Apps + Store

Location awareness and my phone

When you turn on your Windows Phone's location services, your apps can use your location to provide you with richer experiences, and even help you complete tasks based on where you are. For example, Maps can display your current location if you're not sure where you are in relation to your friend's address. Or you can be reminded to water your plants right when you arrive home. You'll be able to give consent to each app to use your location, either when you install the app or when you first use it.


This topic is about Windows Phone 8.1. If your phone is running Windows Phone 8, some options and icons may look a little different, and some features may not be available. Check to see which software version you have and find out if an update is available.

To turn location services on or off

  1. In the App list, tap Settings Settings icon > Location.

  2. Turn Location services Toggle on icon on or off.


Enabling Wi-Fi on your phone allows your phone to use information from that access point to find your position faster, at lower power, and more accurately, particularly when you're indoors. Without a cellular data or Wi-Fi connection, it may take longer for location services to locate your phone, or it may not work at all.

To turn the Location icon on

You can see when an app is accessing your phone's location information by looking for the Location icon Location icon. To make sure this icon is turned on:

  1. In the App list, tap Settings Settings icon > Location.

  2. Select the Show icon check box.


    Choosing not to display the Location icon doesn't turn off location services. It simply hides the icon to reduce clutter on your phone's status bar.

What is a geofence?

Windows Phone 8.1 adds support for geofences, which are virtual boundaries around places of interest to you, such as your home, work, or other locations. Geofences tell apps to trigger an experience for you when your phone enters or leaves them. This is useful for performing location-based tasks like displaying reminders, updating your Live Tiles, or sending your location to a family member. Your phone keeps track of the geofences that matter to you and notifies apps when appropriate.

To check geofence monitoring

When one or more apps set up geofences and triggered experiences, and if you've allowed those apps to run in the background, your phone will monitor those geofences and alert timely apps when you enter or leave the areas. You can check to see if your phone is currently monitoring any geofences in the Location settings.

  1. In the App list, tap Settings Settings icon > Location.

  2. If geofences are currently tracked, under Geofence monitoring, the Current status will show tracking geofences. If geofences aren't currently tracked, it will show not tracking geofences.


    • Even if you choose to show the Location icon in the status bar, you won't see an icon for geofences specifically.
    • To prevent an app from receiving geofence information when the app is not actively running, you can stop that app from running in the background.

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