Many users have reported issues related to GPS problems after they upgraded their iPhone to the latest iOS. Users report getting messages that show “No GPS, Showing approximate location.” The problem appears worse when trying to use Waze or Google Maps. And unfortunately, many of these GPS problems surface just after an iOS upgrade, so the standard Apple advice to update to the latest iOS is not a proper fix.
- 1 Fast Track
- 2 GPS–The Heart of Our iDevice Experiences
- 3 Troubleshooting GPS
- 4 Check Your Date and Your Time
- 5 Update Your App(s)
- 6 Running an Older iOS?
- 7 Using an Older Model iPhone (32-bit)?
- 8 Look at the Antenna
- 9 Visit, Chat With, or Call Apple Support
- Move to a new location, preferably open space
- Toggle Location Services Off and On
- Toggle Airplane Mode On and Off
- Set Date & Time to “Set Automatically” via Settings > General > Date & Time
- Turn off LTE
- Reset network settings
- Drain your battery completely
GPS–The Heart of Our iDevice Experiences
Our iPhone’s and iDevice’s GPS is one of the biggest reasons we love our phones and mobile devices. Want to find a friend, locate a museum, or try a new and nearby restaurant? Love tracking all those miles when exercising? Still playing Pokemon Go? We all use maps and Location Services to find these things. GPS makes it all possible.
Yes, GPS is a vital part of every smartphone today. So when users report faulty or malfunctioning GPS, it spells trouble for many of our everyday iPhone and iDevice uses. There’s a lot of technology driving our iDevice’s GPS, resulting in quite a few kind of things that might go wrong.
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
Unfortunately, the usual Reset – Restore method does not appear to help with GPS issues. In speaking with Apple technical support, people have tried all the steps including restoring the iPhone to factory settings but still see the problem. The interesting aspect is that the problem is not always persistent. It is rather intermittent in nature; sometimes the signal strength is good but most of the times the signal strength is pretty spotty.
Move Your Body
Okay, we all know that buildings interfere with signals, especially metal and glass buildings. So get a move on and head to more open space or move outside and see if that new location gives you a better signal.
Make sure you set your apps’ location permissions. It’s probably the most common reason GPS isn’t working. We simply forget to enable location services for our app(s)! If you don’t allow an app permission to access your location, then it ain’t gonna work and find you or that fancy new restaurant.
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.
Toggle Things OFF and ON
Sometimes things just need a little nudge. So try toggling a few settings Off and On and see if that jump starts your GPS.
1) Settings > Privacy > Location Services. Toggle Off, wait 15 seconds and toggle back On
2) Settings > Airplane Mode. Toggle On, wait 15 seconds and toggle back Off
3) Settings > WiFi. Toggle Off, wait 15 seconds and toggle back On
4) Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data. Toggle Off, wait 15 seconds and toggle back On
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.
If turning off LTE did nothing, turn it back on and try again to see if GPS has returned.
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.
Check Your Date and Your Time
This seems like a weird one, but it does work on a host of challenges. So why not try? Make sure your iDevice’s date, time, and time zone are accurate to your current location. Go to Settings > General > Date & Time > Choose the option Set Automatically. If you’ve recently traveled, it updates to your current time zone, date, and time of day.
Update Your App(s)
If you have GPS issues only when using a particular app, check the App Store and if available, upgrade that app.
Running an Older iOS?
The best bet for this problem as it stands today is to try updating your iPhone to the latest version of iOS for your iPhone or iDevice model. This is particularly true for iFolks still running iOS 9. The update to iOS 9.3.2 has code that fixes known Bluetooth issues.
I personally had this problem on my iPhone 6S after updating to iOS 9. After upgrading my phone to the iOS 9.3.2 update, my iPhone 6S GPS worked without any hiccups. The GPS Voice navigation has continued to show no issues even after upgrading to iOS 10 and 10.3. We are still seeing that the problem exists on an older iPhone. On the old model, the Waze is still not functioning although the Apple Map works intermittently.
Using an Older Model iPhone (32-bit)?
However, users with older model iPhones that cannot upgrade to iOS 10 or iOS 9.3.2 continue to report intermittent issues with their iPhones’ GPS. In particular, on these older models, both Google Maps and Waze still don’t always function although the Apple Map works most of the time.
Downgrading the iOS to the prior version using ipsw is not going to work here as this problem has been happening since the last few upgrades after 9.3. We are hoping that Apple finds a way soon to address this issue for all iPhone models.
Many Users have reported that updating to iOS 9.3.4 has solved this issue. Special Thanks to Josh for confirming this. The 9.3.4 is also helping users that have Bluetooth issues and Airplay issues on their device. Please give it a try if you are still experiencing the GPS/Bluetooth issues.
Checked with AT&T Customer service. Their suggestion was to try one of the steps from an earlier article that we published in 2012. Please give this a try and see if it helps out with your issues. The basic steps outlined in the post should work for the current iOS versions.
Look at the Antenna
Some users found that by replacing the internal antenna they were able to circumvent the issue. We don’t think that this DIY approach is that easy. It is a risky move at best if you do not know what you are doing.
Visit, Chat With, or Call Apple Support
If you have upgraded your iPhone to the latest available iOS and are still having the issues with GPS, you should take your iPhone to the Genius store. If your device is under warranty, you should be able to get a replacement phone.
It is still hard to believe that this could be a hardware related issue. None of the usual technical workarounds with the software settings have yielded any permanent resolution as of this writing.