iPhone Location Services – how to enable it

Admin, Thursday, July 21, 2022
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Location services are pretty much the bone of iOS. Privacy advocates will give you a long list of reasons why you should disable them, but in reality, disabled iPhone location services equate to a very diminished experience on your device. Many apps and iOS features depend on location services, while other features can be considered optional. Let’s have an overview of iOS location services and what you should enable or disable.

Read more: How to see your iPhone’s location history

quick answer

Location Services can be found on your iOS device by going to Settings -> Privacy -> Location Services. Click the green toggle button to enable it, then enable or disable each individual sub-feature, depending on your needs.


Go to the main sections

Overview of Location Services on iOS 15

Location Services is the area of ​​your iOS device where you can decide how much privacy you wish to give to Apple and to app developers, in order to maximize your iOS experience. This is pretty much the iPhone location services in a nutshell.

Every app and every Apple feature that requires you to use your location is listed here, and you can decide on a case-by-case basis whether or not to grant access to your current location. Or you can go completely nuclear and disable location services completely. But as I said, disabling it will drastically reduce your smartphone experience. Many apps will either be severely disabled or not working at all.

Some downsides to disabling location services

  • There will be no Google Maps or Apple Maps.
  • There will be no tracking of lost or stolen devices and other items with Find My. AirTags will stop working.
  • You can’t track exercise paths on your Apple Watch.
  • The Emergency Call and SOS feature will not be able to determine your location for emergency services.
  • Your camera will not be able to attach metadata to each photo.
  • You will not get the weather forecast for your area.
  • Location-based reminders will stop working. So you don’t remember getting milk when you go through the supermarket.
  • HomeKit items will stop working if you can’t tell if you’re almost at home or really at home.
  • Automatic time zone change won’t work, which is hugely inconvenient for frequent flyers, and some apps like two-factor authentication won’t work if the times aren’t synced correctly.

These examples are just a scratch on the surface of what you will miss if you disable location services. So it’s worth enabling it and using only what you need to use.

How to turn location services on and off on iPhone

Enable disable location services

When you first set up your iOS device, it will ask you, as part of the setup process, if you want to activate location services. If you choose not to do it at that point, or if you disable it later, you can enable it again by going to Settings->Privacy->Location Services. Toggle it green, and that’s what turned it on.

How to customize location services on iPhone

iOS website services main menu

Now let’s take a look at the iPhone location services main settings page and what each item does. You can then decide whether to enable or disable it. Of course, we will also make recommendations.

share my location

find my ios page

When you first click share my locationYou will see that this is a house Find my iPhone. At the very least, location services should be running for this. An iPhone is an expensive tool – if it’s ever lost or stolen, disabling Find My iPhone will destroy any chance you have left to get your phone back.

This is also the area where you can choose whether to share your current location with friends or family, or for the purposes of using Siri or the Home app. You must approve each request manually, so you have complete control over this. However, some people may find it a bit intrusive if their family and friends can track their every move. That’s why I turned it off permanently.

my site When you have more than one Apple device – you can decide which device should be used to determine your location. If you carry more device than another, you can switch to this device for location tracking purposes.

Find my iPhone

Find My iPhone Options

toggle on Find my iPhone And follow the onscreen instructions, including entering the passcode. The passcode prevents the thief from turning off Find My and from inserting a new SIM card into the phone. Note that if you want to reset your iPhone, you will have to turn off Find My iPhone, otherwise the new owner will not be able to use it. It’s very easy to overlook.

Using Find My iPhone also allows you to remotely wipe your device in case it is stolen, so your personal data remains safe. You can also find the device when it’s locked or offline (in Airplane mode, for example).

Customize permission levels for specific apps

ios location services app permissions

If you now go back to the Find My iPhone home screen, you’ll see installed apps that require your location. You can choose to give them permanent access, access only when using the app, or no access at all. The screen will tell you why the app is requesting your location information, and it’s up to you to decide if it looks legitimate or not.

You should always be very careful, and err on the side of caution. If you give access to your site, the best is While using the app. Not only does this limit the amount of location data the app can collect, but it’s also less draining on your phone’s battery. Some apps also request your data when there is no grounds for needing it. For example, apps like Shazam, DropBox, and PayPal don’t need your location details, no matter how much they say about it.

Google Maps or Yelp, on the other hand – well, that’s a different story. Additionally, you may want to track location for social media apps to properly identify you. It’s all a matter of common sense and what your needs are.

Remember that any decision you make can be easily and immediately reversed later. nothing lasts forever.

iOS system services

ios system services

The next big area to look at is System Services, which is located at the bottom of the Site Settings page. This opens another big can of worms that you should review carefully. Here, Apple helpfully puts the meaning of the little diagonal arrows you’ll see next to the apps and settings that want your location. At a glance, you can see which apps and settings are most hungry for your location data. Faucet System Services to proceed to the next screen.

Switch iOS Settings

A lot of this stuff is safe to disable if you want to. Again, it’s all about what you need. Let’s take a look at each one in turn. Click one to drop details on it.

iOS Services Options

Useful only if you have a physical Apple Card. It uses your current location to provide more accurate brand names. Disable if you do not have an Apple Card.

Location tracking is used to help calibrate the compass app. Disable if you are not using the compass app.

It configures Apple devices by sending them profiles and commands, whether they are owned by the user or your organization. You can disable this to a great extent.

It allows an iPhone user to call 911 and use location data to determine their exact location. This one is recommended.

The owner of the iOS device was able to track their lost or stolen devices. It is highly recommended.

Apple’s smart home platform, which can do things like turn on the lights, tell Siri via the HomePod to play music, and more. This can be disabled if you are not using HomeKit.

Apple will use your location to provide you with what it considers useful information, based on where you are. This could be something like a severe weather warning, for example. I keep this up, but it really all depends on how far from home you travel and how often you travel.

Depending on your location, you might get recommendations for movie theaters from Spotlight and Siri, for example, as well as directions to nearby highly-rated restaurants. Again, you can decide if you will benefit from this.

Called Cell Network Search in the US, it tracks your use of cell towers. I recommend turning this off.

This is only necessary if you need to measure your exercises and steps on the fitness apps or Apple Watch. If you are not using these, you can disable them.

It tracks Wi-Fi usage. I recommend disabling this, although you will receive a warning from Apple that it will likely affect Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Clear, the name says it all. When you cross into a different time zone, Apple will automatically set the time on your phone. Very convenient for frequent travelers, but also good for daylight saving time adjustment. But you can change it manually just as easily.

As we’ve already seen, this allows you to share your location in real time with people on platforms like iMessage. I see this as very intrusive and it has been disabled.

This is a technical setting and can be disabled. but, Some Reddit users have reported It restarts itself again after a day or two. So you need to watch this.

Apparently, it changes the look and feel of your iOS device, as well as the settings, based on your location. I recommend this one discontinued.

It collects all the places you usually frequent. Again, too intrusive in my view, so I shut it down.

It sends your iPhone usage data to Apple. Definitely disable this.

Shares your travel routes and details of those routes (such as traffic and accidents) to improve Apple Maps. This is the option you can select based on your potential usage, but I personally have it turned off.

Your current location is used to improve maps by optimizing the estimated time to reach different destinations. Again, completely at your discretion.

iPhone can only be tracked to the last location before the phone is turned off. Assuming this is not your current location, someone will not be able to track you and your device again until the device is restarted again.

No, Google Maps and Apple Maps require your exact location to be able to give you step-by-step directions.

Apple estimates that if you’re in an area with strong satellite coverage, Find My iPhone is accurate to within 20 feet.

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