Geolocation is a useful feature. Thanks to it you can turn on the online navigator, find a restaurant nearby, find out the weather and much more. Geolocation works thanks to the fact that the GPS sensor is installed in cell phones, tablets, laptops and other devices. This feature helps websites and services understand which products, services and content will be of interest to a particular user. Can I change or turn off geolocation? We’ll tell you about it using Chrome browser as an example.
How to enable or disable geolocation
To turn geolocation on, open Chrome and click on ‘Settings – Advanced – Privacy and Security – Content Settings – Geo-Data’. Here, activate the “Ask permission to access” switch.
To disable geolocation, follow the same steps, but deactivate the switch.
The browser determines the location in real time thanks to the IP address or the location of the device. It can also do this by your browsing history on Google’s sites and services, or by the list of places you’ve saved and information from your devices.
How to change your location
If you don’t want your browser to show your real location, you can easily trick it. There are several ways to do this.
Using a proxy
Use the browser’s built-in tools. To do this, specify a proxy address for local connections. We wrote about what a proxy server is here.
To change the settings in Chrome, select “Network Settings” and then “Advanced”. A settings box opens, enter the server address and port, and then check the “one proxy for all protocols” box. Then, click OK.
VPN is a technology that puts an encrypted data channel between the user and the site or service that he requests. The easiest way to use a VPN in Chrome is to download one of the extensions from the directory. To do this, select “Settings – Network – Add Connection”, then find the desired VPN application and click on the “Add” icon.
How to specify your home or work address
To get faster routes, add your home and work addresses to the map. This isn’t done in Chrome, though, but in Google Maps.
Open Google Maps first, then click on the settings menu icon and select “Your Places – With Shortcuts”. Click “Home” or “Work,” enter the address, and then click “Save.” To delete addresses, follow the same steps, only next to your home or work address, click the X icon.
To update your location
To update your location using Chrome’s built-in features, open the service or site you want to know your location. Then press Ctrl + Shift + I on Windows or Chrome OS or Cmd + Option + I on macOS.
At the bottom of the panel, to the left of the “Console” tab, click the three dot button, and then click the “Sensor” button.
Under Geolocation, select Custom location.
Then enter your coordinates and reload the page.
Make sure Chrome has access to geo data
To check if Chrome has access to the geo data you entered above, open up Google Maps in Chrome and see what location it lists as your current location. If the result matches what you want, all is well.
You can disable, enable, or reconfigure geodata management in Chrome at any time. By the way, Google says it uses this information, among other things, to personalize ads. Without access to your coordinates, the browser will display ads that aren’t quite relevant.