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Why is my Apple iPhone 6s GPS, Location Services not working and how to fix it? [Troubleshooting Guide]

Contemporary gadgets like high-end smartphones are already considered among the essential devices by many people. Aside from the usual calling and texting functions, new smartphones are able to carry out various tasks that would benefit end-users. Mobile devices like the iPhone 6s, for instance, can be used as navigational tool or mobile map that points out to destinations and many other functionalities. This is made possible with the integration of GPS technology.

Generally, GPS phones utilize a method called trilateration to determine your exact location, drawing a sphere around each of three accessible satellites. There are also some GPS phones that use wireless-assisted GPS technology to determine current location. Cell phones with wireless-assisted GPS integrations uses the orbiting GPS satellites in conjunction with information on the cellphone’s signal.

Among the important uses GPS-enabled phones include location tracking, turn-by-turn directions, and other location-based services. Downloadable tools, apps, and online services for GPS-enabled devices including the iPhone 6s are also made available for end-users to make the most of their respective mobile handsets. But just like any other smartphone services, the iPhone’s GPS and location services are susceptible to minor and major flaws. A matter of this fact, many iPhone 6s users have been raising pertinent complaints on the iPhone’s GPS that is not locating accurately, giving incorrect locations, GPS navigation errors, while others having trouble using GPS running apps on their iOS device. Issues with Bluetooth GPS accessories also manifest. What causes these issues to occur on the iPhone 6s and what will be your options to deal with them? These are the things that this post is trying to address. Read on to learn the possible reasons as to why your iPhone 6s GPS feature is not working as intended on  your device.

But before we jump right into our troubleshooting, if you have other issues with your iPhone, make sure you drop by our troubleshooting page because we’ve already addressed a lot of issues reported by our readers. Find issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If they don’t work for you or if you need more help, fill up our iPhone problems questionnaire and give us more accurate information about your problem so we can give you the best solution.  

Common factors that can adversely affect the iPhone 6s GPS functions

There are various reasons as to why GPS won’t work as intended on your iPhone. Among the widely known culprits include network connectivity or signal issues, software bugs or apps glitches on GPS-enabled apps, faulty updates on GPS apps and/or iOS. In worst cases, the problem is directly tied to hardware defect like a damaged or dysfunctional GPS chip on the iPhone. Other issues with GPS have been linked to environmental factors like a big tree, giant infrastructures, walls or tall buildings that can obstruct that signal strength between the iPhone and the sky (network towers or GPS satellites).

Network/signal issues  such as poor or no reception on the iPhone also causes GPS services to fail or show some errors. For navigation apps to work properly, stable connection, good network signal or reception is needed. As much as possible, stay away from possible obstructions when using navigation apps or GPS services with your iPhone 6s.

Faulty updates in apps or iPhone iOS are also among the possible culprits, causing the GPS or navigation app to become erratic. It’s easy to determine and pinpoint this as the main cause as symptoms typically instigate right after the update is installed on the device.

There are also some instances wherein software glitches are to blame. Random software malfunctions can also affect GPS apps’ normal functions.

Location services restrictions can also cause pertinent issues to arise on the iPhone. Limiting or denying an app to access your current location is an example. Some users would opt to disable location services for privacy and security purposes while others do so to save battery. Some navigation apps have an option for users to enable or disable Share My Location, Never, While Using or Always to control which apps can use your location data and how.

Hardware damage is the worst possible cause for GPS problems. As mentioned earlier, GPS services would fail to work if the GPS chip is damaged. This is most likely the cause especially if there were prior instances of hard drops or liquid exposure on the iPhone.

Possible solutions and workarounds to deal with iPhone 6s GPS errors

Several cases of GPS issues on the iPhone have occurred during the implementation of iOS 8. During those times, many people were complaining about inaccuracy of GPS location outputs. Pertinent issues have manifested after the iOS 9.3 update. Many users complained about the iPhone GPS that is not working properly especially when using location services and navigational apps such as Waze and Pokemon GO. While many of those who have experienced problems with the iPhone GPS have obtained remedy after updating to iOS 10, some found no luck from doing the same. If you too are dealing with issues on the iPhone 6s GPS services, feel free to refer to the suggested workarounds and potential solutions highlighted below. Be sure to test your device after completing each step to determine if the problem is already fixed and that your iPhone 6s GPS is back up and working properly.

First things to check when dealing with problems on your iPhone 6s GPS

Before you start troubleshooting the problem, be sure to check on the following:

  • Location Services. Verify and ensure that Location Services is enabled on your device. To do so, head over to Settings-> Privacy-> Location Services-> then toggle to switch to turn it on, if necessary.
  • Airplane Mode. Verify and ensure that Airplane Mode is turned off. Go to Settings-> Airplane Mode-> then if necessary, toggle the switch to turn it OFF.
  • Date and Time. Verify and ensure that Date and Time your iPhone are set correctly. Some iPhone services including GPS tools or apps require correct date and time settings in order to work properly on the device. It is recommended to configure the date and time settings on your iPhone to set automatically. To do so, go to Settings-> Date & Time-> then select Set Automatically from the given options.
  • Network signal or reception. Make sure that your iPhone is getting good signal strength or network reception. A weak signal can sometimes cause the iPhone’s GPS to show incorrect location.

Proceed to the the following troubleshooting methods if problem persists after checking and performing the aforementioned factors.

