Manage your Android device’s location settings

In the coming months, the Location History setting name will change to Timeline. If Location History is turned on for your account, you may find Timeline in your app and account settings. Learn more.
You can use location-based services such as local search results, commute predictions, and nearby restaurants based on your device's location, when device location is on in settings.

Important:

  • These steps also work on Fitbit Ace LTE.
  • If you have a tablet or device that more than one person uses, each person can have different location access settings.

Understand the location settings available on your device

Important: When the location setting is off for your device, apps and services can't get your device's location. You can still get local results and ads based on your IP address.

Google has location-based services, including:

Tip: Apps have their own permission settings. Learn how to manage location permissions for apps.

Turn location on or off for your device

  1. Open Settings .
  2. Tap Location .
  3. Turn Use location on or off.

 Tip: To add the Location toggle to your Quick Settings menu:

  1. Swipe down from the top of the screen.
  2. Tap Edit .
  3. Drag Location into your Quick Settings.
When Location is on
When Location is off

Help your device get a more accurate location (Location Accuracy, also known as Google Location Services)

To improve device location, Android devices with Google Play services have a Location Accuracy service that uses information from wireless signals, such as Wi-Fi access points, cellular network towers, and GPS, along with device sensor data, such as accelerometer and gyroscope, to allow your device to more quickly and accurately estimate device location, particularly in areas where GPS may be unavailable or obscured, such as indoors or near large buildings. Learn more about Google Play services.

When Location Accuracy is on, Google periodically collects information about sensors and wireless signals near you to contribute to crowdsourced wireless signal locations, using randomly-assigned, temporary, rotating identifiers that aren't associated with a specific person or account. These identifiers automatically and regularly change. These measures prevent you from being identified from the collected data. Learn more about processing of Location Accuracy data.

Tip: The Location Accuracy service is also available on Fitbit Ace LTE.

Turn your device's location accuracy on or off

Android 12 & higher and Fitbit Ace LTE

  1. Open Settings .
  2. Tap Location and then Location Services and then Location Accuracy.
  3. Turn Improve Location Accuracy on or off.

Android 11 & lower

  1. Open Settings .
  2. Tap Location and then Advanced and then Location Accuracy.
  3. Turn Improve Location Accuracy on or off.
When Location Accuracy is on

When Location Accuracy is on, your device uses these sources to get the most accurate location, which may include elevation or floor level:

  • Wireless signals (such as GPS, Wi-Fi, or mobile cellular networks)
  • Sensors (such as accelerometer, barometer, or gyroscope)

This can be especially important if you’re using your device indoors or when GPS satellites are obscured, because in those situations devices need to use additional signals to be able to estimate their location.  Apps and services with the appropriate permissions can use this location to provide you with location-based features.

When Location Accuracy is off

When Location Accuracy is off, only GPS and device sensors, such as accelerometer, barometer, and gyroscope, will be used to determine your device’s location, which may impact the availability and accuracy of locations for apps and services such as Google Maps and finding a lost device.

When Location Accuracy is off, wireless signals and sensor data are not collected by the Location Accuracy service. However, emergency location services or your mobile carrier can still automatically send your device’s location enhanced by Location Accuracy to emergency responders when you call or text an emergency number.

Tip: No location or Location Accuracy data is collected by Google in such a scenario. Learn about emergency location services.

Important: For Android 12 and higher, you can separately manage each app’s precise location permission. This is different from Location Accuracy, which is a location setting for your device that allows the use of more sources for the most accurate location. When Location Accuracy is on, you can grant an app only approximate location permission if you don't want to allow it access to your device’s precise location. If you turn off Location Accuracy, apps may not be able to get your device’s precise location. Learn how to choose which apps use your Android device’s location.  

Set up Wi-Fi & Bluetooth scanning

To help apps get better location info, you can let your device scan for nearby Wi-Fi access points or Bluetooth devices.

Android 12 & higher

  1. Open Settings .
  2. Tap Location   and then Location Services.
  3. Turn Wi-Fi scanning or Bluetooth scanning on or off.

Android 11 & lower

  1. Open Settings .
  2. Tap Location and then Wi-Fi scanning or Bluetooth scanning
  3. Turn Wi-Fi scanning or Bluetooth scanning on or off.

If you use an older Android version

Choose location settings (Android 9.0)

To change location settings: 

  1. Open your device's Settings app.
  2. Tap Security & Location And then Location.
    • If you have a work profile, tap Advanced.

Then, choose an option:

  • Turn Location on or off: Tap Location.
  • Scan for nearby networks: Tap Advanced And thenScanning. Turn Wi-Fi scanning or Bluetooth scanning on or off.
  • Turn emergency location service on or off:  Tap Advanced And thenGoogle Emergency Location Service. Turn Emergency Location Service on or off. 
Choose location mode (Android 4.4—8.1)
  1. Open your device's Settings app.
  2. Tap Security & Location and then Location.
    • If you don't find "Security & Location," tap Location.
  3. Tap Mode.
  4. Select a mode:
    • High accuracy: Use GPS, Wi-Fi, mobile networks, and sensors to get the most accurate location. Use Google Location Services to help estimate your device's location faster and more accurately.
    • Battery saving: Use sources that use less battery, like Wi-Fi and mobile networks. Use Google Location Services to help estimate your device's location faster and more accurately.
    • Device only: Use GPS and sensors. Don’t use Google Location Services to improve location accuracy. This can estimate your device's location more slowly and use more battery.
Choose location access (Android 4.1—4.3)

You can control what location information your device can use.

  1. Open your device's Settings app.
  2. Under "Personal," tap Location access.
  3. At the top of the screen, turn Access to my location on or off.
    • When location access is on, pick either or both of:
      • GPS satellites: Lets your device estimate its location from satellite signals, like a GPS device.
      • Wi-Fi & mobile network location: Lets your device use Google Location Services to help estimate its location faster, with or without GPS.
    • When location access is off:
      Your device can’t find its precise location or share it with any apps.

 

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