You probably have come across pop-up notifications that website wants to know your location, prompting you to accept or block. These websites identify your location to provide more targeted services based on your locality. Chrome browser uses Geolocation services to estimate your physical location, and can share this information with sites and web applications through the Google Location Services.
Sharing your location can enhance recommendations, news, search results and ads based on your region. Though it looks good, some people would like to control location services either for digital autonomy or for security concerns. Fortunately, Chrome browser allows you to have control over your location sharing. This article explores how you can manage location settings in Google Chrome when surfing the web.
1. Change Chrome Location Settings
- Launch Google Chrome in your PC or Mac and click the Menu button represented by three dots on the right-top side of the browser.
- Or Use the use the keyboard shortcut “Alt + F” in Windows to access the menu. Then click “Settings” from the list.
- At the bottom of the settings page, click “Advanced” to access the advanced settings.
- From the “Privacy and security” section, look for “Content settings” and click it.
- Click “Location” from the list.
- You have three options available under Chrome location settings.
- Ask before confirming – The default Chrome location setting option is to “Ask before accessing (recommended)”. This will prompt you to either allow or block the request every time.
- Completely blocking – To block all websites from accessing your location details, click on the blue switch. It will indicate “Blocked” and the switch will turn gray. This will stop the location sharing request notifications.
- Allow or block specific sites – you can see the sites you have blocked or allowed from the pop-up requests under “Block” and “Allow” heading respectively. You can remove a particular site from either the block or allow list.
Note: You can’t bock or add the site from the settings. What you can do is to only block when the website requests in a pop-up. Also there is no option in Chrome to always allow location sharing services.
2. Check and Change Location on Google Search
Google uses your IP address and other information to estimate your location to return location-based results. However, you can check or change your location settings in Google.
- Open Google Chrome and search for anything using Google search. Go to the bottom of the result page to see your location.
- Click “Update location” or “Use precise location” link to update the location. When prompted to share your location with Google, select “Allow”.
3. Setting Manual Location Using Chrome Developer Tools
You can also change Chrome to a custom or preset location using the developer tools.
- To open the developer tools, click the chrome settings icon and hover your mouse over “More tools” and then click the “Developer tools” option. Alternatively, use the sticky keys “Ctrl+Shift+I” to open.
- Click the three dots at the top of the developer tools pane, hover the mouse on “More tools” and click “Sensors”.
- At the bottom section of the pane, you will find the “Geolocation” settings, click the arrow and select a preset location.
- Or select “Custom location…” and manually enter the latitude and longitude settings.
- You may also hide your location by choosing “Location unavailable”.
Note: This option is temporary as it will only work for the active tab and will disappear once you open a different tab. However, it can be useful to get location-relevant results for a given region or when you don’t want to share your real location with a particular site.
Sharing your physical location with websites can be a good way to personalize your browsing experience, as this will enable more targeted content based on your whereabouts. However, Chrome gives you the freedom to control how you share your location details with websites and services.