I have an iPhone 3Gs and the latest iPod Touch. Neither have 3G data connectivity and are only connected to the Internet via WiFi.

When either device spends a while not being connected to WiFi (for instance, when camping), the Location Services turn off on their own.

Why is this? Is it by design? How do I make Location Services stay on?

2 Answers 2


Apple works very hard to conserve battery life, and determining location, no matter if it is through GPS, cellular, or wifi connections takes extra battery. The arrow displays any time a 3rd party app requests your location. For instance, when you open Maps, the arrow will likely turn on because Maps needs to pinpoint where you are. The arrow may also turn on for system level locations services (settings can be adjusted in Settings > Location Services > System Services), and depending on your settings, the arrow may or may not appear for that.

As for Location Services being on or off, you can set that in the settings (Settings > Location Services), but if you see the arrow, it is likely on already.

The arrow only appears when location services are active, and may or may not show when it is just on.

  • 1
    What I am saying is that I did set it in Settings > Location Services. But after a while, that setting changed to Off. Commented Jun 1, 2012 at 5:26
  • Very interesting. Sorry I misunderstood the question. I've never seen that happen, and to me that sounds more like a bug then anything. So, the "switch" actually turns off? Commented Jun 1, 2012 at 12:06
  • Yes, that is exactly what's happening. I haven't quite pinpointed the exact time, but at some point I'll go into Setting and the switch will be off. Commented Jun 1, 2012 at 19:58
  • That is strange indeed. I'd contact Apple. I'm not aware of any time that it would "automatically" turn off, and nothing is mentioned in here. support.apple.com/kb/HT1975. I checked my iPad wifi - disabled wifi, and location services stayed on. I wondered if somehow they would disable location when wifi was disabled. I think the most strange part of it is that both of your devices do that. Commented Jun 1, 2012 at 20:09

It is definily a bug. I though it was my daughter who turned it off and I protected the location services with a password that only me knew, the location services turned off once more. It seems that happens every time that I upload a new update on the operating system.

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