Considering the use of 'Shortcuts' app in iOS, is there a way to quickly get a shortcut to turn location services ON and OFF rather than poking through the menus in settings?

  • 4
    This is currently not possible through either shortcuts or control center, although I certainly agree that it should be implemented. Commented Nov 5, 2019 at 16:10

5 Answers 5


Another thing you can do as of now is open the Location Services settings menu from Shortcuts by using an "Open URL" action.

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On iOS 16.2 the URL needs to be adjusted to: "prefs:root=Privacy&Security&path=LOCATION"

This might change in the future if the name of the menu under which you find the Location settings is changed. (Search "Location" in your settings and make sure to use the name of the parent menu.)

  • Great workaround!
    – DrKumar
    Commented Jan 10, 2021 at 1:38
  • 3
    Worked great for me! Here is the URL from the screenshot for copy paste: prefs:root=Privacy&path=LOCATION
    – CKK
    Commented Mar 25, 2021 at 14:42
  • in iOS 15, it's now "Location Services" and I haven't been able to type space, so the shortcut, can only open "Privacy" and not go inside "Location Services". so, any other work around? Commented Oct 5, 2021 at 14:11
  • @NaveenReddyMarthala LOCATION.SERVICES does it. But the problem remains that the shortcut only works within the shortcut app
    – toesslab
    Commented Jul 8, 2022 at 8:35
  • I am still on iOS 15.1.1 and the shortcut still work, and I can call it from a Widget
    – hymced
    Commented Jul 8, 2022 at 17:16

You can ask Siri to turn it on or off:

Turn off Location Services in Siri

  • 2
    If you have shortcuts app , can you try making it a shortcut where something pre-written is said to Siri, instead of saying it out loud ?
    – anki
    Commented Nov 8, 2019 at 12:28
  • I thought about that, and it would be useful for when you can't speak, but I just posted this here as it's just a one press. Feel free to post that solution, it is the requested one! I was just playing on the work shortcut Commented Nov 8, 2019 at 12:42
  • @ankii I have tried this... but I cannot see this possibility in my iphone. Is it feasible?
    – rebatoma
    Commented Nov 10, 2019 at 18:14
  • @rebatoma At least not in iOS 12, which I have. I did try. Others are welcome to try, if I had missed something. Idk about iOS 13 apple.stackexchange.com/questions/360177/…
    – anki
    Commented Nov 10, 2019 at 18:23
  • Yeah, I'm on 13 Commented Nov 12, 2019 at 5:12

prefs:root=Privacy&path=LOCATION. This still works at iOS 15, just that your have to delete and create a new shortcut using the url link.run once and DO NOT back track to Location again else it won’t work. Save it as it is and run again.

  • This only works for me from within the Shortcuts app. If I place the shortcut on the Home Screen tapping it does nothing. What am I doing wrong?
    – gaspanic
    Commented Nov 23, 2021 at 0:59
  • Which version of iOS are you having? Could you write the steps down here from the steps in shortcuts till the shortcut button reaches the Home Screen.please try to write in detail as much possible to see what went wrong thanks.
    – Sharecare
    Commented Nov 24, 2021 at 1:13
  • 1
    Running iOS 15.1. Steps: 1) Open Shortcuts 2) Tap +. 3) Set shortcut name. 4) Tap Add Action. 5) Find and select Open URL. 6) Input prefs:root=Privacy&path=LOCATION as URL. 7) Tap Play icon in bottom right corner -> Location Services opens as expected. 8) Tap menu icon in top right corner and then Add to Home screen. 9) Go to home screen and tap created shortcut -> nothing happens.
    – gaspanic
    Commented Nov 24, 2021 at 2:27

What Louis said is the simplest way to do it, but if for some reason you require turning it on as part of a shortcut, the closest you are going to get with the Shortcuts app is by enabling voice control and having your device say “Open Siri”. Unfortunately in this case, Apple has made the Shortcuts app to where it will stop running when Siri is activated, and continue after Siri is closed.

A Shortcut that enables Siri

You also could have your device say “open settings” and have it tap privacy (assuming the privacy tab is visible when the shortcut runs) and manually navigate to the setting yourself, but that pretty much defeats the main purpose of having a Shortcut. Either way, some type of action is required by the user to toggle Location Services.

If you really really want to automate this, there is one workaround, although it takes a bit more effort than it may be worth. You need to have 2 iOS devices; the first device needs to have Voice Control enabled. The second device will need to be close to the first device with the audio at about 50% at least. The second will run the shortcut that plays audio to the other device to tell it what to do. It will say: “Open settings”, “Swipe up Airplane Mode” (in case you are in landscape view), “Tap Privacy”, “Tap Location Services”, “Tap Location Services”, “Tap Turn Off” (in case you are turning it off, it will tell the prompt to disable the setting).

This is a link to the shortcut: https://www.icloud.com/shortcuts/86929b1cd7074d7e81898284135ee4ad

Again, a bit of an odd way to do it, but there aren’t many other ways. Also note that this only works some of the time; annoyingly, sometimes Voice Control doesn’t understand what it is being told to do. But it should hopefully work most of the time.


Building upon user 6209's answer that recommends using Siri to turn off location services, here is my answer as per iOS 12.

Keep doing it as long as Siri doesn't add a shortcut itself in iOS spotlight suggestions(drag down on home screen). When it does, go to Shortcuts app and assign that suggestion to a shortcut. You might also want to put it on your home page as an app, in case you cannot speak at the moment.

alarm shortcut

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