names’ option. This setting mutes only the speaking of street names, while still providing turn-by-turn voice guidance.

To enable Silent Street Names in the Google Maps app:

  • Open the side menu and tap on ‘Settings’.
  • Under ‘Navigation settings’, tap on ‘Voice selection’.
  • Toggle on the switch next to ‘Silent street names’.

With this enabled, Google Maps will provide voice navigation for turns, directions, and alerts, but will not speak the name of each street aloud. This allows you to maintain voice guidance for navigation, while eliminating the vocalization of street names that some users find repetitive or excessive.

Per a Google Maps community thread, this setting is useful for those who want turn-by-turn navigation assistance without the constant speaking of street names. It reduces verbal cues to just the essential guidance needed.

Trying Alternative Navigation Apps

If you want to keep using voice navigation but don’t like the voice in Google Maps, one option is to try alternative navigation apps like Waze or Apple Maps. These apps allow you to mute or lower the voice guidance volume if desired.

Waze in particular lets you select between different voice options, including celebrity voices. So you can choose a voice personality you find less distracting. Waze also allows you to adjust the voice guidance volume separately from your device’s main volume.

The advantage of using a separate navigation app is you can keep Google Maps for features like finding places and getting traffic information, while routing your actual turn-by-turn navigation through an app with more customizable voice options.

Using Google Maps Without Navigation

Even if you want to fully disable voice navigation, you can still take advantage of Google Maps for directions. The app provides a couple options to see step-by-step directions during your trip without having to listen to spoken instructions:

Text Directions

While navigating in Google Maps, tap on the directions list icon in the upper right corner. This will open up a text list of each direction in your route. As you drive, the app will automatically scroll through and highlight each step. So you can keep your eyes on the road while still following along the text directions.

Arrow Navigation

Maps also provides a simple arrow that points your next move while navigating. You’ll see the arrow laid over the map itself, along with an estimated time of arrival. This minimal navigation method points you in the right direction without any detailed instructions.

So if voice navigation is distracting for you, take advantage of these alternative options within Google Maps for a quieter directions experience.

Additional Accessibility Settings

In addition to muting the voice navigation, Google Maps offers other accessibility settings that can improve the app experience for users with disabilities or other needs.

One useful setting is Live Transcribe, which provides real-time speech-to-text transcription for voice guidance and other audio in the app. This can aid hearing impaired users or those in loud environments. To enable it, go to Settings > Accessibility > Live Transcribe.

Google Maps also allows adjusting the speed of voice guidance, which can help users process directions more easily. Go to Settings > Navigation > Voice Guidance Speed to customize it.

Under Accessibility Settings, there is an option to Follow System Caption Settings, which will turn on closed captioning for voice guidance based on your device’s caption preferences. There is also a Text-to-Speech section with options like language, speech rate, and pitch.

Finally, Maps has a prominent Accessible Places setting that highlights wheelchair accessible locations in search results and provides more detailed accessibility information. Turn this on in Accessibility Settings to take advantage of it.

Exploring these additional audio and accessibility options can help you customize Google Maps to best suit your needs.


When navigating with any app, you may encounter situations where having voice navigation speaking aloud is disruptive or unnecessary. Thankfully, Google Maps and other navigation apps provide multiple ways to control the voice guidance feature.

As we covered, you can mute Google Maps voice temporarily by tapping the volume icon in navigation mode. This lets you quiet the voice quickly if needed. But for a more permanent setting, you can disable voice navigation entirely in the Google Maps settings menu.

If you still want street names spoken but not full navigation instructions, enabling the “Silent street names” option mutes guidance but retains street announcements. Alternative navigation apps like Waze also give you more voices and settings to customize your experience.

And of course, you can always search for directions in Google Maps without turning on full voice navigation. The app will show you the route on the map without any disruptive voice guidance.

Overall, Google Maps and similar apps aim to provide a navigation experience tailored to your needs and preferences. Take some time to explore the different settings and options at your disposal to make voice navigation work best for you.

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