Google Earth Pro now Free?

Last week we got an email from GEB reader Alan letting us know that Google Earth Pro, which formerly cost US$400 per year, appears to now be free. There has been no official announcement from Google as yet on the subject.

[Update: Google have now officially announced that Google Earth Pro is free. ]

We signed up for Google Earth Pro, and instead of granting us a 7-day trial licence as was formerly the case, we received an email with a licence key clearly stating that it is a free licence. Also, we formerly had a trial key and requested our account infomation. We received an email with our licence key and a stated expiry date of January 20, 2017. Both the above keys work in Google Earth Pro. In addition, links to licence purchasing and renewal pages now redirect to the Google Earth Pro download page.

Before you rush off to download Google Earth Pro, keep in mind that for the vast majority of users it has no significant features that they need. Be sure to check out the feature comparison list here before downloading it. Google Earth Pro suffers from all the same bugs that are found in Google Earth, as it is based on the same code base, so do not expect it to resolve bug related issues you may be having with Google Earth.

US demographics
Google Earth Pro includes access to demographics, parcel data and daily traffic counts for the United States.

Area and perimeter
Google Earth Pro includes area and perimeter measurements of polygons, a feature not available in the standard version of Google Earth.

About Timothy Whitehead

Timothy has been using Google Earth since 2004 when it was still called Keyhole before it was renamed Google Earth in 2005 and has been a huge fan ever since. He is a programmer working for Red Wing Aerobatx and lives in Cape Town, South Africa.


  1. Seems to work for me – the area measurement tool is now indispensable. Thanks for the heads-up.

  2. Can it be installed over normal Google Earth and will Pro pick up your already existing data base?

  3. Awesome! I’ve been waiting for this for ages! Now I can finally easily record videos and fly through of my SketchUp models and of interesting places! Thank you very much!

  4. Thank you thank you thank you for letting me know. I’ve missed some of the measuring features and movie recording since I couldn’t afford to renew my license. This is awesome.

  5. You are my hero!!! This will allow me save me huge amounts of time. I’m so glad I read this blog today!

  6. I had an old trial licence, but can’t get it working. GE > Help > ‘Upgrade to GE Pro…’ just takes me to a webpage for registration, but won’t allow me to download GE Pro. Any tips? I got two licence keys with the email from Google: one with an expiry date, one without. Neither key seems to work.

    • try downloading the exe for pro directly through the link in the Article above.

      • I had the same: install the Pro version (if already done it is also ok) and start it.
        Then go to help and deactivate Pro licence or something like that.
        After that you can registrate again, then you get a new license key that expires in 2017.

    • Terry Heidemann says:

      If you install it again then to activate it use your email address and then the key GEPFREE – it works

  7. Installed fine for me, without the nag of a seven day trial. In the install box there was a button to purchase the ‘enhanced version’ of Google Earth.

  8. It works even in Germany, thanks!

  9. you can disable terrain completely πŸ˜€

  10. “try downloading the exe for pro directly through the link in the Article above.”

    I’m using a Mac, so no exe file. Sorry – I should have mentioned it.

  11. What about ArcGIS Online Scene?

    it works and integrates seemlessly with real GIS data. Seems like an extra step to use a file base system to show something in 3d.

  12. I am experiencing some difficulties. After downloading and installing, it is telling me that i am trying to enter the google earth pro key to google earth plus. Any idea/help?

  13. Thanks for the help guys. I’ll try again.

    I emailed Google about my installation problem and they have confirmed the GE Pro is now free. Yay!

  14. The support article on getting a GEP license has been updated for languages other than English, stating that from Jan 20th, 2015, Google Earth Pro is indeed free. As an example, the french language page:

    Having the option to disable the terrain layer is a huge plus. I might finally upgrade from GE6 (despite the other anoyances of GE7).

    In the meantime, I registered and got the license to use it.

  15. It works for me in Argentina. It says license will expire in January 2017, but I have the hope that could be as whatsapp, when time arrives, then you have two years more πŸ™‚

  16. Danilo Mota says:

    I’ve tried to register my license, but appear the message:
    “You are attempting to use Google Earth Plus, but the License Key you entered, xxxxxxxxx, is for Google Earth Pro. Please click ‘Sign up’ below to download Google Earth Pro.

    But it still downloading the same version. Some help?

  17. Installed and works great. No need to uninstall prev GE versions. Will automatically use your old existing My places file and previous settings. Only issue is that the initial start screens are confusing and still ask you if you want to “upgrade to PRO” – even though you clearly already have the pro installed. you will need to re-point any existing convenience links you have set up to the new “pro” folder which is easy to do.

    The only real uneasiness I have is trying to understand why Google is doing this. What is going on at that company? Discontinuing highly used APIs – and now making “pro” available to the masses – what gives???!!! Are they going to dump GE as we know it too? Or reveal a new product that will be entirely paid to take the place of GE? or… ??

  18. Its like GE8 for me. Movie export is incredible!! It works with sun animation, cloud layers, photorealistic atmosphere and in Streetview. Also, ultraHD images export. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

  19. i tried installing it and at the end it stopped and sair error code 997 I/O overlapped usage in progress. and then the installer closes.

    • Guilford Smith says:

      Sorry that you are having difficulty, but glad to learn that I am not the only one with the 997 failure code. Hopefully, someone has an answer.

      • I had the same problem, but I could solve this. The installer unzips all files to
        D:\temp\._msige61\program files\Google\Google Earth Pro
        Please look for for your environment variable TEMP on your system. I copied all files from this folder to the where I wished them to be installed. In my case
        D:\Programs\Google\Google Earth Pro
        After that a created a shortcut to googleearth.exe on the desktop and then I could start the program.

  20. Sorry, but this does NOT WORK. I am able to download and run the setup file, then I receive an “Installed” notification in a dialog box, which I can either OK or Cancel. After I OK, nothing. I search for and click on the Google Earth Pro (in Windows 8), which opens the “old” Google Earth app. Have tried several times, with different email accounts and get the same results. Help for any credible source would be greatly appreciated. Thx.

  21. Can’t get past the “downloading…” screen of the installer. Nothing happens.

  22. Florian Lohoff says:

    Its a shame that the Linux Version is still a 6.0 not a 7.1 … Why is there no current Linux version?

  23. Nicole Douglas says:

    Please let me know if I should ask this somewhere else but I just started using the program and want to know if I create a polygon on a certain area can it give me the population density just in that polygon area? If so, can you tell me how to do get the population information? Thank you in advance!

  24. Is this free version permanent?

  25. The registration link is not working(((((((((((((
    I can’t make a request for a key(((

  26. One would think they would remove all the verification machinery before announcing it is now free.
    Instead seven out of eight installations fail due to all the confusion left built in.

  27. I successfully downloaded the installer, but immediately get the message “The installer experienced error 1618”
    I haven’t found an intelligible solution to this.
    Can you help? I have often wanted to access some of the features or GEP but found the cost prohibitive for the limited use I have for it. However, a free version is terrific. Right now I want to calculate the areas of a subdivision.

  28. I cannot download Google Earth Pro, I’ve tried many times but it will not work

  29. I noticed the Earthpro folder is no longer in the Layers space in my copy of GEPRo (Been a subscriber for years). Is this just an issue with my GEP, or is it part of the move to free subscriptions? If it’s just me, does anyone have suggestions for how I can get it back?

  30. when google earth pro will work for android phoe

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