How to Enable Location Services for an iPad

By Carol Finch

Learn how to turn on location services to give individual apps access to location data based on your iPad's current location

If you opted out of enabling Location Services when you set up your iPad, you may find that some apps and services request permission to access your location before you can use them fully. If you decide to give access, enable Location Services in your iPad's settings and then choose how individual apps and services can use your location data.

Enable Location Services

Tap Settings on your iPad's Home screen, open Privacy and select Location Services.

Tap the About Location Services & Privacy link to learn more about how Apple and third-party apps collect and use your location data. Switch on the slider next to Location Services to enable it.

Learn how Apple uses Location Services


If your Location Services button is grayed out and you can't use it, you may have a clash with your iPad's Restrictions if these are set to lock location settings. To check, open Settings and then General. Tap Restrictions, enter your pass code and open Location Services. Make sure that Allow Changes has a tick mark next to it; if it doesn't, tap to select it. If this was the problem, the Location Services button on the screen will become active.

Set Location Access on Apps

There are a list of apps that might require location access on the Location Services screen. It's worth going through the list and setting access controls for each app. You may want to give access to some apps but block others. In some cases, you can also restrict when an app can use your location.

Tap an app to see its options and select its level of access. Choose Never to block all access, Always to give constant access and While Using the App to restrict access to times when the app is open and active.

Location access options on an iPad

If you select Always, you allow the app to use your location both when you're using it and when it is running in the background. This allows apps to refresh data automatically, but it may drain your battery more quickly. Note that some apps, such as Apple's Weather service, give you the option only to allow or block access. These apps typically need real-time location data to work accurately, so you must give them unlimited access if you want to use them.


  • Switch off location access for any apps you won't use.
  • If you aren't sure why an app needs to use location services, don't give it access to start with. If you don't know why an app needs Always access and it has the While Using the App option, select this initially. You can always change settings later if you find that an app needs a different level of access to work.
  • If you haven't enabled location for an app, or are using a newapp for the first time, it may ask for location access and tell you how it will use it. Typically, yousee a pop-up with options to block or allow access. If you decide to allow access, the app will take you to Settings toenable it.* Disabling Location Services may be useful if your battery gets low and you need to conserve power until you can charge it again.