Manage location settings for Android apps

You can let apps use your device's location to do things for you or give you information. For example, apps can use your device's location to see commute traffic or find nearby restaurants.

Note: Some of these steps work only on Android 8.0 and up. Learn how to check your Android version.

See which apps use your location

  1. Open your device's Settings app Settings app.
  2. Tap Security & Location and then Location.
  3. Under "Recent location requests," see the apps that recently checked your location. For more information about an app, like its battery or data use, tap it.

Turn Google's Location services on or off

To help improve location for apps, Google’s Location services can collect location data from time to time. It uses this data in an anonymized manner to improve location accuracy and location-based services. To estimate location, it uses sources like Wi-Fi, mobile networks, and sensors.

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

Turn on Google's Location services
  1. Open your device's Settings app Settings app.
  2. Tap Security & Location and then Location and then Mode.
  3. Choose High accuracy or Battery saving. Both modes can use Wi-Fi,  mobile networks, and sensors to determine location.
Turn off Google's Location services
  1. Open your device's Settings app Settings app.
  2. Tap Security & Location and then 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.
    • Turn off Location. 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 must use your location, it can ask whether you want to change your location settings.

How apps ask you to change location settings

Apps 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 better determine location.
  • Location mode
    Using a different mode would improve accuracy. For example, the app could ask you to let your device use available Wi-Fi and mobile networks to find locations. The app will choose the setting that uses the least battery.
  • Wi-Fi connection
    Scanning for Wi-Fi networks helps find locations. The app can 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 find locations. Google’s Location services can collect location data from time to time. It uses this data in an anonymized manner to improve location accuracy and location-based services. To estimate location, it uses sources like Wi-Fi, mobile networks, and sensors.

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