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Manage location settings for apps

You can let apps use your device's location to take actions or give information based on your location, like the ability 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.
  4. To see more information, like affects on your battery, tap an 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 cellular networks to give location information faster and more accurately.

You can turn this setting on or off whenever you want.

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 cellular 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 Google's location services off in 2 ways:
    • Tap Mode and then Device only. This mode uses only GPS to determine your 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. That means that apps can't retrieve your device location, and many features will be disabled.

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.

  • If you'd like to change your location settings, follow the on-screen steps.
  • If you don't want to change your location settings, tap Don't ask again in this app. The app won't ask you again.
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 the location 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 location accuracy.
  • Location mode
    Using a different location mode would improve the app's location accuracy. For example, the app might ask you to let it use available Wi-Fi and cellular networks to determine your location. The app will choose the setting that uses the least battery.
  • Wi-Fi connection
    Scanning for Wi-Fi networks helps determine your device's 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 cellular networks to give location information faster and more accurately.

Related links

Amy

Amy is an Android expert and author of this help page. Leave her feedback below about the page.

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