If you’ve been seeing an annoying issue with the Maps app in Windows 10 not showing roads on your Surface Book, I have a solution for you. Basically, when you zoom in using the Maps app, it looks like this:
But, it should look like this:
While hardly a system-breaking issue, it can make it difficult to use the Maps app to actually figure out where you’re going because you can only see the street names and not the actual roads and intersections.
Maps App Missing Roads on Surface Book: Why it Happens and How to Fix it
It turns out that there’s a known issue with Intel processors and NVIDIA graphics adapters (like the one in some Surface Books) and Microsoft will eventually fix it with an update to the video drivers or Maps app.
Fortunately, in the meantime, there’s a quick and easy way to fix the problem at the cost of a little battery efficiency. here’s how to do it:
- Close the Maps app.
- Search for “NVIDIA” to bring up the NVIDIA Control Panel.
- In the NVIDIA Control Panel Window, select Manage 3D Settings.
- Change the Preferred Graphics Processor to High-performance NVIDIA processor then select Apply.
That’s it. When you launch the maps app, it should draw the streets as you would expect.
There are a couple of minor downsides to this workaround:
- Since it’s using the dGPU all the time, your battery life might be slightly shorter.
- The workaround will stop working if you detach the Clipboard portion of the Surface Book because the NVIDIA dGPU is in the keyboard section. It will start working again when reattached.
Of course, you could just use Google Maps but that assumes you always have a network connection. The Maps app in Windows 10 (formerly HERE Maps from Nokia) gives you the option to download offline maps. As you might imagine, this could be really handy on road trips where you’re away from WiFi while on the highway.
If you’re not big on setting the NVIDIA dGPU to be the default and you’re computer savvy, you could choose the Program Settings tab in the NVIDIA Control Panel and set only the Windows Maps app to use the dGPU.
You’ll find the executable in C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\Microsoft.WindowsMaps_4.1511.3161.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe (just be aware that this folder name could change depending on the version installed on your Surface).
In addition, you’ll probably get some prompts indicating that you need to change security permissions on the C:\Program Files\WindowsApps folder. Since this is a folder the system has locked down, you don’t want to mess with it unless you know what you’re doing. So, if you need more information on how to do it than the path to the executable, don’t try it.
So, if you’ve been annoyed by this issue, I hope you find this workaround helpful.
Tim Rolston is a professional geek with over 23 years of experience working in Information Technology and dealing with everything from large-scale storage to remote systems management and automation for organizations such as Texas Instruments, Mobil Oil, and the University of Michigan (where he was an Academic IT Director).
He co-founded JTRTech along with Joanna to realize his long-time dream of working for himself.