I recently noticed, when I enable airplane mode, my GPS stays enabled. I do not recall this being the case in the past and it really does not make sense to me. Is there a setting somewhere for keeping GPS enabled in airplane mode? Are there other Galaxy S2 users out there with this behaviour? Other Android devices?

Thanks for any help or input. Just trying to figure out if this is expected behaviour at this point.

1 Answer 1


GPS is, generally speaking, a one-way system. Whether your phone powers up the GPS chip and starts receiving signals or not doesn't matter because the phone is not broadcasting, the satellites are, and you can't turn off the satellites! That's likely why it's excluded from airplane mode. If you'd still like to have it shut off when you enter airplane mode you should look into a Tasker script or something similar than will toggle it when it detects you've entered airplane mode. I do not believe there is a native Android setting for this.

  • I'm sure there is an app somewhere to switch off the satellites #) But honestly: gnomed is right, as to my experience -- entering "airplane mode" switched off GPS along. Your arguments are fully valid, though, and might be the reasoning behind this "change" (finally, it's "airplane" mode, not "shut-off-all-antennas" mode). I remember on some devices there was a service-code to a menu where one could configure what is triggered by airplane mode -- but I cannot find it currently...
    – Izzy
    Mar 6, 2013 at 17:23
  • @Izzy mentioned this, but my main concern is with the sudden change in behaviour. As I recall, it used to shut off GPS with airplane mode, now it does not. I get your argument, and this is what I was thinking as reasoning, but it still does not explain the unannounced change. Do all android devices leave GPS enabled? or just mine? What does yours do?
    – gnomed
    Mar 6, 2013 at 17:46
  • @gnomed Fair enough. I don't recall what happened on my SGS but on my Nexus 4 it does not disable GPS. Have you received an OTA update recently? Mar 6, 2013 at 17:53
  • @MatthewRead Interesting your phone is the same. Maybe I am just crazy then and my phone did this all along... but I swear it didn't. I do not recall receiving any OTA updates (they do still show a notification saying the phone was updated right? without a notification I wouldn't know)
    – gnomed
    Mar 6, 2013 at 18:25

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