How to Show the GPS Icon on iPhone System Services: A Step-by-Step Guide

To show the GPS icon when iPhone system services are being used, you’ll need to head to your device’s settings. There, you’ll toggle on the system services that you want to use with GPS. Once that’s done, the GPS icon will appear in your status bar whenever those services are active.

After completing this action, the GPS icon will pop up at the top of your iPhone screen. This tells you that your location is being used by various apps and features, which might be useful in navigation, weather updates, or finding your device if it gets lost.


Ever been puzzled why some people always seem to have a little arrow icon at the top of their iPhone screen? That’s the GPS icon, and it indicates that your location is actively being used by some feature or app on your device. This might seem like a small thing, but it’s actually quite important.

Knowing when your location is being used can help you manage your privacy and battery life. Plus, it’s just plain convenient to see at a glance whether your maps app is tracking you on your road trip. This topic is particularly relevant to iPhone users who regularly use location-based services and want to stay informed about when their location data is being accessed.

Step by Step Tutorial to Show the GPS Icon When iPhone System Services

Before jumping into the steps, it’s good to know that this process helps you manage which system services can access your location. Let’s get to it.

Step 1: Open Settings

Open the Settings app on your iPhone.

This is where all the magic happens. The Settings app is your gateway to customizing your iPhone experience, including privacy settings.

Step 2: Tap on Privacy

Scroll down and tap on ‘Privacy’.

Privacy settings are essential. They help you control which apps and system services have access to your personal information.

Step 3: Select Location Services

In the Privacy menu, select ‘Location Services’.

Location Services is the feature that allows apps and system services to use your location data.

Step 4: Scroll to System Services

At the bottom of the Location Services page, you’ll find ‘System Services’. Tap on it.

System Services are the background services on your iPhone that may require your location to function properly.

Step 5: Toggle on Services

Now, toggle on the services you want to use with GPS.

By toggling on these services, you’re giving them permission to use your location and thus, the GPS icon will appear when they’re active.


Increased AwarenessKnowing when your location is being used can give you a better sense of privacy and control over your personal information.
Better Battery ManagementIf you notice the GPS icon frequently, it could indicate that certain services are draining your battery. You can then manage them accordingly.
ConvenienceIt’s simply convenient to know whether your navigation or weather app is accessing your location without diving deep into the app itself.


Potential Privacy ConcernsConstant visibility of the GPS icon may lead to anxiety for those particularly concerned about privacy.
Cluttered Status BarHaving the GPS icon show up frequently could clutter the status bar, making it harder to see other important icons.
Overwhelming for Some UsersLess tech-savvy individuals might find the process of toggling specific services to be overwhelming or confusing.

Additional Information

While the steps above will help you manage the visibility of the GPS icon on your iPhone, there’s a bit more to know. For instance, the GPS icon can show up for different reasons. It could be that a navigation app like Apple Maps or Google Maps is actively using your location. Or, it could be that a weather app is updating itself based on where you are.

Moreover, if you’ve lost your phone and are using the ‘Find My iPhone’ feature, the GPS icon will show when the system services are actively trying to locate your device. Remember to review the list of system services regularly to ensure that only the ones you trust and need have access to your location. This not only helps with privacy but can also keep your battery from draining too quickly.


  1. Open Settings app
  2. Tap on Privacy
  3. Select Location Services
  4. Scroll to System Services
  5. Toggle on desired services

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the GPS icon look like on an iPhone?

The GPS icon on an iPhone looks like a small arrow at the top of your screen.

Can I turn off location services entirely?

Yes, you can turn off location services entirely by toggling off the main Location Services switch.

Will disabling some system services affect how my iPhone functions?

It might. Some features may not work as intended without access to your location.

Does the GPS icon appear when I use third-party apps?

Yes, if those apps are granted permission to use your location services.

Is there a way to see which app is currently using my location?

Yes, if you go to the Location Services settings, apps using your location will display a purple arrow next to them.


In the digital age, privacy is a currency we all trade to some extent. Knowing how to show the GPS icon when iPhone system services are accessing your location gives you a bit of that currency back. It allows you to be aware of and control which apps have access to your whereabouts, potentially saving you some battery life along the way.

Whether you’re a privacy enthusiast or just someone who likes to keep tabs on their phone’s functions, understanding this process is a valuable tool in your tech-savvy arsenal. So go ahead, take charge of your location settings, and navigate your digital world with confidence.

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