I'm constantly seeing the Searching for GPS... icon in my status bar, and would like to check which app is trying to access my location. I checked the similar questions on the site and all suggested either Spare Parts or the test menu.

However, on my Galaxy Nexus these are out of the question, since Spare Parts crashes with ANR when I try to access the battery stats (there's no com.android.settings.battery_history.BatteryHistory activity), and the test menu doesn't have the necessary menus.

So, any other possibilities?

  • I have this issue as well. I suspect some of it is due to the GPS not connection quickly so it is more noticeable than it would be if it was able to do it faster. I have opted to use a toggle widget to manually turn GPS when I need to navigate but keep it off otherwise so that the notification doesn't annoy the crap out of me ;-)
    – Zooks64
    Commented May 24, 2012 at 13:55
  • 1
    I'd be willing to bet it's the Facebook app. I noticed this frequently; I just removed the app and am using the website instead now. Commented May 25, 2012 at 15:41
  • Yeah, I'd be willing to bet on it. But I do have other GPS-hungry apps too, and I like to be certain :) Commented May 25, 2012 at 16:34
  • I'm having a similar issue, only it's just that when I unlock the phone I can see the GPS icon in the notifications bar for a split second, then it disappears. It could be a weather app I guess (1Weather), but I'm not sure. That, or Facebook. Commented Jun 22, 2012 at 7:01

2 Answers 2


One way, Go to: Settings > Applications > Running Services to see if there are any suspicious services running. Or check your battery usage in settings and see which apps suspiciously are up top. GPS usage does suck battery.

  • 1
    Sometimes this notification stays there even after GPS is disabled. In that case battery statistics would not show the guilty app.
    – user13391
    Commented May 24, 2012 at 19:57
  • The battery usage checking doesn't really work, since I have so many apps that use the network. At the moment my first GPS app is no 8. Commented May 25, 2012 at 16:36
  • That's the first app you know is using GPS. Keep in mind some ad services want geolocation as well. I'm not sure what they would access if GPS and network location are both available -- but some could take the "more accurate" variant. Just a possibility, no certainty.
    – Izzy
    Commented Nov 26, 2012 at 22:48

On current versions of Android (I'm not sure when this was added, but this is available in Android KitKat), you can go to Location Settings and it will show a list of apps under Recent Location Requests.

You can then kill those off one by one until the GPS notification goes away. Sadly, you can't kill them directly from Location Settings. You'll have to either go to Settings -> Apps, or find them in your recent tasks.

It would be nice if there were a way to actually see what is using the GPS, as sometimes it seems to be some sort of Google service that doesn't show up as an app. (So, even killing everything listed doesn't help, then GPS turns off randomly a while later.)

  • Please remember that killing apps is not the solution since the apps may restart after you kill them. So it will again use the GPS. Either freeze/disable/uninstall the app(whichever is easier). ;)
    – Lucky
    Commented Aug 10, 2015 at 20:32
  • @Lucky: How can an app restart itself immediately after it's killed? I mean, it certainly could restart at boot, but in the mean time if it was the app that was using GPS it wouldn't be using it any longer. Anyway, even if an app did restart itself, you'd see it in the list of running apps, so you'd know it still could be what is using GPS. No need to go uninstalling all the well behaved apps just to figure out what is using GPS.
    – aij
    Commented Aug 11, 2015 at 22:40
  • Read these link on why and how apps keep restarting even after killing should give you an idea. Link 1, Link 2 & Link 3
    – Lucky
    Commented Aug 12, 2015 at 7:05
  • @Lucky I still don't see how an app can restart itself. I only see people talking about how services will get automatically restarted if they are in use. Are you suggesting someone could create a circular dependency between services? Regardless, it's still a lot easier to kill an app than to uninstall it, reinstall it, and reconfigure all your settings, so killing apps is still useful.
    – aij
    Commented Aug 13, 2015 at 22:16
  • Services are enough to turn on the GPS from the background.
    – Lucky
    Commented Aug 15, 2015 at 5:32

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