How to fix GPS that is not working or showing incorrect location on Apple iPhone XS after iOS update

GPS is a key feature for tracking locations. An iPhone integrates an assisted GPS system, which utilizes other reference sources in addition to the generated signal by the Global Positioning System satellites to determine the exact location of the device. This denotes that the more signal sources accessible, the more accurate your iPhone GPS becomes. Among the factors that must be considered for more accurate GPS reading on an iPhone would include date and time, additional signals for cellular services, Wi-Fi and Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS). But then again, there are a lot of factors that can cause your iPhone’s GPS readings inaccurate.

The highlighted solutions in this post are mainly used to deal with a pertinent issue on the iPhone XS GPS system that is somehow not working as intended after an update to iOS. Read on to learn what to do if you encounter the so-called GPS bug on your iPhone XS after installing the latest update to iOS 12.

How to fix GPS issue on iPhone XS after an update

Before troubleshooting, check and make sure that the date and time settings on your phone are correct. If not, then you’ll have to modify that from your iPhone Settings-> General-> Date & Time menu then set the date and time to automatic. Also ensure that your iPhone is getting good signal for both cellular and Wi-Fi networks. Also verify if location services and GPS are turned on for your iPhone apps. You can access these settings through your iPhone Setting-> Privacy-> Location Services menu and if necessary, toggle the Location Services switch to enable the feature.

If you’re iPhone GPS is still not working after working on the said attributes, then you can go ahead and troubleshoot your device. Here are some of the applicable workarounds you can try on.

First solution: Reboot your iPhone XS.

If you haven’t yet restarted your phone after installing the update, then you’re likely dealing with a minor post-update glitch on the GPS feature. To eliminate these glitches, all you need is to carry out a soft reset or reboot on your iPhone XS. To soft reset your iPhone XS, follow these steps:

  1. Press and hold the Side/Power button and either Volume buttons simultaneously for a few seconds.
  2. Release the buttons when the Slide to Power Off command appears.
  3. Drag the power off slider to the right.
  4. After 30 seconds, press and hold the Power button or Side button again until the phone reboots.

Alternatively, you can force restart your iPhone XS to end all background apps including those that have gone rogue and corrupted following the recent platform transition. To force restart an iPhone XS, just refer to these steps:

  1. Press and quickly release the Volume Up button.
  2. Press and quickly release the Volume Down button.
  3. Then, press and hold the Power button on the side of the phone and then release when the phone restarts.

Both a soft reset and force restart won’t result to permanent data loss as they don’t affect any saved data on the phone. That being said, you don’t have to back up files before restarting. In iOS devices, performing a soft reset or force restart is also a way of clearing out junk files from the internal memory including erratic temporary data that have been accumulated among other cached files on the phone.

Second solution: Toggle Airplane Mode on and then off again.

This trick will help rule out network-related errors that might have caused problems with the phone’s GPS functions. It works by giving a quick restart on the wireless radios and thereby clears out relevant flaws. Here’s how it works:

  1. From the Home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Select Airplane Mode, then toggle the switch to turn Airplane Mode ON. Doing so disables wireless radios of your iPhone.
  3. While Airplane mode is turned on, restart (soft reset) your iPhone XS.
  4. Then head back to Settings-> Airplane Mode menu then toggle the switch to turn Airplane Mode OFF again.

Wait until your phone re-establish network connections and then try to see if GPS functions are restored and working properly again.

Third solution: Check and manage location permission settings on the phone.

As mentioned earlier, Location services must be enabled so as to activate GPS functions for your apps. The new update might have overridden some options and that should therefore be re-configured or modified. So here’s what you can try doing next.

  1. From the Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Select Privacy.
  3. Tap Location Services.
  4. Select While Using the App or Always.

Restart the phone after making changes to your location services settings and then try to see if that fixed the problem. If it doesn’t, then troubleshoot your iPhone further.

Fourth solution: Reset Location  & Privacy Settings on your iPhone XS.

To rule out unidentified post-update errors on the phone’s location and privacy settings, resetting your iPhone XS Location & Privacy settings can help. This will erase all customized options applied to the phone’s location and privacy and then restores the original values. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Select General.
  3. Tap Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset Location & Privacy.
  5. Enter your password when asked to confirm.
  6. If prompted, select the option to confirm reset.

Wait until the reset is finished and then restart your iPhone. As soon as it boots up, head back to the settings menu and make sure that location services are enabled for your apps.

Fifth solution: Reset network settings on your iPhone XS.

To rule out network-related errors that might have caused troubles to your phone’s GPS functions, performing a network settings reset on the phone is also recommended. This reset works by clearing out all current network configurations and then restores the default network options. Just be sure to take note of your Wi-Fi passwords as you need to re-enter them later to reconnect to your Wi-Fi network. Here’s how this reset is done:

  1. From your Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down to and then tap on Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset network settings.
  5. If prompted, enter your passcode to proceed.
  6. Then confirm network settings reset.

After the reset, your phone should reboot by itself. Wait until it’s finished restarting and then reconnect to your Wi-Fi network or cellular data. Also check and don’t forget to re-activate location services to use GPS-enabled apps on your device.

Other options

Users who have encountered the GPS bug following the most recent iOS 12 update were able to find ultimate solution by restoring their iPhones. That being said, you can consider it among the last options if the problem continues after performing all prior solutions. At this point, you can restore your iPhone XS in recovery mode through iTunes. If GPS is still not working after performing a recovery mode restore, then you may resort to a DFU mode restore. It’s the deepest type of system restore you can do on your iPhone. And if that still failed to fix the problem, then your next option would be a repair. Otherwise, escalate the problem to Apple Support so they can make further assessments on their end and create a patch code that will fix the GPS bug, if needed. It is imperative to let Apple know of the problem given that it instigated from the update. This way they can officially tag it among other post-update issues to fix.

I hope that we’ve been able to help you fix the problem with your device. We would appreciate it if you helped us spread the word so please share this post if you found it helpful. Thank you so much for reading!

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