How To Stop Apps Accessing Your Location On Android

When you install an app on your Android phone, there will be a list of the permissions requiring you to accept. Many of you don’t bother reading this and usually accept the requirements, but you don’t know that they request the access to your contacts, data and even location. So, if you’re concerning about your privacy, you should know which apps are keeping track of your location. Read this post to find out how you can stop apps from accessing your location.

There are currently two ways for you to go about this, which are using the Android’s built-in settings or using a permission control app.

For Android 6.0 and Higher (Marshmallow to Oreo)

All applications

Launch the Settings app on your Android phone; you will see the Location settings section. Simply turn on the switch at the top to enable or disable as your wish. You should keep in mind that this option will turn off the ability of all apps requiring the permission of your location, even ones you want to use GPS such as Google Maps, Facebook. If it’s an issue for you, you should check the following option.

You can also change the Location mode to one of three listed options below in order to customize things further:

  • High accuracy:  use all of the options, including GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and data networks.
  • Battery saving: use Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and data networks without GPS.
  • Device only:  only use GPS without Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and data networks.

Individual apps

Simply head to Settings>Apps>Configure apps (or App settings) > App permissions. From there, there will be a list of features of your phone such as a camera or contacts list. Now, choose the apps that have access to each, including your location.

Tap on Your location to choose apps that you want to have permission to access your location.

Also read: How To Update Firmware On Your Android Phone

For Android 4.3 – 5.1

All applications

Similar to the newer Android versions, you can easily change the Location settings for all apps just with a single switch. Go to Settings > More > Permission and turn on/off the switch next to Location. When the switch is off, your device will stop accessing the location data.

You can also change the method of location by tapping on Location > Mode. Here, select the three different modes according to your preferences.

If you scroll to Location, there will be a list of all of the apps requiring the accessibility to your location.

You can also use the Location Reporting setting to allow or refuse the access to your location data, though the Location History option allows wiping out data that has already been recorded.

Individual apps

Although you can disable the location tracking in the older Android versions, it might be an all-or-nothing approach. AppOps is a free app that can help in controlling the location permission of individual apps on your Android phone.

There are several apps with the same functions in Google Play, so you should make sure to install the right app. Launch the app and you’ll see a list of apps requiring your location information. Tap on any app in the list to see all of the permissions it is using.

You can then choose Location setting and turn it off to prevent that app from using your location. Repeat the process with the apps you want.


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