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This page is helpful but needs a lot of updating. You can help, or you can wait, because it's going to be dealt with soon.
This Help file describes the waze touch screen version. There may be slight differences between the versions for different phones, but most features will look and work the same.
This Help file describes the waze touch screen version. There may be slight differences between the versions for different phones, but most features will look and work the same.
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** '''Anonymous''': your reports are sent anonymously, no information identifying their sender is displayed
** '''Anonymous''': your reports are sent anonymously, no information identifying their sender is displayed
* '''About''' - this displays information about the waze program, including which version you're currently running.
* '''About''' - this displays information about the waze program, including which version you're currently running.
==Driving with Waze==
===Speed Cameras===
Voice alerts are only given if you are speeding when approaching a speed camera

Revision as of 05:34, 1 October 2010


This page is helpful but needs a lot of updating. You can help, or you can wait, because it's going to be dealt with soon.

This Help file describes the waze touch screen version. There may be slight differences between the versions for different phones, but most features will look and work the same.

Starting waze and creating an account

To open the program – press the waze icon on the phone desktop. If you are a new user, you will get a welcome message and a request to accept waze's terms of use. Click the Accept button to continue to use waze, or the Decline button to exit the program. If you have accepted the terms of use, you will next get a form to create your account.
You are asked to provide a username and password, an email address, and optionally to choose a waze nickname, which is used to identify you on the map and in reports you send, should you choose to be identified. (You define how far you want to be identified in your Profile – see the Settings section).

Create account.jpg
  • Tap the first line of the form (Username). A virtual keyboard display will come up.
  • Enter the username you'd like. Then tap the Next button to be prompted for the next line of the form (password).
  • After you have proceeded to fill in all the form in this way, waze will display the filled-in form (your password will be displayed as five stars no matter how long it actually is).
  • If the information is the way you want it, tap Create to create your account. If not, tap the line you want to change.

After creating your account you will be asked to sign in. You only have to do this once: your phone will thereafter be logged in automatically. You will only have to log in again if:

  • The required user name is already taken.
  • You are using the user name and password you created on a different phone, and you made a mistake when logging in. Then you'll get a "wrong login" message and will be returned to the screen displaying your username (and hidden password) so that you can change them as necessary. (Note: to change your username you should first log in to the site and change it there, then update your phone).
  • Someone else using another phone is logged in to your account. In this case you will not get an error message; your internet connection will keep going on and off. (We suggest you avoid giving your login details to friends – they can create their own accounts.)

Once you have an account that you've previously logged in to, starting waze will bring you directly to the main screen. To save battery consumption, it's a good idea to close waze when you leave your car and to minimize it or shut off the display whenever you don't need it.

Overview: What do you See?


The Waze screen has the following main sections:

  • A top status bar
    Top status bar.png
  • the main screen where the map is displayed
  • Map Controls with 2 icons: zoom in / out buttons Rm zoomin.pngRm zoomout.png, a compass North.png and a map edit icon Update map button.png
  • Text buttons at the bottom of the screen for the four main waze functions:
    • Me on Map (displays where you are right now). On some versions, you will see only a bulls-eye icon Bullseye.jpg with no text
    • Drive to (choose a location to start a route - enter address, search local businesses with Google or access your favorites and marked locations)
    • Live info (view live reports of events in your area). The number in parentheses represents the number of events in your area right now.
    • Report (enter your own reports and events)

Initially the main screen displays "me on map" - a map showing your location and an icon for your car on it. Blue car.jpg You can only see the map if you have full GPS connectivity. If you're in an area where GPS reception is partial, you will see a map with a big cursor displaying your approximate location (based on cell ID).
If you don’t have any GPS reception at all, a map of your last known location will be displayed with no identifier of your current location.

The Main Screen

By default, the main screen displays the map of your area with your current location on it. You can change the map display in several ways:

  • Drag the screen to move the map in the direction you drag it (you can also move the map using your phone's wheel/trackball/arrow buttons).
  • Tap the screen (one short tap) to open the sidebar menu (described below) – allowing you to zoom in and out and to mark a location
  • Tap and hold (a long tap) on a road or highway to highlight it and display a few options for interacting with it:

long tap
    • Set as departure - use this location as the departure point for your route. If you haven't chosen this option and you request a route, your current location will be used as the departure point.
    • Set as destination – this location is the destination point of your route. If you choose this option, you won't need to enter an address for your destination when requesting a route.
    • Properties - lets you view more information about the road you've selected, such as its length, average speed, average time to drive it, the type of road (e.g. highway, city street), and its name and the name of the city it's in.
  • You can return to the default display of your current location at any time by hitting the “x” and closing this menu.

