Why Turn Off Precise Location on iPhone and How To?

When it comes to protecting your privacy, one of the first things you should take care of is location sharing. If you’ve owned an iPhone for a while, chances are that some of the apps you have installed on it have access to your location. While sharing your location data is one thing, sharing your specific location with some apps isn’t a good idea.

In this post, we discuss when your iPhone might need access to your precise location and why it should be turned off to protect your privacy.

When does the iPhone need your exact location?

Precise location is useful when you need to share your specific location with an app that needs to narrow down your exact coordinates. By default, apps you’ve given location access to in the past have access to your specific location, down to the alleyway, street, or building you’re in. Of the apps installed on your iPhone, only some apps need access to your precise location.

If you commute, you may need to give your favorite navigation app access to your precise location. Whether it’s Apple Maps or Google Maps, these apps need to know your exact location so they can give you turn-by-turn directions and help you find a nearby restaurant or gas station. Similarly, taxi call and grocery delivery apps also need access to your precise location so the service staff can reach your location in a timely manner without asking you for directions.

The ability to toggle precise location access only came to iPhones with the iOS 14 update. Previously, users could only decide whether or not to share their location with an app. When someone shared their location in an app on iOS 13 or earlier, the app had access to their specific location, down to their precise coordinates.

Why would you turn off precise location on your iPhone?

Not all apps on your iPhone need access to your specific location. Unless you’re using a map app for navigation, or want to book a cab or order food, most of the apps you may have installed on your device have nothing to do with your precise location. For example, a weather app shouldn’t need you to share your exact location, since the weather data can stay the same over a larger region like a city or town. Likewise, streaming services don’t need access to your precise location to determine what region-based content to show you.

Read  How to Host a Sri Lankan Hopper Party

Unless you frequently share your location with someone, you don’t need to give messaging apps or social media precise location access. Although many of these apps claim that sharing your precise location will improve your user experience, it doesn’t make sense for such apps to know your precise whereabouts.

How to turn off precise location on iPhone

If you no longer want apps on your iPhone to be able to access your precise location, you can revoke that access at any time. There are two ways to enable accurate location for an app on your iPhone.

Method #1: Using Settings

The easiest way to turn off precise location access for an app is through iOS settings. To disable precise location, open the settings App on your iPhone.

In Settings, scroll down and select Privacy & Security.

On the privacy screen, tap location services above.

In order to switch the exact location, you have to activate the location services toggle above.

Once enabled, you’ll see a list of apps that have access to your location or have requested access in the past.

To turn off precise location for an app, select the app you want to remove access to.

On the next screen, you should be able to see the type of location access the app has been granted. Unless you’ve selected the “Never” option under “Allow access to location,” you should be able to configure your precise location settings. To disable precise location, turn off Precise location until it turns grey.

The selected app can no longer know your exact whereabouts.

Method #2: In an app’s location alerts

You’ll see location notifications on your iPhone screen for apps you open for the first time or that you’ve configured to only share your location upon request. In this notification, you can grant the app access to your location once while the app is in use, or deny access. You can also decide whether or not to share your specific location from the same notification.

Read  How to avoid feeling guilty when excluding a golf buddy

To turn off precise location, open an app that you’ve configured to only share your location when requested. Depending on the app loaded, you may need to invoke a feature/option that requires location access to receive a location notification.

When the location alert appears, a map should appear over all the available options. If you see a dense blue dot within this map, it means the app can detect your specific location if you allow location access to it.

To turn off precise location, tap Precisely: a button in the top left corner of the map.

The maps within the location alert now show the To be precise: off Label.

You will now see that the map within the location alert is now zoomed out and the dense blue dot no longer appears within the map. In its place, you’ll see a larger light-blue circle representing the approximate location data shared with the selected app.

You need to repeat the steps of any of these methods to turn off precise location for other apps installed on your iPhone.

What happens when you turn off precise location for an app?

So you’ve turned off precise location for an app. what happens next? If you turn off precise location for an app, the app now gets approximate coordinates that span a few kilometers in diameter, which is why you might see a large blue circle inside a location alert. When an app requests your location, your iPhone generates a random coordinate within that circular region to share your general location.

The circular area would not reveal your exact location as it could be anywhere within the location. This circle is generated in such a way that your actual coordinates are not necessarily at its center. iOS recalculates your approximate location a few times per hour.

The circle radius of your approximate location varies as you move around a place and the places you visit. For example, the circle radius is smaller when driving through a multi-city region. This radius increases as you travel through open terrain away from cities.

Read  How To Make Dew Collector

Can you completely turn off precise location for all apps?

no iOS doesn’t give you an option to turn off precise location for all apps at once. When you enter the Location Services screen, you need to turn off the Precise Location switch for all the apps installed on your iPhone one by one.

The only way to stop sharing your precise location with all apps at once is to completely turn off location services in iOS settings. However, the downside to this is that no apps on your iPhone can access your location, even if they are active.

So if you want to disable precise location for all apps without completely disabling location access on your iPhone, you need to disable the feature for all installed apps one by one.

I don’t see an exact location toggle in settings. Why?

If you can’t see the exact location toggle, use method 1 above, this could be because the app you are trying to turn off precise location in may not have basic location permission from your iPhone. As shown in the screenshot below if you have chosen Never To enable “Allow location access” for an app, the “Precise location” toggle below doesn’t appear.

The Precise Location toggle only appears when an app is configured to access your location at least once, or while an app is active. To make the exact location toggle visible, open the settings App on your iPhone.

In Settings, scroll down and select Privacy & Security.

On the privacy screen, tap location services above.

With location services turned on, you should now see a list of apps that have access to your location or have requested access in the past. From here, select the app where you can’t see the exact location toggle.

You should see the exact location toggle for an app when you select one of the following options under “Allow location access” in Location Services – Ask next time or when I share, While using the app, While using the app or widgetsand Always.

From here, it’s up to you to decide whether you want to turn precise location on or off.

That’s all you need to know about how to turn off accurate location on your iPhone.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *