Google Maps provides useful location labels by default to help users navigate and find places easily. However, sometimes these labels can feel cluttered and distracting, especially if you just want a clean map view. Fortunately, Google Maps offers options to disable or hide these location labels on both desktop and mobile.
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Why You Might Want to Remove Map Labels
Here are some common reasons you may want to remove labels from Google Maps:
- The map feels cluttered and hard to read with so many place names and markers
- You want a clean view to plan routes or view geography clearly
- The labels are highlighting businesses you don’t care about or find irrelevant
- You want to take a screenshot of a map to use for other purposes without text
How to Temporarily Disable All Map Labels
The easiest way to quickly remove labels from Google Maps is to temporarily disable them:
- Open Google Maps in your browser
- Click on the Layers button on the top left
- Select More to open detailed map options
- Uncheck the box next to Labels to toggle labels off
All location labels will be disabled, leaving a clean map view. You can toggle labels back on at any time by re-checking the Labels option.
Note: This disables ALL labels, including street names and city labels.
- Open the Google Maps app
- Tap the layers button in the top right corner
- Choose Map details
- Uncheck the Labels option to remove them
Note: You may need to first change the map type to “Satellite” for the Labels option to be changeable.
Hiding Specific Map Labels
If you only want to remove certain personal map labels you’ve added without disabling all labels, you can do so by:
- Open Google Maps in your browser and click Your places > Labeled to see your custom labels
- Click the X icon next to any label to delete it from the map
- Open the Google Maps app and tap Saved
- Select Labeled to see your added labels
- Tap the 3-dot menu next to a label and choose Remove to delete it
This will declutter your labeled places without removing all map text.
Using Google Map Styling for Customization
For more advanced customization of Google Maps, you can use the Google Maps Styling Wizard. This allows you to customize:
- Label visibility and density
- Road visibility
- Area shading
- Point of interest icons
- Color schemes
- And much more
To remove labels with the Styling Wizard:
- Go to mapstyle.withgoogle.com
- Adjust the Labels visibility slider to your preference
- Adjust label density with the Landmark Labels slider
- Click Finish then Publish to save and apply your custom map style
Now when viewing Google Maps, you’ll see your customized style with reduced labels applied!
Viewing Maps in Incognito Mode
One last option: open Google Maps in an incognito or private browser window. This will prevent any custom labels you’ve added from appearing on the map.
Downside is you’ll have to remain in incognito mode to keep labels hidden. But this allows you to temporarily view a clean map without labels.
While Google Maps labels are useful, they can sometimes overwhelm the map. Thankfully you can easily toggle them off for a clean view, delete custom labels, apply custom styles, or use incognito browsing to remove distractions when needed. Test different options to find your ideal Google Maps label visibility.