Use these tips and tricks to troubleshoot your iPhone's GPS problems. GPS is one of the most popular features people use on iPhones and it's frustrating when it suddenly doesn't work. Sometimes, the message "Location not available" appears on your iPhone. Sometimes GPS on iPhone doesn't work when you use your phone with the Apple Maps app. Either way, there are some methods you can try to fix.
Why doesn't GPS work on iPhone?
Some iPhone settings intentionally prevent the GPS from working. Other causes of GPS failure are a weak signal, outdated map data, or a hardware failure. Although iPhone GPS problems are not common, they can occur after iOS update.
Most of the solutions to missing GPS signal on iPhone are related to easy to fix settings. Most of the solutions for an iPhone GPS problem are related to the settings and are easy to set up.
1. Restart the iPhone. Turn it off, wait a minute and turn it back on. Rebooting is often a solution when something on the phone isn't working as expected.
2. Move to an open area. Avoid areas with no signal or weak signal such as metal buildings, heavily wooded areas or tunnels. Move to an open place and check the GPS signal again.
3. Update the iPhone iOS. Check that your iPhone is running the latest iOS version and if not, update it. Each new version of iOS contains bug fixes and new features.
4. Verify that the data network is active. Disable and re-enable the Cellular Data slider in the iPhone settings and confirm that you have a signal.
5. Turn on Wi-Fi. A Wi-Fi connection helps the GPD be more accurate, so make sure your Wi-Fi is turned on. According to Apple, iPhone location services use GPS, Bluetooth, crowdsourced Wi-Fi hotspots, and cell towers to determine your location.
6. Turn on airplane mode. Another quick fix is to turn on airplane mode for 30 seconds. After that, try the GPS again.
7. Enable Location Services. Disabling and re-enabling Location Services is a simple trick that works for many iPhone users. From time to time something crashes and to fix it just deactivate and reactivate the location services.
8. Check the date and time zone. Another reason GPS may not work is the date and time zone settings on your phone. To solve, go to Settings > Generali > Date and time and choose Set automatically.
9. Reset your network settings. Resetting your phone's network settings fixes a number of problems with Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth connections when they're not working or malfunctioning. When the reset is complete, check your GPS to see if it works. You may need to log in to the Wi-Fi connection because resetting the network breaks the connection.
10. Restart the app. If the problem with the GPS only affects an app:
- Close the app and reopen it.
- Check the App Store to confirm that you are running the latest version of the app.
- Verify that Location Services are turned on for that particular app.
- Remove it from your phone and reinstall it from the App Store.
11. As a last resort, completely reset your iPhone. If none of the above solutions worked, reset the iPhone to factory settings. A factory reset erases all settings and data. It should be used as a last resort to fix your GPS problem. You can backup your iPhone using iTunes, Finder or iCloud to prepare for a factory reset. You risk losing everything if you don't have a good backup.
While rare, GPS may not work for a while after an iOS update. It may resolve on its own after a few hours or it may require another update to resolve.
If none of the above work, you may have a hardware problem, which is best diagnosed and repaired by Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider. Search Apple's online support site if you'd like to keep trying to fix it yourself. Otherwise, make an appointment at the Apple Genius Bar.