Location services collect your location info and offer them to apps that request such info (and approved by you). It is usually one of the core parts of privacy settings.
This Galaxy S20 guide explains why you should manage location services on Galaxy S20, how to turn on and turn off location services, how to manage location services for individual apps, and how to hide or remove location info when sharing photos through Google Photos or Samsung Gallery app.
As privacy settings (including location services) are almost identical on all Galaxy phones with Android 10, this guide applies to not only Galaxy S20 phones (including Galaxy S20, S20+, S20 Ultra, and S20 FE) but also Galaxy S10, Galaxy Note 10, Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy S9, and Galaxy Note 9.
Why is it important to manage location services on your phone?
For most phone owners, the location info is part of the critical private data. It reveals your whereabouts. It reveals your movement path and history. Smart guys or some AI apps can even figure out what you were doing based on the location information.
Of course, you do not want spammers, scammers, and bad guys to get such information.
Even for close friends or family members, occasionally, you may be reluctant to share such sensitive information.
But you cannot just turn off location services on Galaxy S20. Many apps need the info to function properly.
For example, most banking apps require location info for any transactions. Some shopping apps may also demand such info to reduce fraud. Of course, location-based apps or games, like Pokemon Go, Google Maps, or the weather widget on Galaxy S20 Home screen, rely on your location info to provide functions or services. Smart lock on Galaxy S20 also needs precise location info if the trusted places are enabled.
So, it is important to manage location services on Galaxy S20 so that only apps that genuinely require location info get the access. Other apps will be limited for accessing such info.
How to turn on and turn off location services on Galaxy S20?
You can categorically turn off location services on Galaxy S20 in Settings — Location, as shown in the screenshot below (marked as 1).
In this case, some apps, for example, the camera app, will remind you that the location is not available and ask you to enable it.
Please note once you turn off the location service, no apps can get the location info of the phone. But you should NEVER rely on this option to hide your location history. For example, when you connect to the mobile network, the carrier always collect your location info (in some regions, this is a legal requirement.)
On Galaxy S20, there is also a quick settings button for the location services.
As shown above, you can tap the button to enable and disable the services instantly quickly.
Please note, Galaxy S20 uses multiple panels for the quick setting buttons, as discussed in this guide. If you cannot find the Location button, you may need to navigate to other panels or add it manually, as explained here.
How to manage location services for Galaxy S20 for individual apps?
Normally, you may want to allow some apps (e.g., the maps app or the weather app) to use location services all the time, and some apps to use it when you are using the app. Of course, you should not allow some apps to access your location info in the background when such info is apparently not needed.
On the Location settings page (as shown in the screenshot shown earlier), you can tap App permissions (marked as 2).
Now, you can find the apps, which request location information access, are classified into one of the following three categories:
- Allowed all the time. You granted permission for these apps to access location services even when it is in the background.
- Allowed only when in use. These apps can access location info only when you are using them.p
- Denied (not shown in the screenshot). You disable location access for these apps. Some apps will bug you again when it needs location information.
Of course, apps that do not request location access are not listed.
You can manage the location access permission for individual apps at any time.
For example, you want to let the Music Center app access location info only when you use it.
Tap the app to manage its location permission.
As shown above, you can choose to Allow only while using the app so that the app cannot access your location info in the background.
Please note, some apps do not have the option of Allow all the time because the app developer chooses to run the app interactively only (there are no registered services in the app).
How to hide location info when sharing photos on Galaxy S20?
Your photos are not just photos. They include metadata as well. And geolocation can be included in the metadata.
Of course, the geolocation of a photo helps you remember the location where it was taken. Sometimes, you cannot recall the location of an old photo. Such metadata are helpful.
So, for most Galaxy S20 owners, it is recommended to turn on the location services for your camera apps so that the location info is saved in the photo.
But sometimes, you may not want to disclose the location (e.g., your residential address) when sharing photos. And you wan to keep the location info to yourself.
A few owners may not want to save location info for the photos at all, for whatever reasons.
How to save or not to save location info on photos on Galaxy S20?
By default, Galaxy S20 camera app asks for location information access so that it can save the location tags for the photos and videos.
