Apps on your iPhone can track your location, but you have to give them access first. Here’s how to check which apps can monitor your GPS location and revoke their access.
Privacy is, letting some apps track your location makes them much more useful—and sometimes it’s essential. It’s unreasonable to expect Google Maps to work as it should without Google knowing your location, but does that note-taking app need to know where you are? A recent report noted that some apps are mining your location to send to advertisers. Follow along to learn how to view which apps have location permissions on iOS.
Check the app is tracking your location
Step 1: Access “settings” on home screen.
Step 2: Click “Privacy“.
Step 3: Click “Location Services”.
Step 4: Screen will show every app that can request access to your location data. You can also see whether you’ve granted that access and, if so, whether the app can access your location at all times or only when you’re using it.
Step 5: Click into an app to check its current location status.
Here you can see three different options:
- Never: Pretty self-explanatory, the app in question won’t be able to access your location at all, no matter the time.
- While Using the App: Introduced in a more recent version of iOS, this option lets the app use the location only when it’s active.
- Always: This option allows an app to use your location whenever the app wants to, even when it’s not currently active.
Note: You could also disable location services entirely with the master toggle at the top. This means that no app will have access to your location. This includes Siri and Maps, so likely not the most ideal option.
Identify apps that are tracking your location in the background
If an app is accessing your location data but isn’t active—in other words, if it’s accessing your location in the background when you’re not using it—iOS will display a blue notification along the top of the screen to alert you.
If you see this notification and don’t know which app is the culprit, tapping it will launch the app in question. You can head to Settings > Privacy > Location Services, click the app’s name, and click “Never” or “While Using the App” to prevent it from accessing your location in the background.