Improving Location Performance

When you need to specify location in any survey form, you may get a warning message which says: Sorry, location providers are disabled and a screen will open asking you to enable location providers.

Image showing form with a question to specify location. Image showing warning message.

Enable/Disable location providers

To turn your device's location providers on/off:

  1. Open your device's Settings app.
Image showing Settings app.
  1. Tap Location.
Image showing Location option.


If you don't see "Location", tap Security & Location and then Location.

  1. Turn Location on or off.
Image showing Location off.

Location providers disabled.

Image showing Location on.

Location providers enabled.

Change location mode

You can also choose your location mode based on accuracy, speed, and battery use. Android can help improve location accuracy by triangulating your location off nearby Wi-Fi access points or cell towers. Combined with data available from your ailing GPS signal, turning on Wi-Fi will greatly improve location accuracy under most conditions.

In the Location section, tap on Mode.

Image showing Mode option.

Then pick:

  • High accuracy: This mode uses GPS, Wi-Fi, mobile networks, and other sensors to get the highest-accuracy location. It uses Google's Location service to help estimate your device's location faster and more accurately.
  • Power saving or Battery saving: This mode uses sources that use less battery, like Wi-Fi and mobile networks. It uses Google's Location service to help estimate your device's location faster and more accurately.
  • GPS only or Device only: This mode uses only GPS. It doesn’t use Google's Location service to provide location information. It can estimate your device's location slower and use more battery.
Image showing different accuracy modes.

Improve location accuracy

You can also improve accuracy of location.

Tap on Improve accuracy in Location section.

Image showing Improve-accuracy option.

Then enable:

  • Wi-Fi scanning: Allow apps and services to scan for Wi-Fi networks automatically, even when Wi-Fi is turned off.
  • Bluetooth scanning: Allow apps and services to scan for and connect to nearby devices automatically via Bluetooth, even when Bluetooth is turned off.
Image showing Wi-Fi scanning and Bluetooth scanning options.


Google has added Bluetooth scanning support to further improve location accuracy with Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

For more details on location services, see this guide.