How to Disable or Enable iPad Location Services

Some apps require that you turn on Location Services

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Much like a smartphone, the iPad's location-tracking sensors are fairly accurate at pinpointing your location. An iPad that can connect to a cellular network also includes an Assisted-GPS chip to help determine the location but, even without GPS, it works almost just as well with Wi-Fi triangulation.

However, while Location Services can come in handy in many situations, you should disable it if you're concerned about apps knowing your location. Another reason to disable Location Services on the iPad is to save some battery power.

These instructions apply to devices running iOS 8 and later.

How to Turn Off Location Services

Location services are probably already turned on for your iPad, so here's how to shut off location tracking for all your apps at once:

  1. Open the iPad's Settings by tapping Settings.

    The iPad Settings app
  2. Scroll down and tap the Privacy menu item.

    iPad settings with the Privacy icon highlighted
  3. Tap Location Services at the top of the screen.

    Privacy settings on an iPad with the Location Services icon highlighted
  4. Tap the toggle switch next to Location Services to off/white to disable the feature.

    Location Services settings on an iPad with the slider highlighted
  5. When asked if you're sure, tap Turn Off.

    Location Services confirmation screen with the Turn Off button highlighted
  6. With Location Services off, apps won't be able to see your location, but you won't be able to use services like Find My Friends.

How to Temporarily Disable Location Services

You can quickly turn Location Services off and on through the Control Center on your iPad.

To do so, swipe down from the top-right corner of the screen and tap the airplane icon to turn on Airplane Mode. While this method will shut down Location Services for all your apps in just a moment or two, it also stops your phone from taking or making calls and connecting to networks via cellular or ​Wi-Fi.

Control Center on iPad with the Airplane Mode button highlighted

How to Manage Location Services for Just One App

While it is easier to disable Location Services for all the apps at once, you can also toggle the setting off for single apps so that they can't identify your location.

Every app that uses location services asks your permission first, but even if you allowed it before, you can still disallow it.

  1. Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services on your iPad.

    Privacy settings on an iPad with the Location Services icon highlighted
  2. Scroll down through the list of applications and tap whichever one you want to disable (or enable) Location Services for.

    Location Services settings on an iPad with an app icon highlighted
  3. You have two or three options to define when Location Services can use your data. Tap the one you want to use.

    • Never means the app can't use your location at all.
    • While Using the App means the app can see and use your location when the app is open.
    • Always means that the app can read your location whether the app is open or not.

    The "Always" choice isn't always available, but you should avoid using it on apps you don't trust.

    Location Access settings for an app on iPad with the
  4. Your settings will save as soon as you select them.