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Google Maps sometimes asks me to calibrate my compass. Last time it did so, I was in a rush and didn't bother to, and now the compass does seem a bit off. I tried to find a "calibrate compass" setting in Maps, but I couldn't find it.

How can I calibrate the compass on my phone?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 17 down vote accepted

It depends on your model of phone. If there is no built-in compass calibration application from the manufacturer, then likely you can calibrate your compass by opening up any application that uses the compass, and moving the device in a certain manner. Here are two types of movements to try:

  • The "figure 8 pattern" easier said than understood. Here's what it looks like YouTube Video of Figure 8 compass calibration.

  • Three axis rotations: Rotate 360° around each of the three axes, so one full rotation with screen facing up, one full rotation "rolling" sideways, one full rotation "pitching" forward.

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While you and Seth both gave pretty much the same answer, it helped that you linked in a video of what the figure 8 pattern is :-) –  Nathan Fellman Jun 8 '11 at 16:23

There may be an option in your settings, but easier, just open Google maps, start using the compass and spin your phone in figure 8 pattern. That is all there is to it.

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