I vaguely remember a post whose author stated that having a global location access setting in an off state does not discharge an antenna and it continues working in a "passive mode".

So the only change that is made to device's functioning when turning on the setting is that it allows apps to request high-power consumption geolocation (provided that they have the individual per-app permission). For example, Google Maps.

Does that mean that there is no difference in battery power consumption between having it on and off unless you are using an app that requests your geolocation (such as Google Maps)?

1 Answer 1


It does consume battery whether you are using the app or not but the consumption may be lesser.

From Access location in the background, which describes different types of location access permissions:

If background location access is essential for your app, keep in mind that Android preserves device battery life by setting background location limits on devices that run Android 8.0 (API level 26) and higher. On these versions of Android, if your app is running in the background, it can receive location updates only a few times each hour. Learn more about background location limits

(Emphasis supplied)

This behavior may vary if your device is running lower than Android 8.

  • And if an app doesn't have the "always allow" location access permission? I guess it means that it can't pull the geoinfo in background? I guess it means that if there are no apps that have the permission then there are no difference between having GA on and off all the time unless you are using Google maps Aug 7, 2023 at 12:20
  • On recent Android versions, you can grant it location access"only while using the app", so it will use power//I am not sure of the answer to your question since you haven't mentioned Android version and maybe someone with app development background can better answer //You can add your device version and make in the tags//I see that you edited your comment while I was responding. To my mind once you have global access enabled there will always be some power consumption. Think of "find my device" feature
    – beeshyams
    Aug 7, 2023 at 12:25
  • Well, yeah, that is what I am talking about, lol, you could have figured that I actually have A11 since I mentioned "always allow" setting which wasn't there in older versions Aug 7, 2023 at 12:28
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    Oh sorry misunderstood you, your assumption is correct AFAIK ( I am not a developer)
    – beeshyams
    Aug 7, 2023 at 13:46
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    @infinitieunique some system apps like Settings cannot have the Location permission disabled (i.e. always on), at least on Pixel 3a, Android 12. It also affects the Night Light with the sunrise/sunset schedule; if it doesn't get the updated location (even in the background), then it might not work.
    – Andrew T.
    Aug 7, 2023 at 14:10

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