Learn how Google Play services can use your location

Google Play services enables important features of your device and helps make your device more secure and reliable. Google Play services is different from the Google Play Store. Learn more about Google Play services.

Google Play services may use Wi-Fi and Bluetooth scans, which may include data that can be used to infer location or proximity. If you're on a device with Android 11 or earlier, your device may use the Location permission for some of the services that use the Nearby Devices permission on later versions of Android.

How Google Play services can use your location

Google Play services may periodically access your device’s location information in the background to help perform core services on your device. Some examples are:

To provide safety and security features

Emergency services

Google Play services supports emergency features on your device like the Emergency Location Service and earthquake alerts. Learn how to get help in an emergency.

When you call or text an emergency number, Emergency Location Service might use your device's location and Google Location Accuracy even if those features are off.

Google Play services might occasionally use your device's approximate location, in the background, to determine if you should receive an earthquake alert.

Tips:

  • To manage these settings, on your Android device, open Settings and then Location.
  • On devices with Android 12 and later, open Settings and then Location and then Location services.
Public safety
If you have location enabled for your device, Google Play services may automatically inform you of public safety features in your region, such as the availability of COVID-19 Exposure Notifications.
Family accounts
If your device has a Google account for children, a parent can enable monitoring of the child’s device location through Family Link. When location monitoring is enabled, Google Play services may periodically access location, in the background, on the child’s device. Learn how to find and manage your child's Android device location.
Security features

Google Play services may access your location, sometimes in the background, to help you with security features like:

  • Find My Device can use your location when you try to find your lost or stolen device. 
    • Tip: To manage your Find My Device settings, on your Android device, open Settings and then Google and then Find My Device.
  • The Smart Lock feature allows you to keep your device automatically unlocked at certain locations. 
    • Tip: To manage Smart Lock settings, on your Android device, open Settings and then Security and then Smart Lock and then Trusted places
  • To protect your digital payment transactions, Google Play services uses your location for fraud detection.
  • To help you verify transactions, Google Play services may use your location to provide store location and merchant information with your receipts when you make in-store payments with your digital wallet.

Find & connect to nearby devices 

Google Play services may periodically use your location, in the background, to help you discover and connect to nearby devices. For example, you can:

  • Use your phone to sign in to your Google Account on a new device, like Android TV or Wear OS
  • Share your saved Wi-Fi networks and credentials with other devices
  • Discover and cast media to nearby Chromecast enabled devices
  • Use Nearby Share to securely share and get files 

Tip: To change your settings for Cast and Nearby Share, on your Android device, go to  Settings and then Google and then Devices & Sharing.

Important: If your device uses Android 11 or earlier, some services that use the Nearby Devices permission (only available on Android 12 and later) to interact with nearby devices may instead use Location permission. 

More device features

Important: Google Play Services might occasionally use your location in the background to let other Google products and services, like Google Assistant, notify you when you have set up location based reminders.

  • Device Notifications Service: Google Play services lets apps and services send you notifications or check for content updates. To ensure that you can receive timely notifications and updates from apps on your device, this service periodically accesses Wi-Fi information in the background, on your device.
  • Location-based Timezone: Google Play services periodically uses your location in the background to set your device’s timezone.
    • To manage your timezone settings, on your Android device, open Setting and then System and then Date & time.
  • Fitness: Google Play services lets connected apps access your fitness and location information in the background. Learn how connected app sharing works with your Google Fit data.

Location access for other apps and services

When your device location setting is turned on and the app has the appropriate location permission, Google Play Services may provide these apps with an estimate of the device's location For example, apps and services on your device use location information to give you directions or help you track a run. To enable this, Google Play Services may access your location information along with sensor data.

If Google Location Accuracy is turned on, Google uses signals like Wi-Fi and mobile networks in addition to GPS and sensor information to give an accurate approximate location to apps that have location permission. To do this, Google might occasionally collect location data from your device in the background and use it in an anonymous way to improve location accuracy and provide location-based services.

Tips:

  • To manage Google Location Accuracy, on your Android device, open Settings and then Location and then Google Location Accuracy.
  • On devices with Android 12 and later, open Settings and then Location and then Location services and then Google Location Accuracy.

Because Google Play services provides the system service for all apps and services to access location information on your device, you can't turn off the location permission for Google Play services. Learn to manage the location setting for your device.

How Google handles your information

In order to enable some features, Google Play Services may collect and send some information to Google which may include crash logs and diagnostics information for analytics purposes. Any information that Google collects is handled in accordance with Google's Privacy Policy.

Learn how Google uses location information.

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