Should Location Services be turned on in a Mac? Complete Answer

Last Updated on Apr 6, 2022

Suppose you aren’t aware that Mac plays on the user’s location for running certain applications and other things; you know it now. So you should look at the location setting on your system to ensure that you are allowing your location only for the applications and things you are using. 

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The iPhone and iPad use a GPS chip to detect your location irrespective of where you are and whether you have an active internet connection or not. 

However, the Mac systems use Wifi for accessing the internet, and there are many services and apps on your Macbook that want to access your location to provide the best possible user experience. Depending on the apps and services that you use, limiting the ones you don’t use protects your privacy and extends your system’s battery life. 

Where to find the ‘Location Services’ on a Mac?

Like iPhones, you will have to visit your system’s settings to view and change your location services settings. First, you will have to launch the app System Preferences on your Mac and then head to the pane that says “Security & Privacy”. Once the ‘Security & Privacy’ panel opens, you will have to click on the Privacy tab and then click again on the option of ‘Location Services. You will find it in the box on the left side of the panel. 

Once the ‘Location Service’ option opens, you will have to authenticate yourself if you want to make any changes to the settings on your Mac. Next, you will have to click on the lock icon located at the bottom left of the screen and enter your admin password. 

Choose the apps and services that use your location

Once you are done with the authentication process, you can change and modify the settings in ‘Location Services’ according to your preferences. You can either enable or disable different apps and services according to your own choice. 

If you disable ‘Location Service’ on your system, no apps or services can track the location of your Mac. It is like the ultimate kill switch in location privacy but remember that using this option will limit location-based services and apps. 

Weather: 

Your Mac uses your location to track the local weather. If you want your system to keep tracking the weather while you go, you must keep your Location Services option turned on. 

Find my Friends: 

If you like to use this feature on your Mac to see where your friends are, you will have to keep your ‘Location Services” turned on. The app tracks your location and your friend’s location to show you where they are. 

Safari: 

This is the dedicated web browser for all Apple products and the only time it should have access to your location is when you are either using web apps requiring your location, such as Google Maps or store finder. Apart from these, there isn’t any actual reason why you should allow Safari to access your location at all times. 

Maps: 

If you are an Apple Map user, you don’t have to give your location to Safari to access Google Maps. However, you will have to allow access to your location to the Maps app if you want to use it to take aerial tours and plan trips. 

Third-Party Apps: 

Apps like Swiggy, Zomato, Uber, Ola, Amazon etc., use your location for deliveries and pickups. So it is important to allow them access to your location if you want to use the services provided by these third-party apps. 

Apps that recently used your location

One advantage of the macOS is that it shows you the apps that recently used your location. It is a great feature as you can see the apps using your location, and if you want to disallow your location access to a particular app, you can do it easily. 

You will have to go to the System Preferences app from the Location Services preference panel to check the apps using your location. There will be a black location services icon next to the apps that have recently used your location. 

Conclusion

Since Location Services are an important part of privacy, take a minute to ensure that the settings are arranged so that you are aware of the apps and services using your Mac’s location. It is extremely easy to track your location and intrude on your privacy in today’s modern world. It is preventable by allowing location access to only those apps that you think are genuine and use regularly. 

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