How To Calibrate Google Maps on Your Android or iPhone

Driving in circles is everybody’s idea of fun! Before buying a new phone, there’s a couple of ways to fix a shoddy GPS gone haywire.

There are a couple of quick fixes available out there before tossing the thing in the trash. Google Maps users have the quickest calibration fix. Other than that, location toggling in Android and iPhone might solve the issue, but the fix is often something like resetting a router. Last-case scenarios often involve resetting and flashing the phone back to factory defaults, before its time to consider the wallet.

Location service accuracy relies on cellphone tower triangulation, GPS, and other assorted data to pinpoint an exact location. But sometimes, you drop your phone *one too many times* and everything no longer quite works like it once did.

Here are a few methods that might solve the problem depending on device and software.

Apple iPhone

technobeez (and we assume other Apple users) have reported that toggling Location Services on and off seems to do the trick.

Navigate to this menu in the phone: SettingsPrivacyLocation Services

Other than that, Apple doesn’t seem to offer much help in the way of hardware calibration within their devices, which is why it may be helpful to check out the Google Maps calibration if that’s the navigation tool of choice.


Google’s tips aren’t much better than Apple’s. Toggling between high accuracy, battery saving and device only in location mode may seem to do the trick.

Navigate to this menu in the phone: SettingsSecurity & locationLocation to access the settings.

It also suggests turning on the Wi-Fi if that already isn’t on. Google also suggests powering the phone on and off to improve location tracking.

Google Maps

Google Maps seems to have a pretty phone-agnostic method for calibrating the app. (Apple Maps people, please stop reading.)

The quickest way to calibrate a GPS is by opening the app, then waving the phone around in a figure 8 pattern about three to five times. Much like this.

In case there’s any confusion on how to do the figure 8, here’s an additional video of a guy waving it around.

This might look a little weird if you’re already in the car driving around. Please pay attention to traffic safety signs.

How To Calibrate Google Maps on Your Android or iPhone via @maphappy
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