The Map Controls

The Map Controls give you easy access to the functions you use most while you're driving. By default, the map controls are displayed on the map. You can change the setting so only a tap on the map will bring them up

To change the display of the map controls (always display / display on tap only), go to settings >> general and change the 'display map option'. </br>

The Compass Icon - lets you toggle between two possible map displays:

  • The default display: the compass arrow swings as you drive, and the map rotates, so that you always see the map in the direction you're driving. The arrow always points to the north.
  • Clicking this icon will change the display: the compass icon changes to an arrow and the letter N North.png. The map is fixed (North is always up) and does not rotate.

The zoom in Rm zoomin.png / out Rm zoomout.png icons - for zooming in and out on the map. On the iPhone you can also do this on the touch screen in the usual way.
The Edit Map icon Update map.png lets you update the map. Tap the map icon to display a menu of possible actions:

  • Record a New Road - if the road you’re driving on isn't on the map yet, you can add it to the map just by driving it. Select this option to start recording the route as you travel it; select again to turn recording off. (For best results, start recording from a point that's already on the map, e.g. where the new road intersects with a road already on the map) You will get a message that recording is now on (or off); press OK to confirm.
  • Update House Numbers – the number of the house you are next to (or if you're moving, the house you were next to when you made the selection) is displayed with up/down arrows to change it. When the correct number is displayed, press OK.
  • Report map problem – gives you a sub-menu for reporting the most common mistakes on the map.
    • Select the appropriate mistake
    • Optional: if you want to add any text, select "more details"
    • Press Send to send the report, or Cancel to exit the report

Map problem categories are:

      • Incorrect turn - the map shows that you can make a turn at that point which in fact isn't allowed
      • Incorrect address – the name of the street is incorrect
      • Incorrect route – the navigation instructions here are incorrect
      • Missing Roundabout
      • General Map Error - here you'll usually want to use the virtual keyboard to key in the details before you press Send.After you press Send you get a message that the report was sent correctly.

The Command Buttons (bottom)

The buttons at the bottom of the screen give you access to all waze functions:

Me on Map

Me on map.jpg
displays the map of your current location, with an icon representing your car Blue car.jpg (you can change the icon for your car via the Settings > Profile menu). This is the default state of waze's main screen provided you have GPS connectivity in your current location (green or orange GPS icon on the status bar). Whenever the car icon isn't displayed, just press "Me on Map" to update the map to your current location. If you don't have a good enough GPS connection (grey GPS icon with an X on it), the "me on map" button isn't highlighted and you can't use it, because if you don't have a GPS connection, waze can't determine even an approximate location for you.


Search button.jpg
to find the best route to a location, and to access locations you've searched for or saved in the past.

Pressing the Search button brings up a menu: Favorites; New Address; History; and Marked Locations:

