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A seriously annoying Google Maps bug just got fixed — get the update now

Google Maps
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you rely on Google Maps and Android Auto to get around, you might have noticed the app has a habit of loading in dark mode — regardless of your phone’s actual settings. If that’s been getting on your nerves, you’re in luck, because a new update has fixed the issue.

As spotted by Autoevolution (opens in new tab), this fix was quietly released as part of Google Maps 11.35.1. The site also noted that an official thread, where users had been discussing the problem, has now been removed — suggesting Google knows the problem is gone.

The change means that Google Maps and Android Auto won’t be ignoring your phone's settings, and forcing you to drive off with a dark map screen. Now, the only time you’ll be in that situation is if you decide you want to be. 

It’s understandable why dark mode might not be to your taste. A darker version of the map is very useful at night, when a glaring white screen is going to be a distraction, but not so great during the day. It can be more difficult to read the map,  and the last thing you should be doing while driving is staring at your car’s screen instead of the road ahead.

If you've been struggling with this problem, you need to head over to Google Play (opens in new tab) and install the latest Google Maps update. If it’s not available, you’ll just have to wait a few more days for it to roll out some more.

If you’re still struggling with the wrong screen design in Google Maps, you’ll need to dive into the app’s settings. From the settings menu head to Navigation settings, and scroll down until you see the Map Display section.

google maps mode change

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Color Scheme option gives you three choices: Automatic, Day and Night. Automatic changes between light and dark mode based as you turn your car’s headlights on and off — so you always have the right mode for the conditions. 

Selecting Day or Night locks you into a single theme, and with this new update should stay that way until you head back into the settings to change it.

google maps mode change

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Note that this only changes the lighting mode when you’re navigating. The general map color settings are in the Theme section of the main settings menu. Here you have the option to set Maps to light mode, dark mode, or whatever mode your phone is set to. 

Tom is the Tom's Guide's Automotive Editor, which means he can usually be found knee deep in stats the latest and best electric cars, or checking out some sort of driving gadget. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining that Ikea won’t let him buy the stuff he really needs online.