It is NOT recommended to disable location services access for Galaxy S20 camera app. Sometimes, location info can help AI work better in the Galaxy S20 camera app. For example, the single-take mode relies on AI.
You can always choose not to save location tag to photos and videos so that the location info is never saved in the photo.
In the Galaxy S20 camera app interface, tap the Settings (gear) icon to access Galaxy S20 camera settings.
As shown in the screenshot below, you can enable or disable location tags. And That’s all.
If you want to save the location info, make sure it is checked. When sharing these photos or videos, you can hide or remove the location tags so that location is not disclosed.
You should disable the location tags if you are sure you do not need location info for your photos and videos. Please note, the settings only apply to new photos. There is no way for the camera app to add location info to old photos. Of course, it cannot remove the location tags from the old photos either.
How to remove location info when sharing photos on Galaxy S20?
You can remove location info when sharing the photos through the Samsung Gallery app or Google Photos.
Sharing through Google Photos
Google Photos is the most popular app for syncing and sharing photos among devices.
It also offers some basic editing options that are enough for most owners.
When sharing your photos or albums (so that others can view and download through the web or Google Photos app), by default, the location info is included.
You can turn on the option to hide location info.
In Google Photos app, as shown below, tap your profile photo.
In the pop-up window, tap Photos settings, as shown in the screenshot above.
You can now find many settings options for Google Photos.
Scroll down a bit to locate “Hide photo location data“, as shown below.
You can tap the switch to enable it.
Before enabling this feature, Google explains that this option does not work for your old shares.
In other words, this setting only hides location data for new shares from now on. It will not affect existing shared photos or albums.
Sharing through the Gallery app
Samsung Gallery app is pre-installed on all Galaxy S20 phones.
You can use it to manage and organize photos, create albums, and edit photos (through a plugin).
The only drawback of the Samsung Gallery app is syncing.
As Samsung does not offer additional storage for Samsung cloud and probably will stop its own cloud storage for photos in the future. You need to use OneDrive or other third-party services to sync your photos and videos.
This is the reason why we recommend Google Photos over the Samsung Gallery for managing photos and videos. Anyway, you can always use the free storage offered by Google Photos as a backup.
Sharing photos through Samsung Gallery app is a bit tricky depending on the targeted app. Samsung Social may not work as expected sometimes. It is not so reliable.
Anyway, you can hide location info in the Gallery app so that it will not be passed to shared apps or recipients.
In the Gallery app, as shown below, tap the menu key (3 vertical dots) to access Gallery settings.
In the menu, tap Settings, as shown above.
Now, in the Gallery settings page, as shown below, you can find two entries on location info.
- Show date and location info (under viewing options).
- Show location info (under Advanced).
It is very confusing.
The second one (Show location info) is the switch to enable or disable location info in the Gallery app. If the location info is disabled, then the Gallery app cannot pass it to other apps.
The first entry (Show date and location info) depends on the second one. If location info is enabled, then the date and location will be shown on photos when you view the photos.
So, if you disable Show location info (the second one), then you cannot enable Show date and location info. It will ask you to enable location info first.
Therefore, it is important to disable Show location info if you plan to share photos through the Gallery app without disclosing the location info.
Please note, this does not affect the photos. Only the location info is not passed to the Gallery app. If you want, you can turn on the location info later.
You can verify whether location info is disabled in the Samsung Gallery app by checking the details of any individual photos.
For example, as shown in the screenshot above, under the location entry, it says:
To see where this picture was taken, turn on Show location info in Gallery settings.
This means the location info is currently turned off.
Do you know how to manage location services on Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra to protect your privacy? Can you hide location info when sharing photos on Galaxy S20 with Google Photos or Samsung Gallery now?
If you have any questions on using or managing location services on Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra, or encounter any issues in hiding location information when sharing photos in Google Photos or Samsung Gallery app, please let us know in the comment box below.
The community will help you get the answer.
If you have any questions on Galaxy S20, you may check other Galaxy S20 guides:
- Galaxy S20 new features guides.
- Galaxy S20 how-to guides.
- Galaxy S20 camera guides.
- Galaxy S20 accessories guides.
- Official Galaxy S20 user manual in your local language.
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