FREE 3 Day Shipping M-F Learn More

How to Turn Location Services On or Off on iPad 2022

Location services on your iPad are a nifty feature. They add information to your photos, enable you to turn your device into a driving coach, and give you personalized data when appropriate. The best iPad Pro personal assistants function optimally when they’ve got a location to go by. However, there are more than a few times the you might want to turn location services off. How do you do that, and how do you turn it back on?

How to Turn Your Location Services On and Off

Turning your location services on and off is easy. Here’s how you do it on the iPad 2022:

  1. Visit Settings (do this by clicking on the gear icon among your other apps).
  2. Click on  “Privacy”
  3. Select “Location Services”

You’ll see a toggle where you can tun location services off or on. Turning location services off here turns it off for all your apps, as well as for the Apple system. But if you leave it on, you get to decide exactly what apps you’d like to grant access to your data.

To do this, simply scroll down to the list of apps in Location Services. Each app has an individual toggle, and you can choose whether you want to always permit access, only when you are using the app, or simply never.

It makes sense to grant access to your map app, your iPad journal, or that run tracker. But does your drawing sketchbook really need to know where you’re at? We think not. 

Turning off Location Services for Your Apple System

Scrolling through that same list  of apps in your Privacy Settings you’ll see something called System Services. Here’s where you get to the heart of the issue: telling Apple whether or not they can use where you’re at to customize your appearance. Some of your options may include:

  • Apple Pay/Merchant Identification
  • Cell Network Search
  • Compass Calibration
  • Device Management
  • Emergency Calls & SOS
  • Find my iPad
  • Homekit
  • Location-Based Alerts
  • Location-Based Apple Ads
  • Location-Based Suggestions
  • Motion Calibration & Distance
  • Networking & Wireless
  • Setting Time Zone
  • Share My Location
  • System Customization
  • Significant Locations
  • iPad Analytics
  • Routing and Traffic
  • Improve Maps
  • Status Bar Icon

Each of these list items have their own toggle, and you get to decide if you want them on or off.

You may see a  grey or purple arrow next to some of the options.  A hollow purple arrow tells you the service may receive your location under certain conditions, but not on a regular basis. A dark purple arrow means the service has recently received your location, and a grey arrow tells you that the service has requested (and received) your location in the last 24 hours.

Can Your iPad relay location data when location services is off?

Yes, there is a special situation when your iPad relays location data even when your general location services are off. If you call emergency service, your location will be provided whether or not location services are on. Apple designed this loop hole for your protection; if you need an ambulance, you need the ambulance crew to be able to find you. 

If you really don't want even emergency services to know where you’re at, try going into the system services and turn off emergency services after switching your general location services off.  Here’s our recommendation: leave it on. 

Reasons You Might Want Location Services to be On

It’s easy to think of reasons why you might want to turn your location services off. There’s something uncanny about broadcasting to strangers exactly where you are, and letting them keep a running tab of all your movements if they feel inclined. 

Location services also tend to be a big battery drain, so many people turn them off for that reason alone. 

However, no-one really cares about where and when you’re going today— except as it effects the services they can provide or sell you. And if it’s services you’re interested in, giving the providers a little info on your whereabouts can definitely add value. 

Here are some reasons you might want an app to know where you’re at:

  • Allowing access to the Photo app allows your photos to be geotagged, so you can look back at where they’re taken— or see them all on a map.
  • Allowing access to System Customization enables your iPad to function optimally when you are home or away. For instance, it might turn off optimized battery charging when you're at home or another of your regular stomping grounds where you have easy access to an iPad charge. Then it could turn on maximum quick charge settings if you plug it in for ten minutes on the other side of town.
  • Allowing your Weather app to view your location allows you to view weather forecasts for your current location, without having to hunt for the city, village or town in the search function.

Turning Off Personalized Ads

If you’ve turned off your location services and are still annoyed because your iPad acts as if it knows all about you, you may need to turn off personalized advertisement. Here’s how you access that setting:

  • Go to Settings, then click on Privacy
  • Scroll all the way down to ‘Apple Advertising’, and click on that. 
  • Turn off the ‘personalized ads’ toggle. 

There you have it! Apple doesn’t promise you any decrease in ads, but the advertisement you do get should not be targeted. If you decide to leave personalization on, you can also view ‘Ad targeting information’ to get more details about exactly how Apple is tracking your preferences and sharing that information with advertisers

Now you know how to turn on and off location services for your iPad, and you can also tell Apple whether or not you want to be tracked.  GPS, location tracking and movement sensing are wonderful  tools, but like all tools, they works best when  they are completely under your control.