How Do I Change Location Settings on an iPhone?

In this tutorial, you will learn:

• what location settings are
• why location settings are important
• how apps and iPhones use location settings
• how to manage location settings on an iPhone


Most current mobile devices, such as iPhones, can track your current location. They do this to take advantage of built-in mapping capabilities and to personalize information for you. This information can be customized to your current physical location. This capability has both positive and negative characteristics. If you’re a runner, you may want to track your distance and location on daily runs. On the other hand, you may value your privacy and not want to track or provide your constant location.

Image 1
Image 1

The example shown here (Image 1) is the Runkeeper app, which uses location services to provide you with an exact map and details of your run or walk.

Why Are Location Settings Important?

Location Settings are important because with each app that you use, you are subject to that app’s specific privacy policies and terms (Image 2). You should be aware of these terms before enabling location services for each app on your iPhone.

Image 2- Runkeeper Privacy Policy
Image 2

How Do Apps Use Location Services?

Apps might use your current location to help you find nearby restaurants and gas stations, or to label a specific location in a post. The example in Image 3 shows how the app Yelp uses your current location to identify nearby restaurants.

Image 3- Yelp Location Settings
Image 3

How Do iPhones Use Location Services?

Tracking your location provides personalized services and keeps a history of your physical location. This example shows how an iPhone uses location services to keep track of frequent locations. You can see that the specific times and addresses (Image 4) have been recorded by the smartphone.

Image 4- Location Tracking on iPhone
Image 4

How Do I Change Location Settings On My iPhone?

You have control over the settings on Location Services on your iPhone. To change these settings, you start with the Settings icon. Scroll down and select Privacy (Image 5). Then select Location Services (Image 6). From this point, you can choose to turn off location services completely by switching the slider to the “off” position. However, if you want to use Location Services on some apps, you can manage them by choosing which apps can use your current location, and when they can use them. The options for this are: Always, Never, and While Using (Image 7).

Image 5- Settings on iPhone
Image 5
Image 6- Location Services on iPhone
Image 6
Image 7- Location Options iPhone
Image 7

From this point, you can also manage frequent location tracking on your iPhone. Select System Services (Image 8), and then select Frequent Locations (Image 9). To turn off frequent location tracking, slide to the “off” position (Image 10).

Image 8- System Services iPhone
Image 8
Image 9- Frequent Location iPhone
Image 9
Image 10- Turn off Frequent Locations iPhone
Image 10

The Control Lies With the User

Remember – you are in control. You have the ability to enable or disable Location Services at any time. iPhones and Apps cannot use Location Services without your permission. For example, Runkeeper must ask permission for access to your location before it uses it. The control stays with the user when it comes to location services on an iPhone.

Download this PDF file if you would like a printed version of this tutorial.