  • Favorites – press this to get a list of locations you've added to your Favorites in the past. Select one to calculate the best route to it from where you are now. If you selected a location, waze will calculate the route and return you to the map to start driving to it.
  • New Address – pressing this brings up a virtual on-screen keyboard to type in the address.
    • Key in the address you want to drive to, or part of it. Press the ABC/123 key to switch the keyboard between upper-case, lower-case and numbers/punctuation. You don’t have to enter a city: waze will search for a street matching that address near your current location, starting with the city you are in. If your destination is not close to you, you might want to add a city as well. You don't have to include a house number: if you don't, or if you include one that isn't yet on the map although the street itself is, waze will find the mid-point of the street.
    • Press the [search] button to search for that location. Waze will display a list of one or more possible locations.
      • To calculate the best route to one of the displayed locations, touch its name/address (text). Waze will find the route, and display the map together with the distance to destination and the expected time to drive there. You might get a message that waze has insufficient data to calculate the route. This doesn't mean that waze can't calculate any route, only that waze isn't sure it's been able to find the optimal route. In this case you have two options:
        • Try Route - to get navigation guidance for the route that waze knows.
        • Teach waze - if you yourself know the route, you can teach waze the best route just by driving it.
      • To do anything else, touch the arrow button next to the name. This brings up a menu where you can choose to:
        • Navigate – calculate the best route as above
        • Show location on map – waze displays the location (and you can zoom in and out) but does not calculate the best route to it.
        • Add this location to favorites - waze displays a virtual keyboard and asks you to key in a short name for this location (e.g. "home", "work", "school", "mall" and so on). Press Done to add the location to your Favorites with this name. You'll be returned to the main waze screen; next time you access your Favorites, that location will be there. Note that if you choose this option, the location won't appear on the Search History list because it has not been displayed on a map.
        • Cancel - to exit the menu without doing anything. In this case, the location won't appear on the Search History list.
  • History list w options.jpg
    History - displays a list of the places you've searched for in the past and have displayed on a map (either by calculating a route to them or by choosing "display on map" after searching for them). Touch the name of a location to calculate the best route to it, or the arrow button next to it to display the menu of what to do with it: the choices are, as before: Navigate; Show on map; Delete (from list); Add to favorites; Cancel.
  • Marked Locations - displays a list of the places you've saved to your list of My Locations. As before, you touch the name of a location to calculate the best route to it, or the arrow button next to it to display the menu of what to do with it. This menu is the same as the menu for the History list.


Simply by driving around with waze running on their smartphones, drivers share real-time information that waze translates into road and traffic conditions. You can also actively report to the community on traffic, accidents and incidents, speed cameras, police traps, blocked roads and more. These are called "events". This information about events is collected and analyzed in real time to provide all wazers with the optimal route to their destination at any given moment.

The Events button displays a menu, organized by type of event, of the real-time live reports by wazers about problems in your area:

  • All All.png - gives you a list of all events reported in your area, listed by distance
  • Police Police.png - displays only reports of police cars/traps , listed by distance
  • Traffic Loads.png - displays only reports of traffic loads in your area (light / moderate / heavy / standstill) listed by distance
  • Accidents Accident.png - displays only reports of accidents in your area.
  • Other Other.png - any reports of events that aren't in one of the above 3 categories.

From the list of displayed events, you can:

Traffic reported comment.jpg
  • Touch an event to display its location on the map together with the full text of the report. To add your own comment to the report of this event (where allowed): touch the Comment button that appears under the text of the report. You'll get a virtual keyboard: type in your comment and press Done. Your comment will also be sent directly to the wazer who reported the event originally. If he or she replies, you'll get a message on your screen: "responding to you" with his or her reply.
  • Touch the arrow beside an event to bring up a menu of possible actions:
    • Display it on the map (the same option as touching the report of the event rather than the arrow beside it)
    • Report irrelevant – if you're in that location and the event reported no longer exists there
    • Add comment – brings up the virtual keyboard; type in your comment and then press Done.
    • Sort by recency - if you would rather see results by chronological order (latest first).


This is where you yourself report an event. Tapping the Report button displays a menu of several different types of events: reporting can be as simple as choosing the type of event and pressing Send. The event will be marked at the location you were in when you chose the type of event.

The types are:

  • Police - Police.png. Other users will see it pinned on the map with this icon Police on map.png
  • Traffic - Loads.png. On the map Loads on map.png
  • Accident - Accident.png. On the map Accident on map.png
  • Hazard - Hazard.png. On the map Hazard on map.png
  • Speed Cam - Speed cam.png. On the map Police cam on map.png
  • Chit Chat - Chit chat.png. On the map Chit chat on map.png
  • Check in with Foursquare - let's you check in to a foursquare location nearby. See the profile section for more details.

After choosing a type of event you get a screen were you can indicate: Event description.jpg

  • A text description of the event (disabled while car is moving)
  • Whether it's on your side of the road (default) or the other side. Click once to change.
  • A smiley to show how you feel about the event – happy Mood happy.png, sad Mood sad.png, mad Mood mad.png, bored Mood bored.png, and so on.
  • Add image button.jpg
    A photo of the event – choose the "Add image" icon and your phone switches to camera mode; point and shoot, and the picture appears instead of the "Add image" icon

At the bottom of ‘report event’ page you will notice three options:
Three buttom report.jpg

Hidden report.jpg
You can choose to ‘hide’ the event description. This will take you back to a map with a pin in it, representing where your report will be shown. To go back and approve the event, hit the small icon on the right side of the map.

