Allow or Deny Access to Your Physical Location Settings

How to manage geolocation access through your browser

Geolocation is the process of determining a device's location using a combination of digital information. Websites and web applications can access the Geolocation API that's implemented in most popular browsers to learn your whereabouts. This information is then used for a variety of reasons, such as providing targeted content specific to your neighborhood or general area.

While it's sometimes nice to receive news, ads, and other items relevant to your particular locale, some web surfers are not comfortable with apps and pages that employ this data to customize their online experience. Keeping this in mind, browsers give you the opportunity to control location-based settings accordingly. The tutorials below detail how to use and modify this functionality in several different popular browsers.

This guide applies to Chrome 83.0.4103.116, Edge 83.0.478.58, Firefox 78.0.1, Internet Explorer 11, Opera 68.0.3618.173, Safari for MacOS 10, and Vivaldi 3.1.

Google Chrome

Google Chrome is one of the most popular browsers available, Here's how to disable its geolocation services:

  1. Select Chrome's Main Menu button, marked by three vertically aligned dots. It's located in the upper right corner of the browser.

    The More menu in Safari
  2. Select Settings.

    Settings in Chrome
  3. Scroll down and click Site Settings.

    A screenshot of Chrome settings with the Site Settings heading highlighted
  4. Under Permissions, select Location.

    Location heading in Chrome settings
  5. Move the Ask before accessing (recommended) slider to toggle it on or off. Turn it on if you want websites to request your permission before accessing your location.

    The "Ask before accessing" option for location in Chrome
  6. Below that, you can see the Block section and the Allow section. Here, you can see which websites you've given geolocation permissions to and revoke them, if needed.

Mozilla Firefox

Location-aware browsing in Firefox asks for your permission when a website attempts to access your location data. Take the following steps to disable this feature altogether.

  1. Select the Menu button.

    A screenshot of Firefox with the More menu highlighted
  2. Choose Preferences.

    A screenshot of Firefox with the Preferences option highlighted
  3. Click Privacy & Security.

    A screenshot of Firefox preferences with the Privacy & Security heading highlighted
  4. Scroll down to Permissions and select Settings next to Location.

    The Settings button next to Location in Firefox settings
  5. This opens the Settings - Location Permissions dialog box. From here, you can see which websites have requested access to your location and choose to allow or block them.

Microsoft Edge

Here's how to tweak which websites can access your location using Microsoft's latest browser.

  1. Select the Settings and more button (depicted as three horizontal dots) in the upper right corner of the screen.

    The More menu in Edge
  2. Select Settings.

    Settings in Edge
  3. Click Site Permissions on the left side of the screen.

    The Site Permissions heading in Edge settings
  4. Select Location.

    The Location heading
  5. Move the Ask before accessing (recommended) slider to toggle it on or off. Turn it on if you want websites to request your permission before accessing your location.

    Site Permissions options in MS Edge
  6. In the Block section and the Allow sections, you can see which websites you've given geolocation permissions to and revoke them, if needed.

Opera

Opera uses Google Location Services to track your whereabouts. The first time you go to a website using the browser, it asks you to accept GLS' terms and conditions. After that, Opera will give you the choice of sending your location data, or not, whenever a website requests that information. But, if you want to disable it completely, go to Settings (Preferences on Mac) > Websites > Location and uncheck Allow websites to request my physical location.

Internet Explorer 11

Here's how to disable geolocation services in Internet Explorer 11:

  1. Select the Gear icon in the upper right-hand corner of the browser window.

  2. When the drop-down menu appears, select Internet Options.

    The Internet Options command and Settings gear in Internet Explorer
  3. Select the Privacy tab.

  4. Find the Location section under Privacy Options and click the checkbox next to Never allow websites to request your physical location. When activated, this option instructs the browser to deny all requests to access your physical location data.

    The "Never allow websites to request your physical location" setting in Internet Explorer
  5. The Clear Sites button is also within the Location section. Anytime a website attempts to access your location data, IE11 prompts you to take action. In addition to allowing or denying that individual request, you have the option to blocklist or safelist the respective website. These preferences are then stored by the browser and used on subsequent visits to those sites. To delete all of those saved preferences and start anew, select the Clear Sites button.

Safari for Macs

Safari is the default web browser that ships with all Mac computers. To access or deny access to your physical location in Safari:

  1. Click the System Preferences option under the Apple menu or in the Dock.

    The System Preferences command under the Apple menu
  2. Select Security & Privacy.

    Security & Privacy in macOS System Preferences
  3. Click the Privacy tab and select Location Services from the left pane.

    The Privacy tab and Location Services in macOS System Preferences
  4. Click the lock icon to make the settings changeable, and enter your admin password if you receive a prompt.

    The lock icon in System Preferences
  5. Enable or disable location services by placing (or removing) a check in front of Enable Location Services.

    The "Enable Location Services" option in macOS System Preferences
  6. Place a check in the box in front of Safari to enable location services for the browser. Remove the checkmark to prevent Safari from sharing your location.

Vivaldi

Vivaldi is a free cross-platform web browser that launched in 2016. It's the most customizable of the popular web browsers.

  1. Click the Settings gear in the lower-left corner of the screen.

    The Settings gear in Vivaldi
  2. Select Webpages on the left.

    The Webpages heading in Vivaldi settings
  3. Under Default Permissions, open the menu next to Geolocation. You have three options:

    • Allow: Every site you navigate to can see your location.
    • Ask: Vivaldi will ask you before giving location permission to a site.
    • Block: No sites can see your location.
    Geolocation settings in Vivaldi