How To Fix Common Android GPS Issues (Works On All Android OS Phones)
As Android users, some of the most common Android GPS issues that people come across are when their Google Map or the GPS is not working properly or that the GPS is not accurate and is showing a wrong location. Sometimes you might also come across Android GPS problems when you can see that there is no GPS signal on your Android phone. In such cases, it is quite natural to get frustrated since GPS is a necessity. Imagine getting stranded in the middle of nowhere with a GPS that is showing a wrong location and is not working properly as accurately as it should. GPS, after all, is more reliable than asking local people for directions which might endanger your personal security. Therefore it should always be made sure that the GPS in your Android is working perfectly and is up-to-date. If it is not and your GPS shows various errors and doesn’t work then you can either try the steps we are about to discuss below in order to fix the issue or the issues. However, if that doesn’t resolve the errors in your Navigation Apps then you will need to consult professional technicians who can provide you with chip-level solutions on how to fix the Android GPS issues in your phone.
In this article, we are going to be discussing how to fix GPS issues or problems in various Android Phones, like that of the GPS problems in the Samsung Phone, GPS problems in the Google Phones, GPS problems in the Motorola Phones, GPS problems in the Oppo and Vivo Phone and all the other Android smartphones. But before moving on to addressing each GPS issue we must first understand what is GPS and how it works.
What Is GPS? How Does It Work?
The word GPS stands for Global Positioning System and is the most common global navigation technology that is now used all over the world. As for its inception, this technology was developed by the US Army in 1973 and was later released for civilian purposes in the eighties. Initially operated with just 24 satellites, this technology has grown so much that the number of functional GPS satellites present in the orbit now is 31.
How this GPS system works with your Android phone is also interesting. Modern smartphones usually come with a GPS antenna in the hardware. This antenna communicates with the GPS satellites to share data and information. Now, this antenna is connected via a driver to the software in the smartphone thus resulting in three main sources from where GPS Issues may arise. Following are the areas from where GPS problems may arise:
- The number of GPS satellites at the current location
- The quality of the GPS antenna in the smartphone
- The implementation of the driver in the operating system
Now that we understand what is GPS and how it works by transmitting signals and, where from the actual GPS problems may arise, we can now look at the solutions as to what to if the GPS in the Android phone is not working.
How To Solve GPS Problems In The Phone
A GPS may be malfunctioning in a number of ways starting from not working at all to not connecting to the satellite or not getting signals to not been able to track a location accurately. Sometimes you might also find that the GPS is not working in the indoors or is not updating locations properly. In such cases, you might need to try out some steps that will fix the issue of GPS not working properly. Therefore, below are the steps by which you can improve the performance of your GPS navigation app in your Android device.
You can Toggle Your GPS
The easiest and the quickest way to solve the GPS problem is to toggle the GPS so that it gets a chance to refresh itself. In order to do this, you will need to Turn the GPS On or Off from the notifications shade of your phone. First, pull down the notifications shade and from where switch off the GPS Icon. After switching it off, you will need to wait for at least 5 seconds before you could switch it on again. After you switch on the GPS, allow it to check for the location again. Check if the problem is fixed or not. If it’s not then you can try the other steps from this guide and see if that fixes the issue. If none of the steps work then that should mean that your phone needs to be checked by a professional technician to repair your Android smartphone.
You Can Toggle The Airplane Mode
This is the most unusual solution but works most of the time. Many people have found that toggling the Airplane mode actually solves the problem of GPS not working. Like the GPS icon you the Airplane Mode too can be found in the notifications shade. So once you pull down the notifications shade and locate the Airplane Mode, you will need to switch it On and wait for 15-20 seconds before switching it Off again. Doing this may solve the problem with the GPS since switching the Airplane mode on and off will allow the network connections to stop and start all over again thereby fixing the GPS errors.
Most of the time this step will solve the GPS issue if it doesn’t then try the other steps from this guide and see if that fixes the issue. If none of the steps work then that should mean that your phone needs to be checked by a professional technician to repair your Android smartphone.