First Solution: Perform a soft reset

Soft reset or reboot can fix a lot of minor software issues in mobile devices. Should the GPS problem you are dealing with is triggered by random software malfunctions, performing a soft reset on your iPhone 6s might be able to fix it. To do so, just turn your iPhone off and then back on like you usually do. A soft reset will not affect or erase data on your device.

Alternatively, you can force your iPhone to restart. The process is similar to that of a soft reset but through the hard keys. To do so, press and hold the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button simultaneously for at least 10 seconds and then release both buttons when the Apple logo appears. This method is recommended for iPhones that become unresponsive due to GPS apps errors or software glitches.

Second Solution: Turn off LTE

LTE offers higher cellular speeds or loads data faster. Even so, it wouldn’t hurt if you would try to switch to a lower network band for a moment to see if that would do good in resolving GPS issues on the iPhone. This is another workaround you can try. Some users were able to resolve issues with GPS by turning off LTE and switching to other available network bands. Here’s how it works:

  • Tap Settings.
  • Scroll to and tap Cellular.
  • Select Data Options.
  • Tap Voice & Data.
  • Select 3G from the given options.

Third Solution: Reset Network Settings

Sometimes, the culprit is within the network settings. It could be incorrect network configuration or wrong options set, which results to the iPhone 6s GPS that is not working or works but not providing accurate location or wrong direction is given. Resetting the network settings on the iPhone is a potential remedy. You have to note though that network information including Wi-Fi networks and passwords will be erased in the process. That being said, be sure to take note of this information before you start. Once you’re all set, follow these steps:

  • Head over to Settings.
  • Tap General.
  • Scroll to and tap Reset.
  • Select Reset Network Settings.
  • Enter your passcode if prompted to do so.
  • Tap Reset Network Settings to confirm action.

Fourth Solution: Update iOS

If you haven’t done it already, then you should consider updating your iPhone iOS to the latest version available. Some bugs can cause GPS services to not work properly on the iPhone and it’s likely the reason why you are facing the same issue right now. Aside from new features and enhanced functions, iOS updates also contain bug fixes to address certain issues transpiring in iOS devices including GPS errors on the iPhone 6s. Thus, installing the update will eradicate the bug as well. Here’s how:

  • Navigate to Settings.
  • Tap General.
  • Tap Software Update.
  • If an update is available, you’ll see a notification. To proceed with the update implementation, tap the option to Download and Install or Install Now. But before you do, be sure to backup your iPhone for safekeeping.

Other Recommended Workarounds

If none of the aforementioned solutions is able to fix the GPS problem transpiring on your iPhone 6s, here are some other workarounds for you to try on.

 

  • Try to stay away from tall buildings or stay outdoors when using navigation or map apps on your iPhone. Doing so will make it possible for your iPhone to get a good reception or GPS signal from nearby towers or satellites.
  • Check and ensure that no outage is affecting GPS services in your area. You can navigate to Apple Support’s system status page to view this information.
  • Make sure that your iPhone has connection to the Internet either through Wi-Fi or Cellular Data when using GPS apps or navigation tools.
  • Also consider installing updates for map apps on your device especially if the problem is isolated to a GPS app or only occurs to an application.

 

Last Resort: Factory Reset

If you’re still unable to obtain solution and that your iPhone 6s GPS is still not working as intended, then your next option is a factory reset. It is possible that the problem is triggered by a certain bug attacking the iPhone’s internal system structure and results to the iPhone GPS to become dysfunctional. Your last resort would be a factory reset. The process will wipe your iPhone and set it up as new. All contents, customized settings and system bugs will be erased in the process. You can use perform a factory reset through the iPhone Settings or using iTunes. The latter method requires a computer with the latest version of iTunes installed.

If you’re willing to give factory reset a shot, be sure to backup your device beforehand. Once everything is set, follow these steps to reset and restore your iPhone 6s with iTunes:

  • Open iTunes on the computer. You can use either a Windows or Mac computer that runs the latest operating system.
  • Connect your iPhone to the computer using the supplied USB cable.
  • Enter a passcode or select the option to Trust This Computer.
  • Follow the onscreen instructions.
  • Select your iPhone 6s from the list of available devices in iTunes.
  • Navigate to the Summary section.
  • Click the Restore button.
  • Click Restore again to confirm action.
  • Wait for iTunes to complete the device reset and install the latest iOS version available. Your iPhone will then restart and then you can go ahead and set your device as new.

Seek More Help

So you’ve tried every possible solution and workarounds to deal with GPS issues on your iPhone 6s but to no avail. What’s to do next?

At this point, escalating the problem to your carrier or Apple Support is your next best option. You can request further assistance if you wish to troubleshoot the problem further.

Alternatively, you can take your iPhone to an authorized service center for hardware assessment and/or repair. Again physical or liquid damage on the iPhone’s GPS chip is also a possible reason as to why the problem persists.

Connect with us

If you have other problems with your iOS device including iPhone 6s, you may visit our Troubleshooting Page or complete and submit this form to get further assistance from our support team. Just be sure to provide us with all necessary information, such as your iOS device model, as well as more details about the issue you have with your device. For example, when did the problem start to occur or what you did before the problem shows. This way, it would be easier for us to determine the main cause(s) and help you towards finding the best possible solution available.

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