Waze Handsfree, Voice Commands, Bookmarks and Offline Maps Explained

Written by Darren Wall

If you’re new to Waze the GPS navigation app, you will have realized that it’s no ordinary Google Maps or Apple Maps style software. It is in fact, an app with all the features of Google’s product but with some added social elements. And these social features enable you to contribute to a live traffic updating system in your area. As well as send and receive alerts about accidents, traffic conditions, and where to get the cheapest fuel and more!

So, if you’re new to the app or just have some unanswered questions, today I am going to answer some of the most common. However, this how-to guide is based solely on the Android version of the app.

How to Use Waze Hands-free

Depending on where you live in the World there’s a chance that physically holding your smartphone while driving is highly illegal, not to mention dangerous. Fortunately, the apps developers have incorporated a hands-free option, and if you know how it’s easy to use. Here’s what you have to do to activate it:

Waze handsfree how to 1

1. When on the map view look to the bottom-left corner of the screen and tap Search icon. Doing so will take you to a page with your profile image and some other options listed below.

2. Next in the top-right corner you will find a typicaly designed Settings icon tap it and scroll down to the Advanced settings.


Waze handsfree how to 2

3. Once there look for and tap Sound & Voice, in the following window select Voice Commands followed by enable.

4. Finally, tap the Activation option and decide if this option should be activated (whilst on the road) with one, two, or three fingers.

It’s worth mentioning, that if you follow the above instructions in reverse, you can also switch off voice commands/hands-free within the app.

How to Leave a Bookmark on the Current Location

If you want to add your most visited destinations or somewhere new as a bookmark/favorite within Waze, there are a few methods to do so. However, I am going to show you the quickest approach:

Waze how to bookmark 1

1. Tap the Search icon found in the bottom-left of the map screen and then enter a destination into the Search destination bar. Assuming that you have both GPS and a data connection turned on, Waze will now search for and show you a selection of results. You can now go ahead and select the relevant result.

Waze how to bookmark 2

2. On completing the above, Waze will reveal the location on a map and some details below it. There the name of your destination will be emboldened, look to the left. There you will find a small star with the word Favourite next to it, tap it. You will now be prompted to enter a name for your bookmark/favorite do so in the space provided.

3. And that is it; you now know how to save a bookmark/favorite for later reference. One last tip worthy of noting is if you want to find your bookmarks/favorites tap the Search icon in the map view and scroll down the following screen.

How to Send Your Current Location to a Friend

Remember when I said Waze has some social elements? During the registration process, you will be given the choice of signing up via Facebook, Twitter, or manually. When this is complete, all of your friends who use the app will become visible to you (unless they have set their privacy settings to prevent it) and you will be able to send them details of your location.

I should point out that you will also be able to send location information to any mobile number you have. This can be via your handset’s contacts or by manual input.

Here’s what you need to:

1. Starting from the map screen tap the Search icon in the bottom-left corner of the screen.

Waze how to send location

2. Next look for the three vertically aligned dots and tap the. They should be visible to the right-hand side of the menu beneath the search bar.

3. On the following screen tap the Red Send Location icon and then Choose a friend from the list. Or alternatively send as a message, or as an email.

How to Download a Waze Offline Map

Unfortunately, the developers of this app have not incorporated a way in which standard functionality can be used when offline. However, any route that you have stored in the app will remain in its cache until turned off. Fortunately, this means that you can still view the directions, but without any traffic, map, or road condition updates.

Here is what you have to do, to take advantage of this:

1. Connect your device to the internet and make sure location settings are switched on.

Waze offline map 1

2. Next in the Location search bar enter the name of your destination.

3. When the route has been set, go to the main menu and tap the settings icon in the top-left corner.

4. In the next window scroll down to Advanced Settings and then tap on Display & Map. Followed by scrolling down to and tapping on Data Transfer and then finally selecting Download traffic info.

How to Recover Your Waze Account

In a world full of modern devices you can be forgiven for forgetting the odd password or username, we’ve all done it. Now depending on how you signed up to the app, recovery could be simple or near impossible. So to start with I am going to assume you have lost your username or password, here’s what you have to do:

1. To start with pay as visit to this Password Reset page and enter the email you signed up with.

2. Now, wait for an email to arrive with instructions on how to reset your password.

Waze account recovery

3. Once you have it, open the Waze app and tap on the Settings icon in the top-left corner. And then scroll down until you find Account & Login which you should tap. You should now be able to enter your existing username and a new password.

If you have not received a reset email, it’s possible you did not enter an email address when signing up. This is possible because the app does allow registration via social media. To prevent future issues you can add one to your account now using step 3 above.

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Darren Wall
Darren hails from the UK, is a lover of all things mobile technology and likes to write about it all of the time. He's been writing for his own mobile tech blog and various others for over 13-years and cannot foresee a day in which he will become tired of doing so.

About the author

Darren Wall

Darren hails from the UK, is a lover of all things mobile technology and likes to write about it all of the time. He's been writing for his own mobile tech blog and various others for over 13-years and cannot foresee a day in which he will become tired of doing so.


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