If you want to disable GPS on your iPhone, here’s how to completely turn it off so that no apps can use it.
The GPS on your iPhone can be really helpful. It allows you to get turn-by-turn directions and share your location with others in various apps, including iMessage. It’s a feature that can be super useful, especially when you need it the most.
However, in a day and age where many apps track our location (sometimes a little too obsessively), many users might want to turn off the GPS capabilities on their iPhone completely. Plus, it also saves your iPhone’s battery so that it doesn’t die on you later on.
One mistake that many iPhone users make, though, is that they simply enable Airplane Mode thinking that will completely turn off the GPS, along with the WiFi and LTE connection. While Airplane Mode does shut off WiFi and LTE, it actually doesn’t turn off GPS, so even when you have Airplane Mode enabled, GPS is still turned on and running, so any apps can still use your location. Granted, if you don’t have an internet connection, then finding your location can be difficult, but any offline maps app can still use your iPhone’s GPS to its fullest.
In any case, Airplane Mode only disables any signals that your iPhone sends out that could interfere with radio signals in the plane. GPS is a passive radio where your iPhone only receives signals, and it doesn’t broadcast any signals like with WiFi and LTE.
Without further ado, here’s how to completely turn off iPhone GPS so that apps can’t use it, even with Airplane Mode enabled.
Completely Disabling iPhone GPS
Conveniently enough, There are quick-access toggles in the iOS Control Center that allow you to easily turn off and on WiFi, Bluetooth, and Airplane Mode, but no quick toggle for GPS. This isn’t too surprising, as Apple wants users to keep GPS on since that’s a huge part of the experience with many apps, but you want to turn it off, you have to do a bit more work other than just accessing Control Center.
To completely turn off GPS on your iPhone, follow these simple steps:
First off, open up the Settings app and navigate to Privacy > Location Services.
At the top of that page, tap on the toggle switch to the right of Location Services to turn it off (it will go from green to gray). This will turn off your iPhone’s GPS completely.
This means that no apps will be able to use your location at all, including Apple Maps. However, if you want to keep GPS on, but only allow certain apps to use the GPS functionality, you can control that within the Location Services page in Settings.
Below the toggle, you’ll see a list of apps that you can individually set GPS permissions for. Tapping on one will give you options. Many apps will let you choose between Never, While Using the App, and Always.
Never means that the app isn’t allowed to use your iPhone’s GPS at all. While Using the App means that the app can only use GPS when it’s up and actively being used. Always means that the app can use your location whether or not you’re actively using the app, but once you close out of the app completely by removing it from the app switcher, it can’t use the GPS.
Some apps will have all three options available, while other apps might only have Never or Always as choices or even Never and While Using the App only.
This can be a great way to restrict certain apps from using your location while still keeping the GPS on and other apps available to use it.