Why Does iPhone Location Jump Around? (7 Reasons Why)

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Fletcher Crawford

Fletcher Crawford is a 20-year veteran of the electrical engineering field. He has worked on everything from Linux systems to Apple products, and is passionate about technology.

iPhones offer many cool features. They’re more secure, they’re easy to use, they have more accessibility options than other phones, and they have a wide variety of accessories.

One of the iPhone’s best features is location accuracy. However, sometimes it could be hard to pinpoint the exact location as it jumps around.

Why Does iPhone Location Jump Around?


1. Inaccurate Geopositioning System

As the satellites move in the sky, your GPS chip switches connection from one to the next before losing the signal. Sometimes it takes time to recalculate your position.

While the Iphone’s location is as accurate as the phone’s GPS, if the iPhone’s GPS can’t get a good signal, it automatically switches to Wi-Fi triangulation and Bluetooth.

This sometimes reduces the location accuracy and therefore causes the location to jump around on your iPhone’s screen.

It’s fair to say that Wi-Fi is not as accurate as GPS. It’s because a wireless network’s accuracy is tens of meters.

The same goes for cellular data, as the cell network accuracy is usually a few hundred meters. Unlike the GPS’s accuracy which is as close as a couple of meters

Whenever the iPhone gets a more accurate positioning, it switches to the technology receiving the signal. That’s why when you’re on the move the location keeps jumping around.

2. Disabled App Location

Sometimes your iPhone location jumps around because you didn’t allow the app to gain access to your location.

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Make sure that you enabled the app location and set it to “While Using” so that it turns on whenever you’re using the app.

To enable app location go to your iPhone Settings, tap on Privacy, then click Location Services. Scroll down to find the intended app. Tap on it, and then choose the option “While Using.”

In addition to enabling app location, you might want to try to enable background app refresh. This feature enables apps to use data connection even if the app is running in the background.

3. Location Service Is Down

Switching the Location Services off then on again might fix the problem of fluctuating location signals.

However, if the location continues to jump around, you might need to reset your location settings to the factory default.

To do this, go to your iPhone Settings, tap General, then click on Reset. Tap Reset Location & Privacy. After that, your apps will ask for permission to enable them to use your location.

Additionally, resetting your network settings might also help refresh data for navigation services.

To do that, go to your iPhone Settings, tap General, then Reset. Click on Reset Network Settings.

Don’t worry as resetting network settings doesn’t erase your data, it only removes cellular data and Wi-Fi passwords.

4. LTE Is Switched On

LTE Is Switched On

Disabling LTE services might help with the fluctuating location signal. If the LTE is already disabled, try enabling it then disable it again.

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To do so, go to your iPhone Settings, tap Cellular, then choose Cellular Data Options. After that, click on Enable LTE then disable it.

Don’t enable it again until you’re finished with using GPS. If it doesn’t help with the issue, enable the LTE services again and see if it works.

5. Incorrect Date And Time Settings

When the date and time settings are incorrect, it might affect your iPhone’s location accuracy. You’ll need to set up your iPhone’s date and time settings to avoid this.

To do so, go to your iPhone Settings, and scroll down to General. Tap on Date & Time, then toggle on the switch next to Set Automatically.

This should fix your date and time as well as your time zone, and subsequently improve your phone’s location accuracy.

6. Your iPhone Needs An Update

Some iPhone users avoid installing the latest IOS version. If you’re one of them, this might be the reason why your location jumps around.

Keeping your iPhone up to date with the latest IOS version ensures that it’s using the latest features. One of those features is location accuracy.

To update your iPhone, first, make sure that it’s plugged into power and the Wi-Fi is turned on. After that go to settings, then tap General. Tap on Software update then click on Download and Install.

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7. It’s Just A Glitch

Fluctuating location signals might happen because of a minor glitch. The magical solution for this, and many smartphone issues, is restarting the phone.

Such a simple troubleshooting act might help with making the location report more accurate. Additionally, closing and reopening the app you’re trying to use might also fix the problem.

Another solution that has reportedly worked for some iPhone users is discharging the battery and then recharging it.

Retry the GPS function after the charge is complete, and this minor fix might be all that your iPhone needs.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on why transferring data to new iPhone takes so long, why your phone is dying on the charger, and why your phone says LTE instead of 4G.

Conclusion

Dealing with iPhone issues can sometimes be a bit of a headache. However, with a little research, you’ll find out the solution you’re looking for.

Determining why your iPhone’s location jumps around can be a head-scratcher. There are many reasons why this happens, and to know the exact reason you’ll just have to try everything.

Author

  • Fletcher Crawford is a 15-year veteran of the electrical engineering field. He has worked on everything from Linux systems to Apple products, and is passionate about technology.

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