How to Fix GPS Accuracy Problems: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Fix GPS Accuracy Problems

Table of Contents

In our increasingly interconnected world, the Global Positioning System (GPS) has become an indispensable technology, aiding us in navigation, location-based services, and a wide range of applications. However, sometimes GPS accuracy can be less than ideal, leading to frustration and inconvenience.

Guide to Fix GPS Accuracy Problems

This comprehensive guide will delve into common issues affecting GPS accuracy and provide solutions to address them. By following these steps, you can ensure that your GPS-equipped devices consistently deliver precise location information when you need it the most.

Check Your Location

The first step in troubleshooting GPS accuracy issues is to assess your surroundings. GPS signals originate from satellites orbiting the Earth, and they need a clear line of sight to your device. Any obstructions, such as tall buildings, dense tree cover, or steep hills, can interfere with signal reception. To improve your GPS accuracy, move to an open area with an unobstructed sky view. This simple step can significantly affect your device’s ability to lock onto GPS signals.

Enable High Accuracy Mode (Android) or Location Services (iOS)

Android and iOS devices offer settings to enhance GPS accuracy. On Android, navigate to your device’s settings, select “Location,” go to “Location services,” and then go to “Google Location Accuracy,” and ensure the toggle to “Improve Location Accuracy” mode is enabled. This mode combines GPS with Wi-Fi and mobile networks to improve location accuracy. For iOS users, access your device’s settings, choose “Privacy,” then “Location Services,” and ensure that location services are turned on. You can fine-tune location accuracy settings for individual apps within this section.

Calibrate Your Compass (iOS)

If you’re using an iOS device, an improperly calibrated compass can affect GPS accuracy. To address this issue, open the Compass app and move your device in a figure-eight motion. This action calibrates the compass and can help improve both compass and GPS accuracy. A well-calibrated compass is crucial for accurate direction and orientation information.

Restart Your Device

Like any electronic device, smartphones and tablets occasionally encounter minor software glitches affecting GPS functionality. A simple restart can help clear these temporary issues and refresh the location-related services on your device. After restarting, test your GPS accuracy to see if the problem has been resolved.

Update Your Device’s Software

Manufacturers and app developers frequently release software updates to enhance the performance and functionality of devices, including GPS-related improvements. Ensure that your device’s operating system and GPS-related apps are updated. These updates often include bug fixes that can address GPS accuracy issues.

Check App Permissions

On Android devices, app permissions can sometimes disrupt GPS functionality. Access your device’s settings, go to “Apps,” and select the app that relies on GPS. Verify that location permissions are enabled for that specific app. On iOS, navigate to settings, choose “Privacy,” then “Location Services,” and ensure the app can access location services. Proper permissions are essential for apps to utilize GPS data effectively.

Reset Location and Privacy Settings (iOS)

For iOS users encountering persistent GPS accuracy issues, resetting location and privacy settings can be beneficial. In your device’s settings, select “General,” then “Reset,” and opt for “Reset Location & Privacy.” After performing this reset, reconfigure your location preferences and permissions for apps. This step can help resolve any configuration-related problems.

Clear App Cache and Data (Android)

Android users should know that app cache and data can sometimes interfere with GPS functionality. Navigate to your device’s settings, choose “Apps,” locate the app that relies on GPS, and tap on “Storage.” Within this section, you can clear the app’s cache and data. Remember that this action may erase app-specific settings, so you must reconfigure them afterward.

Toggle Airplane Mode

Toggling airplane mode on and off can help reset your device’s connections to cellular networks, Wi-Fi, and other communication channels. Sometimes, this simple action can refresh location-based services and improve GPS accuracy.

Download Offline Maps

When a stable GPS connection is critical, consider downloading offline maps for your region using apps like Google Maps or HERE WeGo. Offline maps rely less on real-time GPS data and can provide accurate navigation even in areas with poor signal reception. Having offline maps available can be a lifesaver when navigating remote or unfamiliar areas.

Perform a GPS Test (Android)

Android users can download GPS testing apps from the Google Play Store. These apps provide detailed diagnostic information about GPS signal strength and quality. Using a GPS testing app, you can gain insights into your device’s GPS performance and identify any hardware or software issues affecting accuracy. The information gathered from such tests can be valuable for pinpointing the root cause of GPS problems.

Factory Reset (Last Resort)

As a last resort, consider performing a factory reset if all other troubleshooting attempts prove unsuccessful. Before proceeding, it is crucial to back up your device’s data to prevent data loss. A factory reset erases all data and settings, restoring your device to its original state. This step should only be taken sparingly when no other solutions have been effective. It is a drastic measure, and you should exhaust all other options first.


A malfunctioning GPS can be frustrating, especially when you rely on location-based services for navigation or other critical tasks. Following this guide can effectively diagnose and resolve GPS accuracy problems. Remember to keep your device’s software updated, adjust settings, and optimize your environment for GPS reception. These measures will help ensure that your GPS-equipped devices consistently provide accurate location information, enhancing your overall user experience.

TechGolly editorial team led by Al Mahmud Al Mamun. He worked as an Editor-in-Chief at a world-leading professional research Magazine. Rasel Hossain and Enamul Kabir are supporting as Managing Editor. Our team is intercorporate with technologists, researchers, and technology writers. We have substantial knowledge and background in Information Technology (IT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Embedded Technology.

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