When the report is the way you want it, choose Send; or to back out without sending it, choose Cancel. If you've input your Twitter account details and chosen to send your reports as tweets to your followers, the report will also appear as a status update in your Twitter account.

The Top Status Bar

The waze logo Logo white.jpg
click to see the about screen, including the version number.

GPS Connectivity: The satellite icon Satellite on.png
shows you have GPS connectivity and its strength.
Satellite on.png means you have good connectivity and your location is known.
Satellite low power.png means a low-power connection, until it improves only your rough location is known.
Satellite off.png means your GPS connection is bad or non-existent, and your location is unknown. To improve it, try to give your phone a clear line of sight to the sky and wait a few minutes.

Mood icon Mood happy.png
The smiley shows the mood you're in at the moment. If you've chosen to be visible to other wazers (green privacy icon), your mood is also displayed to them; and if you've chosen to tweet your reports to your Twitter followers, they'll see your current mood as part of the tweet. You can change it via the Settings > Profile menu. Current options are:
Mood happy.png - you’re happy – other wazers will see your avatar on the map as Waze happy.png
Mood sad.png - you’re sad – and your avatar Waze sad.png
Mood tired.png - you’re tired – and your avatar Waze tired.png
Mood mad.png - you’re mad – and your avatar Waze mad.png
Mood bored.png - you’re bored – and your avatar Waze bored.png
Mood starving.png - you’re starving – and your avatar Waze starving.png
More moods coming soon!!

Stars and points Ticker Green points ticker.jpg
This icon, on the right-hand side of the main screen below the status bar, allows you to view the number of points you have accumulated and your current rank.

  • To open the ticker, tap on the little green arrow and the ticker will slide out.
  • To close the ticker – tap the green arrow again.

If you accumulate points while driving (by sending reports or driving on roads that are dotted), the green ticker will automatically slide out, and your new points will be shown under “gained points.” The ticker will slide back in after a few seconds. If you don't want to display the points ticker icon on your screen, you turn it off (or on again) via Settings > General > 'Show points ticker' and choosing "on" or "off".

No Internet Connectivity icon Web off.png
This only appears if your phone has no connection to the Internet. Note that you might see this icon when launching waze as it could take a few seconds for waze to connect. Without internet connectivity (active data), you'll be able to continue driving along routes that have already been downloaded to your phone; you will not be able to see reports or new sections of the map. For instance: if you've requested a "best route" and it's been downloaded to your phone, you can continue to drive along it, but if you decide to turn off from it along the way, you won't get that new section of the map without Internet connectivity.

The Live Reports icon Live reports.jpg
This is an exclamation point together with a small number representing the number of events that have been reported in your area. As long as you have Internet connectivity this number is constantly updated.

  • To view details of these reports, tap the Events button at the bottom of the screen.
  • If you've stopped, the reports will also be displayed in rotation on the main screen, on your map.

No Sound icon Mute.png
You can choose whether you want to hear voice instructions on your route. When this option is "on", no icon is displayed on the status bar. When it's "off", you will see this icon of a speaker with an X on it. You turn it on or off via Settings > Navigation guidance.

The settings Button Settings button e.png
Takes you to the settings screen where you can modify and personalize waze. See all settings in the next section of this guide.

The Power Button Exit button e.png
This lets you set how waze runs and therefore how much power it's consuming. Tap it to display the available options. They are:

  • Resume manually - minimize waze but keep it running in the background. To switch back to waze, click on the waze icon on your phone's desktop, and you'll be back in it right away.
  • Resume in 30 seconds - Waze will be minimized for 30 seconds and then automatically come back up.
  • Exit – turn off the application completely.
  • Cancel – go back to Waze main screen without taking any of the above options.


Settings button e.png
The settings allow you to view and personalize your waze experience. Tap it to enter the Settings menu. Here you define:
  • Navigation guidance (on/off) – whether you want voice instructions in addition to the map display when following a route
  • Display – to display the map in either 2D (default) or 3D.
  • Light – whether the screen lighting should be adjusted for day or night viewing. By default, the display will automatically switch to night mode when it gets dark. You can choose to keep this option manual by setting "automatic night mode" to Off from the General settings menu.

