How to change the default direction type in the Maps app for iOS

How to change the default direction type in the Maps app for iOS

By default, the Maps app in iOS always gives you driving directions. For people that live in larger cities, sometimes walking directions are more convenient and what you actually use most often. Instead of having to choose walking directions each and every time, just tell Maps to load them by default. Here's how:

  1. Launch the Settings app from the Home screen of your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Scroll down and tap on Maps.
  3. Once again, scroll down and towards the bottom under the Preferred Directions section, tap on Walking.

That's all there is to it. Maps will now default to providing walking directions instead of driving until you decide to change it. I'm not sure why Maps doesn't let you default to public transit directions but hopefully this is something they'll add in a future update. It's certainly odd that it's just left out for no apparent reason.

Allyson Kazmucha

Editor for iMore, Potter pundit, and the ninja in your iOS

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There are 19 comments. Add yours.

chaoticbuddhist says:

Ally,
Do you know of a way to exclude highways like Google Maps does?
I live in North Seattle and it's actually faster most of the times to avoid the highway and use back roads and side streets, yet Apple Maps seems convinced I need to spend an hour on I-5 rather than 20 minutes in town.

tito#IM says:

+1
I don't know of any way to exclude highways, tolls, ferries either. That is why I use Waze or Google Maps. I can't imagine this is a big enhancement. It is a feature on my 10+ year old Garmin GPS. Very frustrating that it has been ignored for so long.

kataran says:

Great tip for anyone that uses Walking directions more often. I have a friend who will benefit from this

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jadesimian says:

I used Apple Maps once to help a friend find a restaurant in Waikiki. It brought us to a spot a couple blocks away from where the restaurant was. Switched back to Google Maps since then, since I usually use the bus anyway. I wonder how much Apple Maps has improved since.

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Edward Wendorf says:

Love how the Maps app switches to walking directions after you exit your car. Could be convenient when traveling or taking public transportation to get to your final destination.

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kdh0324 says:

Use this a lot when getting around downtown. Thanks for the tip!

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kdh0324 says:

Use this a lot when getting around downtown. Thanks for the tip!

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Rolandh says:

I'd love a way to be able to select alternative routes in Apple Maps instead of only being given one route to a destination. When there is three routes to the same place, Apple Maps says there is only one way only.

Lt_Solorna says:

Well, that was easy! Thanks Ally, for this tip.

zeroneon says:

I have used both google maps and apple maps and I prefer apple maps, I always get better directions with it.

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jbscoelho says:

How the hell did i missed that option!?
Thanks for pointing it out! Lol!

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marchie_78 says:

Is anyone using maps as their go to? I've been untrusting of it since it's launch and have used google
Maps instead. Just wondering if apple had fixed their issues.

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Danceclimber says:

It's good to know that this option is available, although I think this should be a setting in the Maps app itself. Some people might alternate between walking and driving. Needing to go to the iPhone Settings app each time to chance could be cumbersome.

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Danceclimber says:

I also agree with a previous post that it's disappointing that Apple Maps does not support excluding freeways like Google Maps & Waze.

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leemwoo says:

Google maps is still better than Maps. Period. Much more established mapping of the world.

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ReVu30 says:

I like Google Maps a whole lot more, Apple Maps still needs some work. They really need to consider reintegrating Google Maps into iOS.

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zather says:

I was using google maps for that. Thanks guys for pointing it out and it's finally time to delete google maps app from my iPhone ;)

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zather says:

I was using google maps for that. Thanks guys for pointing it out and it's finally time to delete google maps app from my iPhone ;)

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DYLANHABKIRK says:

I like the option to set a default, but would rather not have to go with the extra effort when I decide to walk somewhere instead of driving.

It would be better to choose at the initial location input for method of transportation.

I know it means a few extra seconds, but it's definitely quicker than going to settings, changing it, and then having to change it back again after. IMO

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