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Enabling and Disabling Geolocation on Your Browser

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How often do websites ask you for your location? Probably more often than you think. By changing just one setting in your web browser, you can prevent websites from accessing your location (and stop those annoying pop-ups from your browser asking for permission to share your location).

This guide covers how to turn off location sharing on mobile and desktop for the following browsers:

  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Edge
  • Safari
  • Opera
  • Internet Explorer

What is geolocation and why should you turn it off?

When you navigate to a website and a window pops up asking for your location, that website is attempting to use geolocation. Sites want to know where you’re located so they can show you relevant content, products, services, or ads for your region. The site uses the information in your IP address and its connected network to match you to known locations.

Most websites still work fine if you don’t allow them to access your location. And you may wish not to give away this info for privacy or security reasons. Major browsers such as Google Chrome will ask you by default every time a website tries to locate you if you want to share your location, and you can select deny or don’t allow. Other browsers might not have this option and you want to disable geolocation completely. Or you’ve enabled location services previously and now want to disable them.

Whatever your reason, you should know how to enable and disable geolocation on your internet browser when you want. Doing so gives you a bit more privacy and control over your experience surfing the web.

Let’s look at how to toggle geolocation settings on six major browsers, both desktop, and mobile.

Chrome

To disable location in Chrome on desktop, follow these steps:

  1. Open a Chrome browser and click on the three dots in the top right corner, next to your profile picture.
  2. Click Settings.
  3. Click Site Settings, under the Privacy and Security section.
  4. Click Location under the Permissions section.
  5. Toggle off the option Ask before accessing.

To disable location in Chrome on iOS, follow these steps:

  1. Go to device Settings, type Chrome in the search bar, and tap Chrome.
  2. Tap Location.
  3. Tap Never under Allow Location Access.

To disable location in Chrome on Android, follow these steps:

  1. Open your Chrome app.
  2. Tap the three dots, then Settings.
  3. Tap Site Settings, then Location.
  4. Toggle the option off.

If you complete these steps, Chrome will no longer ask you if you want to allow access to your location; it will automatically deny websites access to your location. To re-enable location access, repeat these same steps but toggle location options on.

Firefox

To disable location sharing in Firefox on desktop, do the following:

  1. In the browser address bar, type About:config
  2. Firefox will show you a Proceed with Caution warning. Click Accept the Risk and Continue.
  3. In the search bar at the top of the screen, type geo.enabled.
  4. One result will appear in the list, geo.enabled. Double click this line so true changes to false.

To disable location sharing in Firefox on Android, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Firefox app and tap the three dots in the lower-right corner.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Site permissions under the Privacy and security section.
  4. Tap Location then select Blocked.

If you have a Samsung Android device, the process will look slightly different. Repeat steps 1 and 2 from the above list to navigate to your Settings. Then, tap Privacy. Under Data Choices, uncheck the box next to Mozilla Location Services.

Edge

To disable location access for Microsoft Edge on Windows, complete these steps:

  1. Hit the Windows key + A to open the Action Center.
  2. Right-click Location.
  3. Click Go to Settings.
  4. Toggle off the option for Allow apps to access your location.
  5. Under Location history, click the Clear button to clear location history from your device.

If you want to disable location sharing in Edge on macOS, do the following:

  1. Open a browser and click the three dots in the top right corner.
  2. Click Settings.
  3. Select Site Permissions from the left sidebar.
  4. Click Location.
  5. Toggle off the option Ask before accessing.

To turn off location sharing for Edge on Android, follow these steps:

  1. Go to your device Settings.
  2. Tap Apps & notifications.
  3. Tap the magnifying glass to search, and search for Edge. Tap Edge.
  4. Tap Permissions then Location.
  5. Select Deny under Location Access for this App.

Safari

To turn off location sharing in your Safari browser on macOS, follow these steps:

  1. Open a browser and click Safari.
  2. Click Preferences.
  3. Click the Privacy tab.
  4. Check the box next to Prevent cross-site tracking.

If you want to stop Safari from location sharing on iOS, do the following:

  1. Go to your device Settings.
  2. In the search bar, type Safari, then select Safari from the search results.
  3. Tap Location.
  4. Tap Deny under Location Access on All Websites.

Opera

Opera is a Chromium-based web browser known for being faster and more stable than other big players such as Chrome and Firefox. To turn off Opera location sharing on desktop, follow these steps:

  1. In the browser address bar, type about:config.
  2. You’ll be taken to your Settings. Click on Advanced.
  3. Click Privacy & Security.
  4. Click Site Settings, then Location.
  5. Toggle off the option Ask before accessing.

To stop Opera from sharing your location on Android, do the following:

  1. Open an Opera browser and tap the menu button in the bottom-right corner.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Site settings under the Privacy section.
  4. Tap Location, then Location again.
  5. Select Denied from the list of options.

Internet Explorer

To disable location sharing on Internet Explorer (IE) on Windows, follow these steps:

  1. Open an IE browser and click on the gear icon in the top right corner.
  2. Click Internet options.
  3. Click on the Privacy tab.
  4. Check the box for Never allow websites to request your physical location.

Click the Clear Sites button to remove location access to any sites that had access previously.

Surf the web with more secure browsers

Browsers like Chrome and Firefox work to ensure your privacy and security, though these features aren’t their sole focus. To surf the web with privacy-minded services, try one of the following browsers:

  • Puffin: Puffin doesn’t allow websites to store any code on your device, so there’s never the risk that malware will be downloaded onto your computer.
  • Tenta: Tenta comes with security features and plug-ins built-in and encrypts all browsing history data.
  • Brave: Brave blocks pop-ups and ads by default and lets you check exactly what’s being blocked.

Maintaining your privacy

Learning how to enable and disable location sharing on your browser can help you protect your privacy as you surf the web. Preventing websites from having your location may not allow you to see their most relevant content, but it keeps your physical location secret.

Looking for more ways to protect your privacy online? Learn to hide your IP address to keep prying eyes from getting your data.

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