How to Turn On/Off Location Services on the iPad

Some apps require that you turn on Location Services

What to Know

  • To turn on/off Location Services on all apps, go to Settings > Privacy > toggle Location Services on or off.
  • Turn on/off Location Services for an app: Settings > Privacy > Location Services > tap app > choose option.
  • Options include Always, While Using the App, and Never.

This article explains how to turn Location Services on and off on iPads running iPadOS 15, iPadOS 14, and iPadOS 13.

How to Turn Off Location Services for All Apps at Once

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.

Location services are probably 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

With Location Services off, apps won't be able to see your location, and you won't be able to use services like Find My Friends.

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 as well using Wi-Fi triangulation.

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 upper-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 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 several options to define when Location Services can use your data. Most have only three, but a few may have an additional one that varies by app. Tap the option you want to assign to the app.

    • 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 or not the app is open.

    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 "Never" and "While Using the App" options highlighted

Your settings will save as soon as you select them.

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