General Settings

This menu lets you set:

  • The backlighting (on/off): by default it's "on", and the backlight will remain on as long as waze is running.
  • Speaker volume - to choose the volume level for voice directions
  • Auto zoom of maps (on/off) – by default it's "on", so the map will zoom in and out while you're navigating, based on the distance to your next decision point (e.g. place where you have to turn). You can disable this feature by selecting "off".
  • Whether to display the points ticker ("on" to display it, "off" to hide it)
  • Automatic night mode (on/off) – the default is "on": waze switches between day and night mode automatically. To disable this automatic switching, choose "off". You can still switch manually between day and night modes from the main Settings screen.
  • The measurement system - you can choose to display distances in miles or in kilometers.

Profile Menu

  • Displays your account details: username, five stars representing your password (no matter how long your password is) and nickname; and lets you change your nickname. To change your username and password, first go to the site, log in, and make the changes, and only then update it on your phone.
  • Displays a car icon Blue car.jpg which will represent your car on the map you see. You can choose from a large number of cars of different types and colors (more cars coming soon!!)
  • Displays the icon for your current mood – you can change it to one of the others.
  • Twitter – lets you choose whether to tweet your waze reports to your twitter followers; if you choose to do so, enter your Twitter username and password. Your current mood will be included in the tweet. You can disable and re-enable tweeting at any time without affecting your Twitter credentials.
  • FourSquare - lets you set up your foursquare account to use with waze, and set tweets about your foursquare activity.

What is Foursquare? It's a cool way to discover and promote cool places in your city and be rewarded for doing so. You can check foursquare and check in to locations around you using waze.
First thing you'll need is to create an account on foursquare - this can be done on
Then, make sure you are logged in to waze (with your waze user name) and go to settings >> profile. Under 'Foursquare' enter your foursquare user name and password. Hit back or enter (depending on phone) and wait for the message confirming that you were able to connect to your foursquare account. Note that sometimes it takes a few times before it is able to connect.
Once connected, you can use waze and at any given point - when you position is known (GPS icon is green) - you can check in to locations on foursquare. Go to "report" - where you would usually report traffic jams, accidents, etc. - the last option is to check in with foursquare. Choosing this option will bring up a list of all the foursquare locations around you. Click on one to check in to it. Then visit to see the full details of this check in.

Routing Menu

Here you tell waze how to calculate the optimal route for you. The options are:

  • Route preference – you prefer the calculation to choose either the shortest route, or the fastest taking into account current event reports along that route. The default is "fastest".
  • Dirt roads – you can choose to allow their inclusion in your route, to forbid it, or to allow short ones but avoid long ones where possible.
  • Minimize turns (on/off) – if this is "on", waze calculates a route that will require you to turn from one street into another as few times as possible.
  • Avoid highways (on/off) – the default is "off". If you prefer to spend as little time on highways as possible, choose "on". (It isn't always possible, of course, to avoid highways altogether, but waze will do its best, taking into account your other routing preferences).

Privacy Menu

This menu displays a screen headed "Display my location on mobile and web" with the options "when driving" and "when reporting". Waze always respects your privacy, and your location will never be shared against your will. This is where you define the degree of privacy you'd like:

  • When driving - choose between:
    • Anonymous:
      Privacy anonymus.png
      your location is shown but not your identity (neither username nor nickname): you appear as an "anonymous user". This is the default. The top Status bar shows this by displaying your avatar in blue with a question mark on it.
    • Nickname and avatar:
      Privacy avatar.png
      other wazers will see your location on the map, and your avatar will display your current mood (as described regarding the Status bar avatar, above). If you've chosen this option, your status bar displays a green avatar.
    • Don't show me:
      Privacy invisible.png
      your location won't be shown at all – you're there but invisible, like a ghost! The top Status bar shows this displaying a ghost avatar.
  • When reporting - choose between:
    • Using my nickname: your reports are identified by your nickname
    • Anonymous: your reports are sent anonymously, no information identifying their sender is displayed
  • About - this displays information about the waze program, including which version you're currently running.

Driving with Waze

Speed Cameras

Voice alerts are only given if you are speeding when approaching a speed camera