You might have started noticing a location icon in the menubar while using apps and services on your Mac. Your location is shared among those apps which might be a privacy concern for many. Some on you may wish to completely disable Location Services on your Mac like how you disable the GPS on your iPhone and Android.
While this isn’t advised for most Mac users since it is essential to run the apps properly and providing better user experience, turning off Location Services functionality for particular apps or all the apps on macOS is possible. Here’s how.
Note: Disabling Location Services on the Mac will lose the ability to use important features like Find My Mac, Siri that gives you location-based suggestions, and even simple tasks like using the Maps or web-based map functionalities to get directions.
How To Disable Location Access For Specific Apps On Mac
Most Mac users including me are okay with the Location Services turned on, but if you aren’t among those and want to just selectively disable the location features for apps, then follow these steps.
- Go to the Apple icon in the menu bar at the top, click on it, and choose System Preferences.
- Under that, click on Security & Privacy in the first line.
- A window will open, go to the Privacy tab at the last.
- Select Location Services from the left-side menu.
To make changes, you will need the administrator’s permission. Click the Lock button at the bottom left corner to make changes to the Location Services and then authenticate with the login. Choose the apps you don’t want to share the location from the list below.
If you want to disable location functionality for all the apps, uncheck the box that says Enable Location Services at the top to disable the Location Services for all the apps.
With Location Services disabled on your Mac, no apps or services will be able to use the current location of your Mac. Know that if you use Siri, disabling the Location Services will eventually change your Siri experience, things like asking Siri about the weather, or getting directions from Maps, or any other location-related tasks.
Also note that, if you are concerned about the privacy, turning off this setting off won’t remove location data from files or data that is already stored in the app. This setting simply prevents access to the current location of your Mac while using the app.
Files on your Mac such as photos shared from your iPhone usually contain location data and anyone can easily access them if you are sharing them with others, however, the location data can be removed from the photos easily.
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