How to Fix It When Your iPhone GPS Isn’t Working

Use these tips and tricks to restart your iPhone GPS

GPS is one of the most popular features people use on an iPhone, and it’s very frustrating when it stops working. Sometimes GPS can’t find your current location or will stop working when navigating. Either way, there are a few methods you can try to fix it.

Causes of iPhone GPS Not Working

Although iPhone GPS issues are not common, they usually occur right after updating iOS. Quite a few users of iOS versions 8.4 and 9.3 reported iPhone maps not working. Other causes for GPS not working are a weak signal, outdated maps data, or hardware failure. 

Solutions to fix GPS on your iPhone.
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Try one of these solutions to fix the GPS on your iPhone when it stops working. The easiest fixes are at the top. 

How to Fix iPhone GPS Issues

Some solutions for fixing the GPS in your iPhone are checking your Wi-Fi signal, closing GPS apps, turning on and off LTE, resetting your network settings, or restarting your iPhone. Other fixes may include turning on and off Airplane Mode, removing and reinstalling GPS apps, toggling location services, and adjusting your time zone settings. As a last resort, you can also try factory resetting your iPhone to fix the GPS.

  1. First, make sure mobile data is turned on and that you have a signal. Wi-Fi helps with accuracy, so make sure that your Wi-Fi is on and you're connected. Either of these types of connections should help get your GPS working again.

  2. Close the Maps app or any other GPS app you are using and then restart it. If there is a glitch in one of the apps, that may get them working again.

  3. Shut down your iPhone and start it up again. It can have the effect of restarting a service that has stopped working. 

    Don’t worry, none of your settings or data will be deleted when you restart your iPhone.

    Depending on the iPhone model you own, you can soft reset your device by holding down a combination of keys. 

    For iPhone X-Series and 11-Series

    1. Quickly press and release the Volume Up button.
    2. Quickly press and release the Volume Down button.
    3. Hold the On/Off button until you see the Apple logo.
    4. Slide to turn the phone off.
    5. Turn back on, and the reset is complete.

    For iPhone 6, 7, & 8

    1. Press and hold the On/Off button while also pressing the Home/Wake button at the bottom of the phone.
    2. Hold for at least 10 seconds until the device shuts off.
    3. When you see the Apple logo, let go of the buttons and allow it to reboot.

    Once your phone has fully reset, and you have unlocked it, test your GPS again. 

    While very rare, GPS may stop working after an iOS update. It may resolve itself after a few hours, or it may require another update to fix. Always keep your iPhone updated with the latest iOS. 

  4. Another quick fix is to toggle Airplane Mode on for 30 seconds. Then turn it off and try your GPS again.

    Airplane Mode is a little confusing because turning it on actually turns off wireless connections, including Wi-Fi, cellular, and GPS (another way to think about it is enabling Airplane Mode). Sometimes toggling something off and then on again resets the connection.

  5. Reinstall the app. If your attempts of turning off GPS on your iPhone haven’t worked, try deleting the GPS app and reinstalling it.

  6. Toggling location services off and then on again is a simple trick that works for many iPhone users. Occasionally something gets stuck that just needs a quick reset. The issue above is the most common reason you will see “location not available” on your iPhone. 

  7. Another thing to check is the GPS app you are using has the correct permissions. Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services and choose the right setting to allow location services for that app. 

    According to Apple, the iPhone “Location Services uses GPS, Bluetooth, crowd-sourced Wi-Fi hotspots, and cellular towers to determine your location.”

  8. Check your Date & Time Zone settings. Another reason GPS might not be working is your date/time zone settings. To fix them, go to Settings > General > Date & Time, and choose Set Automatically.

  9. Turn off LTE. Turning off your LTE service can sometimes restart the GPS service and force it to start working again. Follow the steps below.

    1. Go to Settings > Cellular.
    2. Tap Cellular Data Options.
    3. Tap Voice and Data.
    4. Select 3G.

    Now try your GPS app to see if it has resumed working correctly. If not, move onto the next tip. Remember to turn LTE back on when you are done.

  10. Resetting your iPhone network settings solves a bunch of issues with Wi-Fi, GPS, and even Bluetooth connections when they are broken. Once the reset is complete check your GPS to see if it is working. You may have to log back into your Wi-Fi connection because resetting the network breaks the connection.

  11. As a last resort, you can completely reset your iPhone. If none of the fixes above worked, you can try factory resetting your iPhone.

Please note, this is a factory reset and will erase all your settings and data. It should be used as a last resort to fix your GPS. You can back up your iPhone using iTunes, the Finder, or iCloud to prepare for a factory reset and possibly reclaimed your settings and data but, with a reset, you risk losing everything if you don't have a good backup.

If none of these fixes work, then the issue is probably hardware related. Some iPhone owners have brought their devices into Apple and had the GPS antenna replaced, and it solved the problem. Your next step would be to contact Apple support for help