How To Stop Android Apps From Accessing Your Location (2020 Guide)

Location tracking is quite handy — it is even more convenient when your apps can recommend the best restaurants and gas stations nearby — but such services also raise privacy issues.

How To Stop Android Apps From Accessing Your Location (2020 Guide)

Have you ever wondered how much location-based information your Android device reports?

Yes, those apps you’ve installed are also tracking you via your mobile device.

Because nowadays, private user data can generate a viable stream of revenue that app developers are unable to resist.

Digital marketers want to know your favorite hangouts, what stores you have visited, as well as how you accessed those stores.

Location tracking is quite handy — it is even more convenient when your apps can recommend the best restaurants and gas stations nearby — but such services also raise privacy issues.

Although location-tracking data is usually made anonymous before it is sold, it can still reveal a disturbing amount of details about your online activity.

If you have privacy concerns and would like to have control over which apps can monitor your location in real-time, keep reading this post to discover how to prevent installed software from sharing your location.

Stop Android Apps From Accessing Your Location (Android 10, 9.0)

For All Apps on Android 10

Things have changed a bit on the Android 10 OS concerning the options available for you to modify the location accuracy.

User options are still twofold, but Location is now categorized separately on the main Settings menu.

Simply scroll down the Settings page and you will find it directly below Privacy.

It is through this menu, that you can view which installed apps recently requested to access your physical location.

Also, you can flick the large OFF and ON switch to either deny or allow all apps access to your location.

For All Apps on Android 9.0 Pie

When the Android Pie OS was first released, there were no Mode options and the location accuracy tool became a dual ON or OFF option.

The ON switch meant that mobile and Wifi networks are working together with GPS to track your location.

Such an operation is comparable to what was formerly known as the High Accuracy setting.

The OFF switch meant that you would be using only GPS to monitor your location in real-time.

This was the setting formerly called Device Only.

For Single Apps

The way you choose which individual apps can monitor your real-time location works in almost the same way for the Android 9 Pie OS as it did with the Oreo version.

Simply go to the main Settings menu where you’ll find the section that is meant for app permissions.

Next, tap the Location button so you can switch between tabs and allow or deny access to your location details for each app. it’s that simple.

Moreover, you can modify permission for other software by specifying which apps can access your camera for instance.

Stop Android Apps From Accessing Your Location on Android 6.0 and Above (From Marshmallow to Oreo)

For All Apps (Android 6.0 & Above)

On the main Settings menu page of your smartphone, you’ll see the Location Settings feature.

Simply toggle the switch at the upper section to either allow or deny access to your location.

However, you must bear in mind that disabling this feature will deny permission for all apps to access your location, along with those ones you might prefer to have GPS access such as Google Maps for example.

This next option should resolve that problem for you.

By changing the Location Access mode to any of the three options highlighted below, you can customize your options even further:

  • The High Accuracy mode utilizes all of the available options, which include Wi-Fi, GPS, mobile networks, and Bluetooth.
  • The Battery Saving mode utilizes Wi-Fi, mobile networks, and Bluetooth but not GPS.
  • The Device Only mode utilizes only GPS, but no Wi-Fi, mobile networks, or Bluetooth.

For Single Apps

Simply click on Settings>Apps>Select Your App>Permissions> and then to App permissions.

Once there, you will notice a list composed of some sensitive smartphone features (such as the camera, microphone, and your list of contacts).

From here you can specify which apps should be allowed access to Your Location.

This can be done by simply tapping Your Location to highlight which of the installed software you want to grant permission to access the physical location of your mobile device.

It might prove more convenient to allow software like the Google App and Google Maps to have access to your real-time location.

However, other 3rd party apps may not originate from trusted developers, while some might not even need to access your location.

In such cases, you can disable location access for these apps.

READ ALSO: How To Get Refunded From Google Play Store

Stop Android Apps From Accessing Your Location on Android 4.3 to 5.1

For All Apps On Android 4.3 to 5.1

Just like on the latest Android versions, you can use a toggle switch to adjust Location Settings for every app you’ve installed.

Go to Settings > More > Permission and then click the ON/OFF toggle button right beside Location.

By turning this switch OFF, your mobile device will stop gathering location information.

The location reporting process being used by your smartphone can also be changed.

Simply click on Location > Mode and then, you can choose from 3 different modes based on your preferences.

After scrolling down through the Location page, you will notice a list of every app on your device that has tried to access information about your physical location.

You could then check out the settings for each app to look for ways to turn OFF their location tracking feature.

Smartphone users that are running Android Marshmallow and above should have more control options over permissions for individual apps via the System Setting.

Apart from those apps you’ve installed, there are other Google services – like Google Now – that can also access your physical location.

Here is yet another location access feature you can control.

Underneath the listed apps, click on Google Location Reporting to open a list of every account you have created with your smartphone.

You can make use of the Location Reporting feature to either enable or disable access to your physical location info for each account, while on the Location History menu you have the opportunity to remove information that has previously been gathered.

For Single Apps

While you can simply turn OFF location tracking features on the older Android versions, this is essentially an all-or-nothing approach.

However, other 3rd party apps can also help you manage individual location settings on older Android-based devices.

A random internet search should present you with enough options to choose from.

Just launch the app, to view all the listed apps that presently have permission to access your location info.

If there’s an application that you prefer not to have location access, simply swipe left and then click the Turn OFF button.

You should then be directed to the Settings menu where you can cancel the location permission.

The Takeaway

Here ends our post on how to prevent Android apps from sharing your physical location.

Each approach highlighted here has proven to be effective.

The permission management options being employed for the upcoming Android versions are also quite promising.

You can bookmark this page for more updates.

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