How to permanently enable Location Services on devices and prevent users from disabling it?


In certain cases, having Location Services permanently enabled on the device is mandatory. Consider a logistics-based organization, which wants to keep track of all their employees/shipments. Having Location Services enabled, ensures it can track the devices at all times and hence, know the location on-demand. MDM lets you know the current location of the device in near real-time as well as the locations traversed by the device. The following steps explain how to permanently enable location services and prevent users from disabling it. 

NOTE: In case of Android devices, you can permanently enable Location Services, over-the-air using MDM. In case of iOS devices, you must have the device in hand to permanently enable Location Services, as Apple doesn't allow it to be configured over-the-air to protect user privacy.


For iOS 

Devices must be with the Administrator, as the settings has to be manually configured on the devices and has to be secured using a passcode.

For Android

Devices must be either Samsung devices or must be provisioned as Device Owner.


For iOS

  • Firstly, ensure ME MDM app has been installed on the device. Know how to automate MDM MDM app installation here.
  • After ME MDM app has been installed on the iOS device, open the app and for the Allow Location Access option, select Always.
  • Navigate to Settings -> General -> Restrictions.
  • Click on Enable Restrictions and specify a restrictions passcode, when prompted.
  • Navigate to Privacy section and select Location Services. Enable the Location Services option. Under the Location Services menu, all the apps installed in the device are listed. You can enable/disable Location Services for the apps here. Once this has been configured and the settings  saved, the Location Services cannot be modified for the existing apps. If any new app is installed after the settings has been configured, Location Services will not be granted to the app. To modify Location Services for the apps, the settings has to be re-configured.
  • Finally, select the option Don't Allow Changes in the Location Services menu, which ensure the settings configured in the previous steps cannot be modified by the users. 

NOTE: The restrictions can be disabled by navigating to Settings -> General -> Restrictions, clicking on Disable Restrictions and specifying the restrictions passcode when prompted. Extended usage of Location Services can affect the device battery life.

For Android

  • On the MDM MSP Server, navigate to Device Mgmt and select Profiles(under Manage).
  • Click on Create Profile and select Android Profile from the dropdown.
  • Provide the required details and create the profile.
  • Click on Restrictions and select Location Services.
  • For the restriction GPS, select the option Always On.
  • Save and Publish the profile. Now distribute this profile to devices.

On successful association of the profile, the devices have Location Services enabled permanently