Remove Your Phone’s Case
Sometimes your Phone case can cause an obstruction for the GPS thus causing various GPS problems like your phone not picking up the accurate location or the navigation not working at all. In order to fix this, try removing the case of your phone and check if the GPS works fine. If the problem is resolved then you know the correct cause of the issue, if not then you should try the other steps. However, if the GPS problem still remains then that should mean that your phone needs to be checked by a professional technician to repair your Android smartphone.
Disable The Power Saving Mode
The Power Saving Mode of the phone is usually is responsible for saving the battery life of the phone. However, in order to save the battery of the phone, the Power Saving Mode often disables many important functions of the phone including that of disabling of the phone’s WiFi and GPS. This, therefore, is one of the causes behind your phone’s GPS not working properly. You can fix the issue by switching off the Power Saving Mode if it is switched on. In order to do this pull down the notifications shade of your phone and tap on Power Saving Mode to switch it Off. Alternatively, you can also access the Settings menu of your phone and tap on Battery to check if Power Savings Mode is enabled or disabled.
If switching off the power saving mode fixes the Android GPS problem then you know the correct cause if not then you should try the other steps. However, if the GPS problem still remains then that should mean that your phone needs to be checked by a professional technician to repair your Android smartphone.
Restart Your Phone
This is one of the most basic fixes and you can solve many problems with just restart. A restart helps the phone refresh its settings and fixes some of the errors that we face with our phones. So after restarting you might find that a simple restart has solved most android GPS problems. However, while the restarting procedure instantly solves the issues with GPS, often the problem can resurface and then you will need to look for some other procedures of fixes.
It is however recommended that you take your phone to a professional technician in order to get a repair for your Android smartphone.
Adjust The GPS Settings To Make It Accurate
The calibration of your location is directly dependent on the GPS settings of the Phone. Your GPS can be using some assistance from other technologies to help get a better location. However, this will happen only when you have chosen the right settings. To check the GPS settings of your phone follow these steps:
- Head to the settings menu of your device
- Scroll to check for Location and tap on it
- Under Location, tap on Mode
Under Mode, you will find three different settings available. Here your GPS’s accuracy will depend on the setting you choose. So while choosing you must choose “High Accuracy” because other two options will limit the manner in which your GPS checks the location.
The other two options you will find are the Battery Saving mode which will use the Wi-Fi and the networks to identify the location and the GPS only mode where the device will rely solely on the GPS to check for the location. The best option is High Accuracy because it combines both the modes so that you get accurate location details when you use GPS. This will solve your Android Phone’s GPS problems most of the time. However, if the issue still remains then that should mean that your phone needs to be checked by a professional technician to repair your Android smartphone.
Update The Google Map
The GPS system in a phone, especially in an Android as we know is powered by Google. The GPS or the Google Map App is thus the one that is responsible for detecting your location data and showing you the directions accordingly. It is therefore important that you keep your Google Map App updated since an outdated app may show errors in identifying locations accurately. Here are the steps by which you can update your Google Map App
- Tap on the Play Store
- Tap on the three dots that will show a drop-down menu and choose My Apps and Games.
- Scroll through the list of your apps and look for Google Maps
- Tap Update
After the update is complete, restart your device and allow the GPS to check the location once again. If you see the location accuracy is perfect then you have fixed the GPS problem of your Android phone. However, if the GPS issue still remains then that should mean that your phone needs to be checked by a professional technician to repair your Android smartphone.
Clear Cache and Data Of Your Android Phone
The GPS issue might arise if the cache files and data files that build up on your device for Maps gets corrupted. This can cause a problem for your GPS and might make it to not work properly or make it to not show locations accurately. In either way, in order to fix this issue, you will need to delete the cache and data for the Maps and check if the problem is fixed.
Note: While clearing cache files won’t have any effect since it will be created automatically once you open the Map App but during this procedure, the Data associated with it will get deleted too. For Example, Your Saved Locations will get deleted so a sort of back up is recommended.
Here are the steps to Clear the Cache and the Data for Maps:
- Head to the Settings menu of your phone or tablet
- Scroll down to find Application Manager and tap on it
- Under the Downloaded Apps tab, look for Maps and tap on it
- Now tap on Clear Cache and confirm it on the pop-up box.
