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Use GPS and location services for apps on the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch

Learn how to turn location services and GPS on and off for individual apps.

Allow apps to use your location

Some apps only work when location services are turned on.1 If an app wants to access your location data for the first time, you will be asked for permission. Choose one of the following options:

  • Tap "Allow" to allow the app to use your location data as needed.
  • Tap "Don't Allow" to deny access to the app.2
  • Tap "Ask Next Time" to choose "Allow when using the app," "Allow once," or "Do not allow".

iOS and iPadOS devices may use Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to determine your location. GPS and cellular location are available on the iPhone and iPad (Wi-Fi + Cellular) models.

Turn location services on or off for specific apps

  1. Go to Settings> Privacy> Location Services.
  2. Make sure location services are turned on.
  3. Scroll down to the app you want.
  4. Tap the app to choose an option:
    • "Never" denies the app any access to location data.
    • "Ask next time" allows you to choose between "Allow when using the app", "Allow once" or "Do not allow".
    • "When using the app" grants the app access to location data only if it or one of its functions is displayed on the screen. If an app has "While using the app" turned on, the status bar might turn blue and see a message that the app is actively accessing your location.
    • "Always" grants the app access to location data in the background.

On this screen, apps should also explain how they actually use your location data. Some apps may only have two options to choose from.

This is how you share your exact location

On iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, some apps can use Exact Location to get your exact location. If you only want to share your approximate location, turn off "Exact location". This is sufficient for apps that don't need your exact location. It works like this:

  1. Go to Settings> Privacy and select Location Services.
  2. Select an app, and enable or disable the "Exact Location" feature.

Learn more about data protection and location services here.

  1. The location services determine the approximate location of your device using GPS and Bluetooth (if available) as well as the location data of numerous users via Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers.
  2. Apps can't use location data until you've asked for permission and you've given it.
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