How To Turn Off GPS
How To Turn Off GPS

Navigating the settings of your cell phone to disable GPS can be crucial for various reasons – whether it’s about conserving battery life, maintaining privacy, or simply troubleshooting location-based issues. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you turn off GPS on your smartphone, irrespective of whether you’re an Android or an iPhone user.

Understanding GPS on Your Cell Phone

Before diving into the process, it’s essential to understand what GPS is and how it works on your phone. GPS, or Global Positioning System, is a satellite-based navigation system that provides location and time information under any weather conditions, anywhere on or near the Earth.

Why Turn Off GPS?

There are several reasons you might want to turn off GPS on your phone:

  1. Privacy Concerns: Disabling GPS helps in maintaining your location privacy.
  2. Battery Savings: GPS can be a significant drain on your phone’s battery.
  3. Data Accuracy: Sometimes, turning off GPS and then turning it back on can improve location accuracy.

Turning Off GPS on Android Devices

Android devices offer a straightforward process to disable GPS.

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Access Settings: Swipe down from the top of the screen and tap the gear icon.
  2. Location Services: Scroll down and find ‘Location’ or ‘Security & Location’.
  3. Toggle Off: Switch off the location services.

Disabling GPS on iPhones

Apple’s iOS also provides an easy method to turn off GPS.

Easy Steps to Follow

  1. Open Settings: Tap on the ‘Settings’ icon on your home screen.
  2. Privacy Menu: Scroll and tap on ‘Privacy’.
  3. Location Services: Here, you can toggle off the GPS.

Specific App Permissions

Both Android and iOS allow users to control GPS permissions on a per-app basis.

Managing App Permissions on Android

  1. Settings → Apps & Notifications: Find the app in question.
  2. Permissions: Select ‘Permissions’ and then ‘Location’ to modify it.

Controlling App Permissions on iPhone

  1. Settings → Privacy → Location Services: Select the app.
  2. Choose Permission Level: Select ‘Never’, ‘Ask Next Time’, ‘While Using the App’, or ‘Always’.

GPS in Airplane Mode

A common myth is that turning on Airplane mode will disable GPS – this is not always true. Airplane mode disables cellular, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth signals, but GPS may still be active.

Battery-Saving Modes and GPS

Most smartphones have a battery-saving mode that can affect GPS functionality. This mode often limits background data and GPS usage.

Advanced GPS Settings

For users who want more control, both Android and iOS offer advanced GPS settings where you can manage additional location-based features.

Android’s Advanced Settings

  1. Developer Options: Unlock developer options for more detailed settings.
  2. Location Accuracy: Adjust settings for improved accuracy or battery savings.

iOS Advanced Settings

  1. System Services: Within Location Services, ‘System Services’ offers additional GPS controls.
  2. Significant Locations: Manage how your iPhone keeps track of significant locations.

Troubleshooting GPS Issues

If you’re experiencing issues with GPS, consider the following steps:

  1. Restart Your Device: This can resolve many technical glitches.
  2. Update Your Software: Ensure your device’s software is up to date.
  3. Check for Interferences: Certain materials and environments can block GPS signals.


Turning off GPS on your cell phone is a simple process that can offer benefits like increased privacy and battery savings. Whether you’re an Android or iPhone user, the steps outlined above will guide you through disabling GPS on your device.

FAQs About Turning Off GPS on Cell Phones

  1. Will turning off GPS affect my emergency services? Yes, disabling GPS can impact location services used by emergency responders.
  2. Does GPS use a lot of data? GPS itself doesn’t use data, but apps that use GPS for maps and location services can.
  3. Can I still receive calls and texts with GPS off? Yes, turning off GPS does not affect your ability to receive calls and texts.
  4. Will disabling GPS improve my phone’s battery life significantly? It can help, especially if you use location-based services frequently.
  5. Can apps track my location with GPS turned off? Without GPS, apps may use Wi-Fi or mobile networks to estimate your location, but less accurately.
Eric Chan

Hi! I’m Eric and I work on the knowledge base at  You can see some of my writings about technology, cellphone repair, and computer repair here.

When I’m not writing about tech I’m playing with my dog or hanging out with my girlfriend.

Shoot me a message at if you want to see a topic discussed or have a correction on something I’ve written.

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