How to turn off location services on an iPhone

Cupertino, June 30, 2021

Sometimes it's very strange to open your Maps app and see a list of the most recent locations you've been to. You don't want to fall into the wrong hands.

It's even weirder to think of the countless applications that constantly track your location and do who-knows-what with this information.

Location services use WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS to find out where you are. They can really enhance the iPhone experience, especially if you're an avid user of Find My App or you can use Maps to get anywhere. But having your location very accessible for every the app may not be the best move in terms of privacy.

You should do a semi-regular check on the applications that you are able to absently enable location services and turn off anything you don't want to track every move. Here's how:

IOS location services

There are built-in iPhone mechanisms that either rely on location access to work, or are greatly improved by location access, such as Find My iPhone, Emergency Calls, and Cell Search. But if you don't actively use every built-in service that reaches your location, you can stop them.

1. Find the settings and scroll down to Privacy.

Of course, everything mysterious about the iPhone is in Settings. Location service settings will be housed in the Privacy section.

2. Find the system services

At the top ...

At the top ...

Credit: screenshot: apple

... and right at the bottom.

... and right at the bottom.

Credit: screenshot: apple

Touch "Location Services" at the very top. then scroll down to "System Services" at the very bottom.

3. View the list and make your selections.

Massive image

The full list of iOS systems that use location services will be displayed, and you can enable or disable whatever you choose. Your choices should depend on the telephone services you use on a daily basis. But in general, services that can access calls, send text messages, navigate data, or set up your phone (such as Time Zone Setup, Emergency and SOS Calls, and Cellular Search) should probably remain, while iOS services more personalized ones (such as HomeKit, Location-Based Suggestions, and Apple Pay) can be turned off if you don't use them.

SEE ALSO:

How to turn off location history in Google Maps

Application localization services

Deciding which apps can access your location follows the same process, minus one step. Instead of accessing system services, stop on the list that appears after you access location services in the privacy settings.

Your list of applications with location access.

Your list of applications with location access.
Credit: screenshot: apple

Touch any app to switch location access between "Never", "Always", "During use" and "Ask next time", which are fairly self-explanatory options. Not all applications will have all the options, depending on how it works.

Chipotle doesn't have to know my location all the time.

Chipotle doesn't have to know my location all the time.
Credit: screenshot: apple

When you click on the app, you'll also see a "Precise Location" toggle button. Disable this if you prefer the app to have access to only one approximate location when you use location access.

SEE ALSO:

Romantic, practical or creepy: should you share your partner's location?

You can also completely disable location services by disabling "Location Services" right at the top of the application menu. We don't recommend this because, as I said, there are definitely some iPhone services that access location services that we can't live without.

But if you're trying to live a private lifestyle, at least off-grid - at least as much as you can while you still own an iPhone - going completely out of place is the best bet. So go ahead, press the switch and stay light knowing that no part of your iPhone is following you ... even if other people might still.

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