- Once the cache files are cleared, tap on Clear Data.
After clearing the cache and the data you will have to restart the phone and check if the GPS issue is fixed. If it is not solved then that should mean that your phone needs to be checked by a professional technician to repair your Android smartphone.
Use GPS Status and Toolbox App
In order to detect the GPS issues of your Android phone, you can use the GPS Status and Toolbox App by installing it from the Google Play. This is an incredible App that gives you a lot of information on your device’s GPS settings and also helps in the installation of necessary updates for Assisted GPS Data also known as A-GPS data. This A-GPS data is responsible for enhancing the GPS performance of your device. Once the app is installed, check your GPS performance using the app and make necessary changes to make your GPS perform better. Your device will work visibly better if after installing this app and the GPS not working problem of your Android phone will be solved. If it doesn’t then you will need to get your phone checked by a professional technician who can repair your Android smartphone.
Use Your Phone in Safe Mode
Sometimes the GPS issue might arise from the corrupted files accumulated from various apps. As it happens, many apps use the GPS data on your device. And when these apps end up with corrupted files, they begin to affect your device’s GPS too. To check if the GPS issue is caused due to such apps’ corrupted data, use your Android phone in Safe Mode. Here is how you can put your phone on Safe Mode:
- Press and hold the Power key of your device till the Power Options screen comes up on your device.
- Now press and hold the Power Off option on the screen till you notice a pop up which asks if you want to Reboot your device in Safe Mode
- Press Ok and the device will be rebooted in Safe mode which will be visible on the screen of your phone.
Check if your phone’s GPS works perfectly in Safe Mode. If it does then you will know that the Android GPS problems in your Android phone are caused by corrupted files from the third-party applications. You can repair this issue of your GPS not working by resetting your phone to factory settings which will remove all the data including all the apps that you may have installed on your phone, therefore, restoring the software back to its initial settings.
Here is how you can do the factory reset for repairing the Android phone GPS not working problem or the GPS not accurate problem:
- Go to the Settings menu of your device
- Look for Backup and Reset and tap on it
- You can check and uncheck the option to create a backup
- Towards the bottom of the screen, you have the option to reset the phone to factory Settings, tap on it.
Doing this will usually repair your GPS not working properly or accurately issues if it doesn’t then you will need to get your phone checked by a professional technician who can repair your Android smartphone.
Update your Firmware
Delaying your system update for a substantial period of time may also affect your GPS thus causing it to not work properly. Every update brings fixes for bugs and possible problems. So it is best to keep your device updated in a timely manner so that your phone has the latest version of Android. Here is what you need to do to check for updates and fix the problem of the GPS not working properly:
- Go to the Settings menu of your device.
- Next tap on About Device
- Now tap on Check updates and if an update is available then Install the update.
You might likely see that the GPS problem of your Android got fixed after the update. If it doesn’t then you will need to get your phone checked by a professional technician who can repair your Android smartphone.
Wipe The Cache Partition
The problem of your GPS not working properly may arise due to the corrupted files in the cache partition. Sometimes you might find that the phone’s cache partition has files which can create a problem for the GPS if they get corrupted. These corrupted files might also prevent other apps from working properly. In such cases only by clearing the cache partition and allowing the device to store new cache files will solve the problem.
Here is how you can wipe the cache partition
- Power Off your phone
- Press the Volume Up, Power and Home button together till the phone vibrates before it powers on.
- Release the Power key and continue to hold the Volume Up and Home button till you see the Recovery menu.
- Now use the Volume Down key to highlight Wipe cache partition from the menu and use the Power key to confirm your selection.
- Once the cache partition is deleted, use the volume key to highlight the restart option and confirm the restart with the Power key.
Once your device restarts, check the GPS again to see if the GPS problem is fixed or not if it isn’t then you will need to get your phone checked by a professional technician who can repair your Android smartphone.
