How to control location tracking on your iPhone in iOS 13

The latest version of iOS offers some convenient ways to manage location tracking by apps.


Image: Jason Cipriani/CNET

Tracking your location via your mobile device is something many apps and websites attempt to do. Developers, advertisers, and website vendors track your location not only to facilitate certain features, but also to serve you targeted ads and other location-based content. 

Of course, location tracking is a dicey area as many people aren’t comfortable with the loss of privacy. With the new version of iOS, Apple offers some handy tools for managing location tracking on your iPhone. Using the Location Services feature, you can set different options for each individual app that wants access to your location.

SEE: Mobile device security: Tips for IT pros (free PDF) (TechRepublic) 

First, make sure you’ve running iOS 13 or higher on your iPhone. Go to Settings and select General. In the General section, select Software Updates. If your software is not up-to-date, the latest update will offer itself for download and installation (Figure A).

Figure A


To review and manage location tracking, go to Settings and select Privacy. Then tap the option for Location Services. You can certainly turn off all Location Services by flipping the switch at the top of the screen, but disabling all location services will limit the functionality of certain apps and services. 

Instead, you should check and control the location tracking for each individual app. Tap the entry for a specific app, perhaps one in which the ability to allow location access is set to Always. Depending on the app, you’ll see three or four different choices (Figure B).

Figure B

  • Always: Location tracking is always enabled for that app whether or not you’re using it, so it can track your location in the background. 
  • While Using The App: Location tracking is enabled only when you’re…