Manage your Android device’s location settings

You can use location-based services such as getting better local search results, like commute predictions and nearby restaurants based on your phone’s location, when you turn location on in settings.

Important: Some of these steps only work on Android 12 and up. Learn how to check your Android version.

Understand the location settings available on your phone

Important: When you turn off location on your phone, apps and services can't get your phone’s location. You can still get local results and ads based on your IP address.

Google has a list of location-based services, including:

Tip: Apps have their own settings. Learn how to manage app location settings.

Turn location on or off for your phone

  1. Swipe down from the top of the screen.
  2. Touch and hold location Location.
    • If you can't find Location Location:
      1. Tap Edit Edit or Settings Settings.
      2. Drag Location Location into your Quick Settings.

 

When Location is on
When Location is off

Help your phone get a more accurate location (Google Location Services aka Google Location Accuracy)

Turn your phone’s location accuracy on or off

Android 12 & higher

  1. Swipe down from the top of the screen.
  2. Touch and hold location Location.
    • If you can't find Location Location:
      1. Tap Edit Edit or Settings Settings.
      2. Drag Location Location into your Quick Settings.
  3. Tap Location Services and then Google Location Accuracy.
  4. Turn Improve Location Accuracy on or off.

Android 11 & lower

  1. Swipe down from the top of the screen. 
  2. Touch and hold location Location.
    • If you can't find Location Location:
      1. Tap Edit Edit or Settings Settings.
      2. Drag Location Location into your Quick Settings.
  3. Tap Advanced and then Google Location Accuracy
  4. Turn Improve Location Accuracy on or off.
When Google Location Accuracy is on

When you have Google Location Accuracy turned on, your phone uses these sources to get the most accurate location:

  • GPS
  • Wi-Fi
  • Mobile networks
  • Sensors (such as accelerometer)

Google may collect location data periodically and use this data anonymously to improve location accuracy and location-based services.

When Google Location Accuracy is off

When you turn off Google Location Accuracy, your phone uses GPS and sensors, like accelerometer, to determine location. GPS can be slower and less accurate than other sources.

When Google Location Accuracy is off, GPS, Wi-Fi, network and sensor data are not used or collected by Google Location Accuracy.

For Android 12 and higher, you can manage each app’s permission to access precise location. This is different from Google Location Accuracy, which is a location setting for your device that allows your phone to use more sources for the most accurate location.  Even with Google Location Accuracy 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 Google Location Accuracy, apps may not be able to get your device’s precise location. Learn how to manage app location permissions.

Set up Wi-Fi & Bluetooth scanning

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

Android 12 & higher

  1. Swipe down from the top of the screen.
  2. Touch and hold location Location.
    • If you can't find Location Location:
      1. Tap Edit Edit or Settings Settings.
      2. Drag Location Location into your Quick Settings.
  3. Tap Location Services.
  4. Turn Wi-Fi scanning and Bluetooth scanning on or off.

Android 11 & lower

  1. Swipe down from the top of the screen. 
  2. Touch and hold location Location.
    • If you can't find Location Location:
      1. Tap Edit Edit or Settings Settings
      2. Drag Location Location into your Quick Settings.
  3. Tap Wi-Fi scanning and Bluetooth scanning
  4. Turn Wi-Fi scanning and Bluetooth scanning on or off.

Send your location in an emergency

To help emergency services find you quickly, your phone’s location can be sent when you dial or text an emergency number. For example, dialling 999 in the UK or 112 in Europe.

If Android Emergency Location Service (ELS) works in your country and on your mobile network, and you haven't turned off ELS, your phone will automatically send its location to emergency services using ELS. If ELS is off, your mobile operator may still send the device's location during an emergency call or text.

Turn Android Emergency Location Service on or off

You can turn Emergency Location Service on or off at any time.

Android 12 & higher

  1. To open your device's Settings app, swipe down twice from the top of the screen.
  2. Tap Settings Settings and then Safety & emergency.
  3. Turn Emergency Location Service on or off.

Android 11 & lower

  1. Swipe down from the top of the screen.
  2. Touch and hold location Location.
    • If you can't find Location Location:
      1. Tap Edit Edit or Settings Settings.
      2. Drag Location Location into your Quick Settings.
  3. Tap Advanced and then Emergency Location Service.
  4. Turn Emergency Location Service on or off.
 

How Emergency Location Service works

ELS is only activated when you call or text a local emergency number.

During your emergency call, ELS may use Google Location Accuracy and other information to get the most accurate location possible for the device.

Your phone sends its location to authorised emergency partners for the purpose of helping emergency services locate you. Your location is sent directly from your phone to emergency partners.

After a completed emergency call or text during which ELS was active, your phone may send deidentified usage and analytics data to Google for the purpose of analysing how well ELS works. This information doesn’t include the location sent to authorised emergency partners, and doesn't identify you.

Tip: When ELS sends your location to authorised emergency partners, it’s different from when you share location via Google Maps. Learn about Location Sharing with Google Maps.

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 and 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 phone's Settings app.
  2. Tap Security and Location and then Location.
    • If you don't see 'Security and 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 phone's location faster and more accurately.
    • Battery saving: Use sources that use less battery, such as Wi-Fi and mobile networks. Use Google Location Services to help estimate your phone'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 phone's location more slowly and use more battery.
Choose location access (Android 4.1–4.3)

You can control what location information your phone can use.

  1. Open your phone'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 phone estimate its location from satellite signals, like a GPS device in a car.
      • Wi-Fi and mobile network location: Lets your phone use Google Location Services to help estimate its location faster, with or without GPS.
    • When location access is off:
      Your phone can’t find its precise location or share it with any apps.

Tip: If you have a tablet that more than one person uses, each person can have different location access settings.

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