How to disable location services on your phone

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There’s a reason why apps frequently ask you for permission to access your location, even when they function adequately without it. Many companies like Google use your location services to provide accurate weather reports or the most up-to-date traffic incidents. In other cases, apps may want your location activity simply for their own market research. If you’re iffy about what information you’re sharing, or you just prefer to stay incognito, here’s how to disable location services on your iOS and Android smartphone.

Please note: While it’s easy to disable location services altogether on your iOS or Android device, you can also disable it for specific apps only. Some apps rely on location services to function properly so you may want to make some exceptions. We’ll show you how to do that as well.

Due to the nature of Android versions and the variety of skins that manufacturers layer over the software, the following steps may vary based on which smartphone you own. However, the process should be similar enough to follow along. The pictures demo the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus running Android 10 under Samsung’s OneUI skin.

To disable location services on your Android device, you’ll want to navigate to its location settings.

If you’re an avid user of Google Maps or any GPS-based application, you may not want to disable your location services as it’ll hinder its functionality. Luckily, it’s just as simple to disable a specific app instead of all at once.

No matter what Android smartphone you have, there will be Google-specific location services operating in the background. Here’s how to disable those as well.

Disabling location services on an iPhone is a little more straightforward as iOS hasn’t really changed its appearance and settings over the generations. The following demos the iPhone 11 Pro operating on iOS 13.5.

To keep apps that rely on your location functioning, you’ll want to disable location services for specific ones and not all.

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