Manage location settings for Android apps

You can let apps use your device's location to take actions for you or give you information. For example, apps can use it to see commuter traffic or find nearby restaurants.

Note: Some of these steps work only on Android 9.0 and up. Learn how to check your Android version.

See which apps use your location

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

Turn location accuracy on or off

If you turn off this setting, your device only uses GPS to find location. GPS can be slower and less accurate.

  1. Open your device's Settings app.
  2. Tap Security & location and then Location.
  3. Tap Advanced and then Google Location Accuracy.
  4. Turn Improve Location Accuracy on or off.

Note: Google’s Location Services can collect location data from time to time. It uses this data in an anonymised way to improve location accuracy and location-based services for apps. To estimate location, it uses sources such as Wi-Fi, mobile networks and sensors.

Turn scanning on or off

To help your device find and show your location more accurately, turn on scanning.

  1. Open your device's Settings app.
  2. Tap Security & location and then Location.
  3. Tap Advanced and then Scanning.
    • If you don’t see 'Advanced', tap Scanning.
  4. Turn Wi-Fi scanning or Bluetooth scanning on or off.

Why apps ask you to change location settings

If an app must use your location, it sometimes asks to change your location settings.

  • 'Change location setting'?: The app needs your location turned on. Location Services give the 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.
  • Wi-Fi connection: Scanning for Wi-Fi networks helps find locations. An app can ask you to turn on Wi-Fi or to let your device scan for Wi-Fi networks.
  • Google Location Services: Let this setting help apps to find locations. Learn how Google’s Location Services use location data.

If you’re using Android 8.1 & below

Turn on Google's Location Services
  1. Open your device's Settings app.
  2. Tap Security & location and then Location and then Mode.
  3. Choose High accuracy or Battery saving. Both options can use Wi-Fi, mobile networks and sensors to determine location.
Turn off Google's Location Services
  1. Open your device's Settings app.
  2. Tap Security & location and then Location.
  3. You can turn off this setting in two ways:
    • Tap Mode and then Device only. This option only uses GPS to determine location.
    • Turn off Location. This action also turns off location for all apps. Many features won’t work.

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