Introduction – How to completely disable location tracking on iPhone
Location tracking can be a great feature to allow you to track the whereabouts of your children — or Apple’s Find My iPhone feature, which can help you locate a lost or stolen device. Tracking also provides other benefits such as recommending local restaurants and sharing traffic information with your contacts. But most people probably don’t want their daily movements broadcasted to the world at large.
Below is a guide on how to completely disable location tracking on your iPhone.
Open Settings on your iPhone
- First, open “Settings” on your iPhone. Settings are represented by an icon that looks like a gear. Tap on it to open the app.
- You may need to swipe left or right to find the app on your home screen, depending on how you set up your phone originally. The Settings app can also be found at the end of your iPhone X home screen pages (for example, if you have four pages of apps and folders, you’ll need to swipe over to the fourth page).
Tap on Privacy
In your settings on your iPhone, tap on privacy.
Then tap on Location Services
- Then tap on Location Services. This will show you all of the apps that are tracking your location to some degree. You can see which are using it in certain ways, such as for navigation, or other purposes. And you can turn off the toggle next to any of the apps if you want to stop them from tracking your location at all (you can also choose less restrictive permissions).
Scroll to the bottom of the page and select System Services, which is what a lot of the location services are called
There are a few other location services on this screen that may also be useful to turn off if you don’t use them. They’re all under the “System Services” heading at the bottom of the list, and they include Apple’s location-based ad tracking, diagnostics data gathering, and traffic routing.
This is where things get fun (at least for people who like lists that aren’t in alphabetical order). The list of system services isn’t alphabetical; it’s not even organized by type. Some system services have to do with ads, some with device management, some with emergency SOS and so on. So it may take you a little while to sift through all the categories and options here.
From there, you can turn off every option for tracking you if you want to be 100% sure your location is never tracked
This is the best, most thorough way to make sure your location is never tracked on your iPhone. You can turn off location services entirely, or you can pick and choose which apps need to track your location and which ones don’t.
To turn off location services entirely, go into Settings > Privacy > Location Services, and then toggle the switch at the very top to the Off position (it should be green when it’s turned on). Doing so will automatically turn off all of your iPhone’s location tracking for every app that uses it.
Now, tap Significant Locations
Now that you’ve opened the Privacy screen, you should see a list of options on the side. The last one on the list reads Location Services. Tap this option to open it up and see what’s inside.
When you tap on Location Services, you’ll come to a new screen with another list of options. Scroll down until you find System Services at the bottom. This is where Significant Locations is hiding! Tap it to view your location history and disable it if necessary.
Ignore all the other location services if you want; they’re not important for this part of the process and are also disabled by default.
Tap the Toggle Next to Significant Locations
To start, tap the toggle next to Significant Locations.
If you still want to turn off your location history, then make sure the toggle next to Significant Locations is set to off.
Alternatively, you can tap the Significant Locations toggle if you would like to turn it back on.
Then finally, tap “Turn Off” on the prompt to deactivate Significant Locations
- Go to Settings, then Privacy, then Location Services.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and select System Services.
- Then tap Significant Locations.
- Then tap the toggle next to Significant Locations. You may be prompted for your passcode or fingerprint if you have enabled Touch ID or Face ID.
- Then finally, tap “Turn Off” on the prompt to deactivate Significant Locations.
Conclusion – You can disable all location tracking, including activity-related tracking
You can disable all location tracking, including activity-related tracking.
At the end of the day, you have to decide how much effort and time you want to put into limiting your location data collection—and in making that decision, you’ll also have to consider what benefits (or convenience) these features bring you. If you’re looking for a 100% guarantee that your location will never be tracked by your iPhone, then turning off every single option is the way to go. However, keep in mind that this will also prevent Apple from accessing any fitness data associated with your daily walking or running that’s generated by the accelerometer in your phone.
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