How to Go Back in Time on Google Maps

This feature only goes back to 2007, but it works on desktop and mobile

artisteer / iStock / Getty Images Plus
artisteer / iStock / Getty Images Plus

What to Know

  • Web: Search for a location or drop a pin > photo > See more dates > scroll through dates and click one.

  • Mobile: Search for location or drop pin > Street View preview > tap screen > See more dates > tap one to view.

  • You can only go back to 2007 when this feature was first introduced.

The Street View feature in Google Maps lets you see what a place looks like from the street before you go there. But check this out: Google Maps has a historical view that lets you see every photo of a given location! Here's how to try this somewhat-hidden feature on a mobile device or from the web.

How to Go Back in Time with Google Maps on iOS and Android

Follow these steps to go back in time with Google Maps on iPhone and iPad. While the screenshots below are from an iPhone, the steps are the same in Google Maps for Android.

In the Google Maps app, search for an address or tap and hold to drop a pin on the location you want to view.

Tap the Street View preview window.

Tap the center of the image.

In the small tab at the bottom, tap See More dates.

Swipe back and forth to see the available photos of that location. Tap the photo you want to view.

When you do that, you can access all Street View options from that time. That means you can swipe around for a 360-degree view and use the arrows to move up and down streets.

How to Use Google Maps Historical View on the Web

Whether you use a Mac or Windows, follow these steps to use the Google Maps historical view on a computer:

On the Google Maps website, search for a location or click to drop a pin.

Click the photo of the location.

Click See more dates.

Scroll back and forth through the available dates and photos for the location. Click the historical photo you want to view. When you do this, just like on a smartphone, you can use all Street View features, including a 360-degree view or clicking the arrows to move up and down the street.

To return from the past to the most recent photo of the location, click See latest date in the box from step 3.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I measure distance on Google Maps?

Directions give you the distance you'll travel along a route (i.e., road miles), but you can also get straight-line distances. In the app, tap and hold a spot on the map, and then select Measure distance under the Overview tab. Drag the map to put the other end of a straight line on the second point; the distance will appear in the lower-left corner (you can add multiple points. On the web, right-click a point and select Measure distance, and then click a second point to find the distance between them.

How do I drop a pin on Google Maps?

You can tap or click anywhere on Google Maps to place a pin, but it won't stay around if you click somewhere else. To save a location in the app, select Save after you've tapped. In a browser, click Save on the left side of the screen. You can see your list of saved locations in the Saved tab (mobile) or on the left side of the screen (website).