How to turn off iPhone location tracking in iOS 14 or later

March 8, 2021

With many tracking ecosystems encircling us, there’s no such thing as absolute privacy or absolute security left in the digital space. However, you can control your devices from reading too much into the information by tweaking a few settings. For example, in iOS, there’s a feature that continually keeps on building the time-stamped location data from your devices. If this concerns your privacy, here’s how you can turn off iPhone location tracking in iOS.

How to disable iPhone location tracking in iOS 14 or later?

Your iPhone stores information related to the locations you visit, along with times and dates and detailed maps. It does so to provide a variety of location-based services. For example, an app might require your location data and location search query to help you find nearby coffee shops or theaters. If you have any apprehensions regarding this data sharing, you can easily disable iPhone location tracking. Follow the instructions given below!

  1. Go to the Settings app.
  2. Choose Privacy.
  3. Expand the menu to go to Location Services.
  4. Scroll down to System Services.
  5. Find Significant Locations entry.
  6. Disable the entry.
  7. Tap the Turn Off button.
  8. Clear History.

Steps to disable location tracking used by the iPhone itself

Location tracking on iPhone is also designed for safety purposes. It can be used readily in emergency situations to aid response efforts regardless of whether you enable Location Services.

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Launch the Settings app on your iPhone.

Settings Privacy
Settings Privacy

Move to Privacy. Tap the side-arrow to go to Privacy Screen.

iPhone Location Services
iPhone Location Services

Under it, choose Location Services. Apps that have requested access to your location appear under this screen and show arrow marks next to them.

Location Information Used
Location Information Used
  • A hollow arrow indicates that an item is allowed to receive your location under certain conditions.
  • A purple arrow signifies an item has recently used your location.
  • A grey arrow means the item has used your location in the last 24 hours.

After choosing Location Services, scroll down to the iOS 14 System Services heading.

Significant Locations
Significant Locations

Here, select the Significant Locations entry. If prompted for verification, allow Face ID verification.

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Disable iPhone Location Tracking
Disable iPhone Location Tracking

Once done, simply slide the toggle switch, adjacent to Significant Locations to the Off position. (Note - iPhone Significant Locations are end to end encrypted and cannot be read by Apple.)

Also, you can check your iPhone location tracking history here. Just tap an entry under the History heading to view its detailed map.

To clear iPhone Significant Locations history, tap the Clear History link at the bottom of the screen. The action when confirmed will stop the tracking service.

Hope that makes sense!

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Hemant Saxena
(355 Articles Published)

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