Windows 10 brings many improvements over its predecessors in terms of features and security, but has some quirks that never fail to annoy experienced users . One of them is location-based tracking, which is much more prevalent in Windows 10 than in previous versions, making it a potential security nightmare. However, it doesn’t have to be that way, as you can change location settings and disable location access in Windows 10 with just a few clicks. Here we are going to show you how to disable location tracking in Windows 10.
Disable location tracking in Windows 10 (2021)
You can disable location tracking for just about any third-party app or built-in Windows features using Settings. There are a few exceptions to this rule, such as Cortana, which must be turned off entirely to prevent it from collecting your location information. In this article, we’ll show you not only how to stop Microsoft and built-in apps from tracking your location, but also how to stop third-party programs from accessing location information without your express permission. So, without further ado, let’s see how to disable location access for Microsoft and other apps in Windows 10.
Disable location tracking by Microsoft in Windows 10
- Go to Settings (Windows key + I) and select “Privacy”.
- Now click on “Location” under “App Permissions” in the left pane to access location settings. If location permission is “On”, click “Edit” and turn this option off.
This will disable location access for Microsoft, built-in Windows 10 services, and Microsoft Store apps on this device.
Disable location tracking by Microsoft Store apps
If you want to block all apps and services from tracking you but have no problem allowing Windows to access your location, keep the previous setting ” Enabled”.
- Now scroll down the same page (Settings > Privacy > Location) and turn off the toggle to disable location access for all apps listed there en masse .
To note: This setting only applies to apps downloaded from the Microsoft Store and built-in apps in Windows 10, but not to standard desktop apps downloaded from from third-party websites..
Disable per-app location tracking
If you want to allow certain Windows 10 apps, such as the clock, weather, and news apps, to detect your location for more relevant information, but you don’t want to Bulk tracking, you should keep the previous two settings to “Enabled” and scroll further down. page to grant permissions per application.
- To grant or disable permissions per app, enable or disable each toggle individually depending on whether you want that app to detect your location.
To note: This setting only applies to apps downloaded from the Microsoft Store and built-in apps in Windows 10.
Disable location tracking by desktop apps
Desktop apps don’t ask for permission to access data the way a Microsoft Store app does. To prevent them from accessing location information, scroll down and turn off the toggle for: “Allow desktop apps to access your location”.
Clear All Location History on Windows 10
Even if you change location settings in Windows 10 and turn off each setting described so far, your location history will still remain on the device and will be accessible by apps and services. Although this information may be deleted automatically “after a limited time”, you can delete it manually now.
- To clear Location History on Windows 10, stay on the same page (Settings > Privacy > Location) and in the right pane, find “Location History”. Now click on “Delete”.
Disable location tracking on all accounts
Location permission can be enabled or disabled per account only. So if you share your computer with another user or there are other user accounts that you use yourself, you will need to disable location permission in each of them individually.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I turn on location for a third-party app without letting Windows or Microsoft access my location?
Unfortunately no. Microsoft specifically designed the location permission stack so that you need to let it access your location before you can grant location permission to a third-party app. So while you can change location settings in Windows 10, you can’t allow access to third-party apps without allowing Microsoft to access them first.
2. Does disabling location permissions ensure that no one can track my location?
No, this is not the case. Many apps and websites can still infer your general location by analyzing other technologies, such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, cellular modem, etc. to determine the location of your device. This is one of the many reasons why you might want to use a trusted VPN service to spoof your location while surfing online.
3. How can I turn off pesky location requests from websites while browsing?
All major browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, and Edge Chromium, allow users to opt out of website location requests. Here’s how to do it:
- Chromium: Go to Settings > Privacy & Security > Site Settings > Location. Then disable “Ask before accessing” to block location requests.
- Firefox: Go to ‘about:config’ > ‘geo.enabled’ and toggle it to ‘False’. This should stop the nagging location requests.
- Edge: On Windows 10, you don’t need Edge itself to do this. Instead, you can disable location access from Windows Settings, as described earlier.
4. How can I stop Cortana from tracking my location?
As mentioned earlier, you’ll need to disable Cortana completely to prevent it from collecting your location information. To do this, see our detailed guide on how to completely disable Cortana on Windows 10 by clicking on the corresponding link in the second paragraph.
5. Do these methods also work on desktops and laptops?
Yes, the methods described above work on both desktop and laptop computers. However, on laptops, which mostly come with built-in webcams and microphones, you should also disable camera and microphone permissions for apps from Settings > Privacy > Camera/Microphone. Even if you allow access, make sure you only do so for certain apps, such as Skype, Zoom, and Google Meet, and not for apps that should never need to use the camera or your PC’s microphone.
6. Can I fake my location in Windows 10?
Yes you can. One way was previously a fake GPS adapter driver to provide a location of your choice. However, the open source software listed on GitHub is no longer maintained by the author, so I cannot vouch for its effectiveness at this time. Instead, you can use a VPN or even fake your location in the browser itself. The ability to use fake GPS coordinates can be found under “Developer Options” in all major browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.
7. How can I protect my privacy in Windows 10?
Go to Settings > Privacy and turn off any toggles you see there. Also, disable Windows 10 Advertising ID to prevent apps, websites, and services from tracking you online. If you want even deeper privacy protections, browse through the other options on the left pane of the same page (Settings > Privacy) and change your overall privacy options for things like recognition. vocals, inking and commentary.
Prevent apps and services from accessing your geolocation in Windows 10
Preventing Microsoft and third-party apps from collecting your geolocation information is one of the easiest ways to ensure privacy on Windows 10. Once done, be sure to follow the steps in the answer to the last FAQ question. section for relatively carefree surfing. Along with the above steps, you should also clear your browsing history from time to time to prevent web trackers from tracking your online activities. If you want to learn more about online privacy, drop us a comment below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.