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Manage location settings for apps

You can let apps use your Android device's location to take actions or give information. For example, apps can use your device's location to check in, see commute traffic, or find nearby restaurants.

Note: Android isn't the same on all devices. These instructions are for devices running Android 7.0 and up. Check which version of Android you have.

See which apps use your location

To see which apps are now using, or have recently used, your device's location:

  1. Open your device's Settings app Settings.
  2. Under "Personal," tap Location.
  3. Under "Recent location requests," see the apps that recently accessed your location. To see more information about an app, like its battery or data use, tap that app.

Turn Location services on or off

To help apps determine location, Google's Location services send anonymous location data to Google, even when no apps are running. Google's Location services use sources like Wi-Fi and mobile networks to give location information faster and more accurately.

You can turn Location services on or off at any time.

Turn on Google's Location services
  1. Open your device's Settings app Settings.
  2. Under "Personal," tap Location and then Mode.
  3. Choose High accuracy or Battery saving. Both modes use Wi-Fi and mobile networks to determine location.
Turn off Google's Location services
  1. Open your device's Settings app Settings.
  2. Under "Personal," tap Location.
  3. You can turn off Google's Location services in 2 ways:
    • Tap Mode and then Device only. This mode uses only GPS to determine location.
    • At the top of the "Location" screen, tap the On/Off switch. Turning off location for your device also turns it off for all apps. Many features will be turned off.

If asked to change location settings

If an app needs to use your location, you may be asked whether you want to change your location settings.

How apps may ask you to change location settings

Apps may ask you to change your location settings in different ways:

  • "Change location setting?"
    The app needs your location turned on. Location services give the app data that it needs to work properly.
  • "Improve location accuracy?"
    Location is already on, but you can turn on more settings or sensors to improve accuracy.
  • Location mode
    Using a different mode would improve accuracy. For example, the app might ask you to let your device use available Wi-Fi and mobile networks to determine location. The app will choose the setting that uses the least battery.
  • Wi-Fi connection
    Scanning for Wi-Fi networks helps determine location. The app may ask you to turn on Wi-Fi, or to let your device scan for Wi-Fi networks.
  • Google Location services
    Let Google's Location services help apps determine location by sending anonymous location data to Google, even when no apps are running. Google’s Location services use sources like Wi-Fi and mobile networks to give location information faster and more accurately.

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Ashley is an Accounts expert and the author of this help page. Leave her feedback below about how to improve it.

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