How to Fix iPhone GPS Not Working

While navigating, iPhone 11 frequently looses GPS info. All of a sudden, it won’t show the correct location. It can take from couple seconds to a minute to obtain GPS location info again. This is making the iPhone unusable as a GPS navigation device. I never had this problem with the old iPhones. Is anyone else having the same problem?"

One can argue that aside from the camera, GPS is the most useful additional features for a smartphone. It integrates with virtually every other apps on the phone, from the maps, social media, game, web, photo, and even note-taking apps are making use the location tracking feature. We use GPS for a wide range of activities such as to find a friend, locate a museum, try a new and nearby restaurant, track all those exercising miles, or maybe catching some Pokemon.

So you can imagine what problem you will have if your iPhone GPS is not working. The affected functionality will not only be limited to the GPS app but also all other apps. Users might experience something from apps crash to apps not working at all.

Apple Maps utilizes the GPS

If you are a proud owner of an iPhone and you experience a GPS malfunction, here are some ways that you can use to fix GPS not working on iPhone 11/X/8/8 Plus/7/7 Plus/6s/6/5s with iOS 13/12/11/10.

Not the Hardware

But first, let's look at some problems and possible causes of the problems.

The most common GPS Problems for iDevices include

  • No signal
  • Not updating your location
  • Slow in tracking your location
  • Showing the wrong location
  • Apps not discovering your location
  • Compass problems or interference
  • iPhone GPS accuracy problems

If the one that you experience is related to the hardware, there's nothing that you can do except to bring your iPhone to Apple Service Centre for a hardware replacement. So we won't be discussing that type of problem here, we're looking at the other end of the equation - the software.

Many users have reported issues related to GPS problems after they upgraded their iPhone to the latest iOS 12/11.4. Users report getting messages that show "No GPS, Showing approximate location." The problem appears worse when trying to use Waze or Google Maps. And since this one caused by iOS upgrade, you can't use the basic "upgrade your operating system to fix the problem" solution. Users also reported that the reset and restore method doesn't work in trying to fix the glitch.

You can, however, try these solutions to try to fix the problem.

General Quick Fix

The simplest suggestion that you could try is to move to an open space in a different location as we know that signal strength is an important factor to GPS performance and the signal strength is different from one location to another depending on many factors.

Once you have moved, go to:

  • Settings > Privacy > Location Services. Toggle Off, wait 15 seconds and toggle back On.
  • Settings > Airplane Mode. Toggle On, wait 15 seconds and toggle back Off.
  • Settings > WiFi. Toggle Off, wait 15 seconds and toggle back On.
  • Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data. Toggle Off, wait 15 seconds and toggle back On

Give Permission

It's also possible that the GPS-powered apps failed to work because you don't give them permission to access the feature.

Enabling location service

To check, go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services and ensure that your favorite apps have permission to use location services. Set these to either While Using the App or Always.

Turn Off LTE

Temporarily turning off LTE works for some people. So head to Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data Options > Enable LTE and toggle this off. Next, try out your GPS. If it works, continue as is until your immediate need is completed and then re-enabled LTE.

Enabling/disabling LTE on iPhone

If turning off LTE did nothing, turn it back on and try again to see if GPS has returned.

Soft Reset iPhone

iPhone GPS issue can be caused by software problem, you can try to soft reset iPhone to fix this problem. To soft reset iPhone:

Press and hold power button and the home button at the same time, keep holding them until the Apple logo appears. Release the buttons and your iPhone will reboot as normal.

Reset Network Settings

Updating your network settings might also refresh the data for your GPS. So go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.

This reset doesn't erase any data but does clear your stored WiFi passwords, current cellular and Wi-Fi network settings, including saved networks and VPN settings.

Reset Location & Privacy

To reset all of your location settings back to its factory default, go to Settings > General > Reset and tap Reset Location & Privacy. When your location and privacy settings are reset, apps stop using your location until you grant them permission again.

Drain Your Battery

The first workaround for this issue that seems to work for a few of our readers is to thoroughly drain the iPhone battery and then recharge it using the original wall charger. Only after a complete charge should you once again try the GPS features. This process only worked for some time, but for most people, the problems returned.

Repair iOS System

If none of the above methods helps fix the GPS not working issue, it might be due to a system glitch. I will suggest you use Tenorshare ReiBoot to repair iPhone system. The app is the world's leading software to solve iPhone stuck/error and it supports iOS 11. Let's see how to fix GPS not working on iPhone by a system recovery.

Run Tenorshare ReiBoot on PC/Mac and connect your iOS device to computer. Choose Fix All iOS Stuck and then Fix Now.

fix gps not working

Follow the guide to download the latest firmware file and start the system recovery. The whole process takes 10 minutes around.

repair operating system

After a system recovery, the iOS 11/10 GPS not working should be resolved completely.

Restore iPhone

The ultimate solution to fix iPhone GPS not working is restoring iPhone from iTunes. This method will erase all the settings and data on your iOS device; thus, you need to back up iPhone before take this method.

Run iTunes on your PC and connect iPhone to it, click "Summary" once the device is detected. Click "Restore iPhone" option to set up iPhone as new.

restore iphone

Bottom Line

In this article we share several ways to fix when Apple iPhone X/8/7/6 GPS location services not working. Hope your GPS issue with iPhone will be resolved after using one or more tricks we've shared here.

  Updated on 2020-01-14 / Update for  iPhone Fix

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