How to Turn Location Services On or Off on iPhone & iPad (iOS 15 Update)

Here's how to enable or disable Location Services on your iPhone and iPad for all apps or on an app-by-app basis. We'll also cover how to share your location.

Apple allows customers to turn Location Services on or off and customize Location Sharing on iPhone and iPad. You can allow more or less location information to be share with all apps, or choose your location settings app-by-app. We'll also go over how to share your location with members of your Family Sharing group, and turn off location sharing. 

Related: How to Share Your Location on an iPhone—the Fastest Way!

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How to Turn Off Location Sharing & Turn On Location Sharing

Location Services on iPhone allows your apps to do all kinds of things, such as give you directions from your Current Location to your destination or track your jogging route with GPS. While location services on iPhone is pretty fundamental to a lot of the available functions, you can choose to turn off location services altogether. Turning your iPhone’s location services on or off is easy to do within your Privacy settings. When you turn location services off completely, none of your apps will be able to track or use your location. To turn location services on or off:

  1. Open the Settings app.

    iphone settings app
     
  2. Tap Privacy.

    iphone privacy settings
     
  3. Tap Location Services.

    iphone location services settings

     
  4. Toggle Location Services off to turn location services off completely.
  5. Toggle Location Services on, if it was previously off and you want to enable it.

    turn location services on or off on iphone
     

If you want most of your apps not to use location services but you realize some apps, like Maps, need location services to work, make sure location services is turned on and skip to the next tip. We’ll cover how to turn location services on or off on an app-by-app basis below.

How to Turn On/Off Location Services on an App-by-App Basis

Personally, I think this is the best way to manage location services on iPhone and iPad. This will allow you to look at each app on your iPhone that wants to use your location, as well as whether that app can use your location always, never, or while using, and whether or not you'll allow your precise location to be used. By giving individual location access to specific apps you aren’t wasting battery or giving away more privacy than you need to. This way, you're able to use location services for the Maps app while turning location services off for, say, the Camera app. To turn location services on or off on an app-by-app basis:

  1. Open the Settings app.

    iphone settings app
     
  2. Tap Privacy.

    iphone privacy settings
     
  3. Tap Location Services.

    iphone location services settings
     
  4. You’ll see a list of all your apps that want to use your location. Some apps will request more location use than others. For example, the Weather app wants to use your location Always or Never, but the Messages app requests location access either Never or While Using the App.

    enable location services for an app
     
  5. Go through your list of apps and decide whether or not each one needs to use your location. Tap on the app and select either Never, Always, or While Using the App, and toggle on Precise Location if you want the app to know exactly where you're located. For example, you may decide that the Maps app needs your precise location, while Google searches in the Chrome app give good results with just your approximate location.

    toggle on precise location
     

Do this for each app on the list and you’ll have customized your location services on iPhone.

How to Share Location with Family on iPhone & iPad

If you use Apple Family Sharing on iPhone, you can easily share your location with family members. This is great especially for families with children as it guarantees they’ll be able to find you and vice versa. To share your location with Family, you'll need to set up Family Sharing, and your family members will need to accept the invitation and share their location via Find My. Once this has happened:

  1. Open the Settings app.

    iphone settings app
     
  2. Tap Privacy.

    iphone privacy settings
     
  3. Tap Location Services.

    iphone location services settings
     
  4. Tap Share My Location.

    tap share my location
     
  5. Toggle Share My Location on.

    toggle on share my location
     
  6. With this enabled, they can check the Find My app to always see where you are based on your device’s location.
  7. To stop sharing your location with a family member, tap the person's email address, then tap Stop Sharing My Location

    Stop Sharing My Location

If you prefer not to share your location at all with anyone, the next tip will go over how to turn off Share My Location.

How to Turn Off Share My Location

You can share your location with anyone who has an Apple ID from your iPhone. This is commonly done within the Find My app. However, if you’d rather make sure you never share your location, you can turn off Share My Location. To do this:

  1. Open the Settings app.

    iphone settings app
     
  2. Tap Privacy.

    iphone privacy settings
     
  3. Tap Location Services.

    iphone location services settings
     
  4. Tap Share My Location.

    tap share my location
     
  5. Toggle off Share My Location and confirm by tapping Turn Off.

    toggle off location services
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Author Details

Conner Carey's picture

Author Details

Conner Carey

Conner Carey's writing can be found at conpoet.com. She is currently writing a book, creating lots of content, and writing poetry via @conpoet on Instagram. She lives in an RV full-time with her mom, Jan and dog, Jodi as they slow-travel around the country.