How to Disable Location and Tracking Services on Your iPhone – For the ordinary user, customizing location settings to safeguard your privacy might be difficult and complicated. Here’s how to limit what Apple and app developers know about your location.
When you turn on your iOS device for the first time, it asks if you want to enable location services, which can be useful for apps like Google Maps or when marking your location on social media.
Many people press the enable button and never look back. Who has time to delve into location settings and tweak them? Yes, you do. It may seem difficult, but you can take control of your location data by giving Apple and its app developers only the information they need to run their apps and services with a few simple touches.
Disable Location Services
Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services and toggle off Location Services at the top of the screen to entirely disable location services. However, be aware that most of the services you use on a daily basis will be deactivated if you do so.
For example, when you take a photo, it will not be attached to a place, map apps will not be able to lead you somewhere, and Uber or Lyft will not be able to pinpoint your location. Disabling location services may help you save battery life and maintain the utmost level of privacy on your smart device, but it will negatively impact your overall experience.
Specific apps can have their location turned off.
To Disable Location and Tracking Services on Your iPhone, Adjust location permissions for individual apps in Settings > Privacy > Location Services instead of going nuclear. Choose an app from the list and adjust the permissions to your liking. Apps that use location services have four options as of iOS 14:
- While using the app, Never ensures that location services will never be tracked.
- Each time you launch the app, Ask Next Time will prompt you to choose between three options: Allow once, Allow while using, or Don’t allow.
- While Using instructs the app to use location tracking only when it is actively in use on the screen, either within the app or via the new iOS on-screen widgets.
- Even when the app is not in use, Always will allow the app to track the position of an iOS device.
If you don’t mind apps using location data but don’t want them to know exactly where you are, disable Precise Location. The app will only know your approximate location, which should suffice for most apps and services.
Disable iOS System Services Location
Within iOS System Services, you can also disable various backend location-tracking functions. Scroll to the bottom of the list and select System Services under Settings > Privacy > Location Services. You’ll see a list of items that you can turn on and off. They use location tracking in the following ways:
- When you use your physical Apple Card, Apple Pay Merchant Information leverages your current location to assist give more accurate merchant names.
- Cell Network Search monitors cell tower utilization and transmits the information to Apple.
- The electronic compass is calibrated with the help of location tracking.
- Device Management enables you to configure devices wirelessly, such as a gig worker app or a VPN for a school or business.
- Emergency Calls & SOS allows users to call 911 while remaining anonymous, and it leverages location data to aid in the event of an emergency.
- Find My iPhone is an Apple service that allows you to track an iOS device from a distance.
- HomeKit makes smart homes smarter by employing location tracking to automate tasks such as opening garage doors and turning on lights.
- Apple can utilize your location to send you geographically related alerts or news, such as Amber Alerts or severe weather advisories, using Location-Based Alerts.
- For Safari and Spotlight, Location-Based Suggestions enables location-specific suggestions.
- Fitness and activity applications use motion calibration and distance to accurately track activities.
- Wi-Fi usage is tracked and data is sent to Apple by Networking & Wireless.
- When changing time zones, Setting Time Zone uses location monitoring to automatically modify the time.
- Share My Location allows you to send your current location to others via iMessage or other apps such as Find My.
- Using location data, System Customization modifies the appearance, behaviour, and settings of the system.
- Significant Locations keeps track of where you go the most and sends you warnings based on calendar events or map instructions.
- iPhone Analytics assists Apple by giving data on how a given iOS device is used on a periodic basis.
- Routing & Traffic works with Apple to improve Maps by sharing current traffic patterns and speeds.
- Improve Maps allows Apple to use the user’s present location to provide an estimate of how long it will take to get to their favorite spots.
Many of the items on this list are completely safe to turn off. Features such as Cell Network Search and Networking & Wireless aren’t required for everyday use. Others, such as HomeKit or Motion Calibration & Distance, are only relevant if you want to automate your house or measure your fitness.
Turn on Status Bar Icon under System Services if you’re concerned about when your phone uses location data. When system services access your location, a black arrow icon will appear in the status bar.
Turn off location sharing.
The Find My app keeps track of the whereabouts of your Apple devices so you can recover them if they’re lost or stolen. You can also share your location with your pals. We recommend that you keep this turned on because you never know when your iPhone will be swiped or stolen. Go to Settings > [your name] > Find My > Find My iPhone if you’re concerned about privacy (or need to disable Find My before selling an older device). Toggle it off and confirm using your Apple ID password.
Turn off location sharing in the standalone Find My app if you don’t want your friends and family to know where you are. Toggle off Share My Location under the Me tab. To hide your location from certain people, go to the People tab, choose a specific contact, and either hide your location from them or remove them entirely from the app.
That is it on how to Disable Location and Tracking Services on Your iPhone.
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