How to manage location settings in Android Lollipop

Controlling how, when and why your location is being shared is important to many of us. Some have privacy concerns, others are micro-managing battery use, and some of us just don't need to broadcast where we are to the world. We get it — really, we do. Security is important, and so is maximizing your battery life.

Thankfully Google gets it, too. While they would rather you opt-in for the full Google location treatment so that their data is more robust (yet anonymized), you're able to completely control how you share your location, and when you share it right in your device settings.

Let's take a look how this is done in Android 5.0 Lollipop.

If you can't watch the video above, the process is easy.

  • Open the settings on your phone
  • Find the "Location" entry and tap it

You can choose to toggle location on and off via the slider at the top, and you can chose how you want to share location in the settings. Choose "High Accuracy" to use Wifi, GPS and cell data to set your location, "Battery saving" to only use cellular and Wifi, or "Device only" to use the stand-alone GPS sensor on your device.

Opt-in

It's worth noting that you'll need to opt-in to use Google's location services. This is because your location data is shared anonymously with Google, even when you're not directly requesting to share it. If you choose to not opt-in, you may see issues with Google's applications.

We're looking into all the settings, tips and tricks that come with Android Lollipop, and we'll be doing a lot of sharing. Look for more soon!

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

13 Comments
  • Hopefully there is finally a simple one-click switch in the quick settings menu to toggle between high accuracy (when using navigation) and power sawing (all other times) on non rooted devices? Posted via Android Central App
  • Would be better if it were available programmatically so that Tasker could switch it on for me if it sees my car's bluetooth.
  • Yeah, that's really what I want the location button to do in the quick settings.
  • The power control widget has that ability. Push it to switch between the two options.
  • I looked for the power control widget after getting Android 5.0, and its gone!
  • That would be nice if I ever could get Lollipop on ONE of my three devices. Geez!
  • I know the feeling, Chad. I know the feeling.
  • Am I able to select don't show again and disagree. Because it's annoying that now on my s5 I have to keep selecting disagree everytime I turn on my GPS unless I put agree then I can select don't show again. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I don't think you need the "don't show again" box with disagree anymore.
    It looks like they fixed the maps app to remember your selection. So if you have google location settings turned off, the first time you open the maps app it will suggest that you use "high accuracy" mode instead of device only, but when you click [ignore], it remembers and won't keep suggesting high accuracy mode every time you open the app.
  • A friend recently said to me - wouldn't it be scary if Google tracked everywhere I go and record it. He was a little taken aback when I showed him his Google location history. n5
  • I find it annoying that Google forces the user to agree to their "location sharing" stuff for any mode other than "device only".
  • I don't mind opting in to location services, but why make it so cumbersome to just turn the damn GPS on and off? 90% of the time its just wasting power.
  • For some reason my phone (P8+) only has battery saving mode for a location option. It does not give me any other choice (I need High Efficiency for the GPS to work) HELP ME!!!