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?

  • 3
    This is currently not possible through either shortcuts or control center, although I certainly agree that it should be implemented. – slightly_toasted Nov 5 '19 at 16:10

Another thing you can do as of now is open the Location Services settings menu from the attached shortcut (export from the Launcher App from the App Store)

enter image description here

  • Great workaround! – DrKumar Jan 10 at 1:38

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 Nov 8 '19 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 – Louis Waweru Nov 8 '19 at 12:42
  • @ankii I have tried this... but I cannot see this possibility in my iphone. Is it feasible? – rebatoma Nov 10 '19 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 Nov 10 '19 at 18:23
  • Yeah, I'm on 13 – Louis Waweru Nov 12 '19 at 5:12

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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