Reset to Factory Settings
Like it is mentioned in the previous section, resetting your Android phone to its initial settings may resolve the issue of your GPS not working properly problem by deleting the corrupted files that are causing it. Here is how you can reset your Android phone to its factory settings:
- Go to the Settings menu of your device
- Look for Backup and Reset and tap on it
- You can check and uncheck the option to create a backup
- Towards the bottom of the screen, you have the option to Reset the phone to Factory Settings, tap on it.
Note: Before Resetting, remember to take a back up of your files, since they will get deleted. You can either store the data on the Cloud or you can transfer it to another device. Your phone also has the option to create a backup before you reset the device to Factory Settings.
Once your phone is reset to factory settings, your device will get restarted. After your phone gets restarted, check if the GPS not working problem is resolved or not. If it isn’t then you will need to get your phone checked by a professional technician who can repair your Android smartphone.
Find Out If The GPS Not Working Problem Is Hardware Related Or Software Related
Sometimes the GPS not working properly problem may arise due to either the Android Phone’s Hardware issues or Software issues. To find that out you can use an application like GPS Essentials which is available on the Play Store.
Download and install GPS Essentials on your phone. Now open the app and tap on Satellites. You will notice on your screen that your phone will try to connect to the satellites around Earth.
When your phone is unable to connect to any of the satellites then there is a chance that the device is either facing a problem because of an obstruction or the hardware of your device is not functioning properly.
On the other hand, if the screen shows that the satellites are connecting but your GPS is still not working as expected, then the problem lies in the software of your device. If the software is the concern, the solutions mentioned in this article will work for you. If the problem lies in the hardware, you must consider taking your phone to a technician who can repair your Android smartphone GPS Problems.
Fix GPS Not Accurate Problem If It Is Not Showing Accurate Location
If you have already updated Google maps and you still find the GPS of your device is not showing accurate locations then you might need to calibrate the compass of your Android’s GPS. If your device gets incorrect orientation information when you try to use a navigational app, then the compass of your Android device needs to be calibrated. You will require an app to calibrate the compass of your device. You will find these apps on the Google Play Store.
After downloading the App you will need to open it and tap on Compass. To calibrate the compass, you must use your phone to draw the figure 8 in the air. Once you wave your phone in the air creating the pattern of the number 8, sideways, you will be able to calibrate the compass. Draw the pattern a couple of times so that the phone’s compass is properly calibrated. Once the compass has been calibrated, check if the GPS not working problem is fixed. If it isn’t then you will need to get your phone checked by a professional technician who can repair your Android smartphone.
Refresh The GPS Data To Repair GPS Problems
Sometimes, your device may end up showing inaccurate location or the GPS may not work or GPS will not show accurate location because it is stuck on one of the GPS satellites even though that particular satellite is not within range. This causes the GPS of your device to show incorrect information. By refreshing the GPS data, you will be able to correct this problem. There are a couple of Apps that you can find in the Google Play Store that can refresh your GPS and solve the problem of the GPS not working properly. One App is GPS Status and Toolbox. Here is what you need to do to use this App:
- Open the app and tap anywhere on the screen.
- Tap on the spanner icon to bring up a drop-down menu and then tap on Manage A-GPS state.
- Now tap on Reset.
- Once it is done, go back to Manage A-GPS state and tap on Download.
- Once the download is complete, your GPS data has been refreshed.
The problem of GPS not working will likely get repaired after you refresh the GPS Data. However, if it doesn’t then you will need to get your phone checked by a professional technician who can repair your Android smartphone.
How To Fix Pokemon GO GPS Issues Of Not Showing Accurate Location
The apps that most often require your GPS besides Google Maps are the games based on augmented reality like the Pokemon GO and Ingress. Here, the dreaded ‘GPS signal not found’ error or location not accurate error is quite common. In order to fix this, make sure your location is enabled and then turn on high accuracy, as described in the steps above.
Here is thus our take on how to solve your Android phone’s GPS not working problem. These fixes are usually universal and will solve the GPS not working problem on all the Android mobiles. However, if after the trying all these steps still doesn’t repair your GPS issues then you can contact us and book a repair to repair the GPS not working the problem of your Android device.