How to turn off location tracking on Android

Learn how to prevent apps from accessing your locationHow to activate and deactivate location tracking on Android. Some applications that we have installed on our smartphones ask us for the permission to use the device's location and positioning devices. For some applications like GPS browsers this is actually quite useful, but for others this may just mean unnecessary access to our privacy. If you want to revoke this type of permission, find out how prevent apps from accessing your location.

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How to disable location tracking on Android

From your smartphone settings, you can find the "Security and Location" section. Note that this may change based on the manufacturer of the device due to the difference between the interfaces. In this article, I am using a Xiaomi Mi A2 as an example.

Once the “Security and Location” tab is opened, the option to enable or disable the location function and mode just below is displayed first. As the name itself implies, this is where we can choose the type of positioning recognition: using GPS or via Wi-Fi, for example, or both. The choice will depend on the size of the energy expenditure we would like to have, remembering that the GPS antenna consumes more battery than any other available network.

Activating and deactivating the location is quick and easy and can be done from the settings menu or even from the notification bar.

The different localization modes imply more or less precision, as well as a greater or lesser consumption of the battery:

  • High accuracy: the precise location of the user obtained thanks to the GPS antenna and available telephone networks. High battery usage due to the use of the GPS antenna;
  • Battery saving: The user's location is not accurate as it only uses the triangulation of the mobile network antennas. It consumes less battery because you have not activated the GPS antenna;
  • Device Only - Useful when the user has no coverage. Only the GPS signal is activated, this may take some time to position us, but it is very accurate and consumes as much battery as the high precision mode.

Revoke position by application

From Android 6.0 Marshmallow and above we can now revoke location authorization per app. To do this, there are two ways:

  • To revoke the location permission for specific application, go to Settings> Applications> choose the app in question> Permissions> uncheck the sign in button;
  • To revoke location permission for multiple applications at once, go to Settings> Applications> Settings (gear icon)> Location> uncheck the sign in button.

How to limit access to the app to the location on smartphones with Android 5.0 and 4.3

For users who are still using Android 5.0 or Android 4.3, you can restrict the application's access to the location. To do this, I recommend using the AppOps application.

Thanks to AppOps you can choose which apps can access your location or not. This service also offers an overview of all the permissions requested by the applications, one by one. To download it, click here.

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