A Comprehensive Guide on How to Drop Pins in Google Maps

Dropping pins on your Google Maps is an easy way to save important locations or share spots with friends. The iconic red teardrop pin has become a core part of the Google Maps experience on both desktop and mobile.

In this expert guide, you’ll learn all about pins in Google Maps, from a brief history of how the feature developed to step-by-step instructions for dropping pins on desktop and mobile. You’ll also discover different ways to fully utilize pins once they’ve been placed.

The Evolution of Pins in Google Maps

Google Maps first launched in 2005 as an web mapping service that users could view on their desktop browsers. It revolutionized online maps by introducing features like draggable pan and zoom.

The following year in 2006, Google added the ability for users to drop map pins. This allowed people to mark specific locations on the map and get directions, local information, or share saved places.

Over the next decade, Google Maps expanded to mobile apps and added more options for customizing and utilizing pins:

  • 2009 – Pin categories like “Favorites” were introduced
  • 2012 – Users could now drag and drop pins for precise placement
  • 2014 – Pin labels were launched to name locations
  • 2016 – Lists allowed users to organize multiple saved pins

Today, over 1 billion people use Google Maps each month. The humble map pin remains a key feature for saving, finding, and sharing locations across Google products and services.

What is a Pin in Google Maps?

A pin (also called a marker or map pin) in Google Maps is a visual icon that marks a specific location on the map interface. It’s shaped like a red teardrop with a pointed tip at the location its marking.

Pins serve several key purposes in Google Maps:

  • Save a location – Dropping a pin lets you easily save places like your home, work, or other favorite spots to access later.
  • Get directions – Pins provide an endpoint for the Google Maps direction feature.
  • Share locations – You can send pins to contacts or retrieve public pins others have shared.
  • Create custom maps and lists – Multiple pins can be used to plot locations that tell a story or plan a trip.

Now let’s look at how to easily drop Google map pins yourself.

How to Drop Pins in Google Maps on Mobile

Thanks to Google Maps apps for iOS and Android, it only takes a few taps to drop a pin from your smartphone.

On iPhone and iPad

Follow these instructions to drop a pin in the Google Maps app on any iPhone or iPad:

  1. Open the Google Maps app
  2. Navigate to the location you want to pin by panning/zooming or entering a search term
  3. Press and hold your finger on the exact spot for 1-2 seconds
  4. A small window will popup showing the dropped pin and coordinates
  5. Tap on the pin window to open options:
  • Get directions to or from this location
  • Add a custom label that names the location
  • Save it to a pin list like Favorites or Want to Go
  • Share the pin via text, email, or other apps

On Android Phones and Tablets

The process is very similar for dropping a Google Maps pin on Android:

  1. Open the Google Maps app
  2. Find the location where you want to add a pin
  3. Long press on the spot for 1-2 seconds
  4. A small window will show the dropped pin and address details
  5. Tap the window to open options like:
  • Get directions
  • Add a label
  • Save the pin
  • Share the pin with contacts

Watch this 1-minute video to see the pin-dropping process on Android and iOS:

[Embed video walkthrough of dropping pins on mobile]

As you can see, placing pins in the Google Maps app takes seconds. But what if you want to drop one from the desktop?

How to Drop Pins in Google Maps on Desktop

You can drop pins on the Google Maps website accessed from any internet browser on your Windows PC, Mac, Chromebook or Linux computer.

Here are the steps:

  1. Go to https://www.google.com/maps
  2. Search for a location or navigate the map to an area
  3. Hover over a specific spot and left-click once
  4. A small gray pin icon will appear with a card below it
  5. Click the card to open sidebar options like:
  • Get directions
  • Save to a map
  • Send to your phone
  • Embed map
  • Share

Customizing Desktop Pins

From the desktop, you have additional options for customizing placed pins:

  • Add label – Name locations for easy identification
  • Change icon – Select a custom map marker icon
  • Change color – Make pins easier to differentiate

So whether you’re on mobile or desktop, putting a pin on any Google Map is quick and straightforward. But what can you actually do with placed pins?

Using Dropped Pins in Google Maps

The real power of map pins comes after you’ve placed them. Here are some of the top ways to utilize pins you’ve added:

Get Directions Using Pins

One of the most common uses for Google Maps pins getting directions. You can use any saved pins as either the start or end point when planning a route.

For example, get exact directions from your dropped home pin to the saved pin of a restaurant across town. This provides an endpoint for Google Maps to give door-to-door directions by car, public transport, foot, or other method.

Organize Pins into Custom Lists and Maps

Your placed pins are automatically saved to your Google Account. You can access them at https://www.google.com/maps/yourplaces to view, organize, or create custom lists.

For example, you might make a map of your city’s best coffee shops by dropping a pin at each location. Or create a “Places to Visit” list by saving pins of attractions from around the world.

Get creative by making public pins, maps, and lists to share with friends and family. You can all collaborate by adding pins to crowd-sourced maps.

Label Your Dropped Pins

Adding a text label to any pin makes it easier to identify later. You’ll be able to quickly discern which pins on busy maps are for your home or office.

Labels can also describe locations for public pins. For example, label a pin “Eiffel Tower” for people who access a map you shared.

Share Saved Pins

Share dropped pins from the Google Maps apps via text or email. Include pinned locations in messaging conversations to help people meet you places.

If accessing Google Maps on desktop, retrieve the map embed code or link to add shared pins to blogs, websites, or social media posts. Enable public collaborators to add pins to openly editable maps.

Customizing Your Google Map Pins

Make your saved pins more meaningful by customizing how they appear on the map. Here are some top pin personalization options:

  • Change default color – Alter your main pin color via Google account settings
  • Set custom icons – Upload images to represent special pins
  • Add emoji labels – Use emojis to label pins
  • Animate drops – Enable pin drop animations in settings

These options help differentiate the purpose behind certain pins at a quick glance. Know that custom icons and labels will appear to anyone accessing shared map links.

Key Takeaways

Dropping pins in Google Maps takes seconds but provides plenty of utility through saved and shared locations. Key highlights include:

  • Map pins visually bookmark locations
  • Easily place pins on mobile apps or desktop site
  • Retrieve directions using pinned spots
  • Organize pins into named lists and maps
  • Share saves places by sending pins
  • Customize pins with labels, colors and icons

So tap, click, or drag to start dropping pins across your Google Maps. Just be careful not to poke yourself!

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have some questions around placing and managing map pins? Here are answers to some commonly asked questions.

How do I remove dropped pins?

On mobile, tap the 3 dot menu on a pin window then select “Delete pin”. On desktop, right-click a placed pin and choose delete. You can also visit https://www.google.com/maps/yourplaces to delete saved pins.

Can I access pins without an internet connection?

Yes, enable offline maps from the app settings first. Then reopen Maps with no internet connectivity. You’ll be able to view any previously loaded pins and labels.

Is there a limit to how many pins I can drop?

There is no official limit, but excessive pins will clutter maps visually. For hundreds of pins, organize them into properly zoomable layers for usability.

How do I edit or modify my pinned locations?

On desktop site, right click any placed pin and choose “Edit location” to amend the details. Use https://www.google.com/maps/yourplaces to batch edit multiple saved pins at once.

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