- Microsoft added location services to Windows 8 and has been tracking your exact position ever since. But how is it possible without GPS?
- If you are a privacy conscious user, you are probably eager to stop Windows tracking services. Find out how in 4 easy steps.
- Join our Windows 10 section to learn all about Microsoft’s operating system.
- Visit our VPN Hub to learn how a VPN can improve your online experience.
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Starting with Windows 8, Microsoft is introducing location services and personalized content, which angered many privacy users.
Still, many people wonder how Windows knows the exact location. It shouldn’t be possible without GPS tools, right?
Error. Microsoft is smarter than that.
So, how can Windows track my location?
According to Microsoft, your current location is tracked, taking into account all available services: GPS, nearby Wi-Fi hotspots, cell towers and your IP address.
To determine the accuracy, all you need to do is look at how modern your computer is.
Basically, if it’s new enough to run Windows 10, then it’s good enough to keep up with all the supported services.
Is it dangerous?
Not according to Microsoft.
It says it removes any personal information that could be used to identify you. It does this before it receives your location data.
But many users do not buy it even after disabling location services.
Why should I let Windows know my accurate location?
- Set your time zone automatically
- Track your stolen laptop
- Get personalized content based on your browsing history
- Take advantage of location-aware services such as city navigation
- Use Cortana with more accurate results
How do I disable Windows location services?
- In Windows 10, go to Settings
- In the app permissions, select Location
- Under Allow location access on this device, click Change
- Set the slider to Off
By following the steps above, you can remove the message Your location is currently in use.
Alternatively, you can manage the permissions for any application that wants to use Windows location services.
What else can I do to improve my online privacy?
We recommend using a reliable VPN service to change your IP address and prevent Microsoft from tracking your true location.
Encrypts your data traffic and helps you bypass firewalls. And we can’t think of a better solution than private Internet access.
It is packed in a super intuitive interface for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS. You can even configure it on your router.
PIA allows 10 simultaneous connections. It supports WireGuard and OpenVPN protocols with up to 256-bit military-grade encryption, private DNS servers, and Shadowsocks proxy.
You can use PIA to change your location with a VPN, unblock US Netflix anywhere in the world, and protect against tracking services like Microsoft while browsing the web.
More about PIA:
- Live chat support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- 30-day money back guarantee
- No free trial
By the way, you can also use a VPN to change your GPS location, but not on a Windows PC.
Basically, Windows knows your exact location by taking into account multiple things, including your GPS, nearby Wi-Fi towers, and your IP address.
If you are concerned about your privacy, you can disable Windows location services, but there are no guarantees.
However, you can increase your level of security and privacy by using a reliable VPN, such as private internet access. It is one of the best tools to stop tracking online.