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Location - Turn App Access On or Off in Windows 8


Brink

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Location - Turn App Access On or Off in Windows 8
This tutorial will help show you how to allow or prevent all or specific apps from being able to access and use your location data in Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows 8.1, and Windows RT 8.1.
Published by Brink
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ByLine
How to Turn Location Access for Apps On or Off in Windows 8 and 8.1
Synopsis
This tutorial will help show you how to allow or prevent all or specific apps from being able to access and use your location data in Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows 8.1, and Windows RT 8.1.
How to Turn Location Access for Apps On or Off in Windows 8 and 8.1


information   Information
In Windows 8, the built-in Windows Location Provider supplies apps with location data based on Wi-Fi triangulation and IP address data. The Windows Location Provider uses data from Wi-Fi access points to calculate latitude and longitude. Locations calculated from Wi-Fi data are accurate to within 350 meters in urban areas. When Wi-Fi data is not available, the Windows Location Provider uses IP address resolution to get approximate location with an accuracy of 50 kilometers.

The Windows Location Provider provides latitude, longitude, and information on accuracy to applications. The Windows Location Provider does not provide information about heading, speed, altitude or street address—other location providers (ex: built-in GPS) may supply this data to applications.

Apps like the Weather app can use this location data to automatically display information related to your specific location instead of you having to manually set the app to do so. However, you may wish to not allow apps to have access to your personal location data.


This tutorial will help show you how to allow or prevent all or specific apps from being able to access and use your location data in Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows 8.1, and Windows RT 8.1.

Note   Note
What this feature does

The Windows Location Provider connects to the online Microsoft Location Service, which helps determine your PC’s approximate location based on Wi‑Fi networks near your PC and your PC's IP address.

Information collected, processed, or transmitted

When an app you’ve authorized to receive your location requests it, the Windows Location Platform will ask all installed Location Providers (including Windows Location Provider) to determine your PC's current location. The Windows Location Provider will first check to see if it has a stored list of nearby Wi‑Fi access points from a prior request made by a location-aware app. If there isn't already a list of nearby Wi‑Fi access points, or the list is out of date, the provider sends information about nearby Wi‑Fi access points and GPS information (if available) to the Microsoft Location Service. The service returns your PC’s approximate location back to the provider, which passes the location to the Windows Location Platform, which in turn provides it to the app that requested your PC's location. Windows Location Provider may also update its stored list of Wi‑Fi access points. The Windows Location Provider maintains this list so it can determine your PC’s approximate location without connecting to the Internet each time. This list of access points is encrypted when stored on disk so that apps can't directly access it.

The information that's sent about nearby Wi‑Fi access points includes BSSID (the MAC address of the Wi‑Fi access point) and signal strength. The GPS information includes observed latitude, longitude, direction, speed, and altitude. To help protect your privacy, Windows Location Provider doesn’t send any information to uniquely identify your PC beyond the standard computer information sent with all connections to the Internet. To help protect the privacy of Wi‑Fi network owners, Windows doesn’t send information about SSIDs (Wi‑Fi access point names) or hidden Wi‑Fi networks. For privacy and security purposes, information sent about Wi‑Fi networks is sent encrypted via SSL.

If you choose to help improve the Microsoft Location Service, Windows might send information about nearby Wi‑Fi access points to Microsoft again after an app has requested your PC’s location. If you’re using a metered Internet connection, Windows will limit the number of times per day it sends this information to limit the use of your Internet connection.

Use of information

The information is used by the Windows Location Provider to give Windows Location Platform the approximate location of your PC when an authorized app requests it.

If you choose to help improve the Microsoft Location Service, the Wi‑Fi and GPS info sent to Microsoft is used to improve Microsoft’s location services, which in turn helps to improve the location services provided to your apps. Microsoft doesn't store any data collected from this service that could be used to identify, contact, target advertising to you, or to track or create a history of your PC’s location.


For more information about "Windows Location Provider", see:







OPTION ONE
To Turn App Location Settings On or Off for All Users

NOTE: You must be signed in as an administrator to be able to do this option. This option will show you how to turn on or off the ability of all users on the computer to be able to set their own app location settings.
1. Open the Control Panel (icons view), and click/tap on the Location Settings icon.​
2. Do step 3 or 4 below for what you would like to do.​
3. To Turn Off Location Settings for All Users
NOTE: This will prevent all users from being able to do OPTION TWO and OPTION THREE below since those options will be grayed out.​
A) Uncheck the Turn on the Windows Location platform box, and click/tap on Apply. (see screenshot below step 4)​
4. To Turn On Location Settings for All Users
NOTE: This is the default setting. This will allow all users to be able to do OPTION TWO and OPTION THREE below to set their own app location settings.
A) Check the Turn on the Windows Location platform box, and click/tap on Apply. (see screenshot below step 4)​
Control_Panel.jpg
5. If prompted by UAC, then click/tap on Yes.​
6. When finished, you can close the Location Settings window.​




OPTION TWO
To Turn Location Access On or Off for All Apps in Your User Account

NOTE: This option will only affect apps in your user account, and not for any other users. If step 3 in OPTION ONE above was set, then the settings in this option will be disabled and grayed out.
1. Open PC settings, click/tap on Privacy on the left side, and do step 2 or 3 below for what Windows you have.​
2. In Windows 8 or Windows RT, do step step 4 or 5 below for what you would like to do. (see screenshot below)​
location-1.jpg
3. In Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1, click/tap on Location on the left side, then do step step 4 or 5 below for what you would like to do. (see screenshot below)
Windows_8.1_Location.jpg
4. To Turn On Location Usage for All Apps in Only your User Account
NOTE: This will allow you to be able to do OPTION THREE below to set location settings on a per app basis for your user account.​
A) On the right side under Let apps use my location (Windows 8) or Let Windows and apps use my location (Windows 8.1), move the slider right to turn on this setting. (see screenshots above)​
B) In Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1, you can also turn on or off Let these apps use my location per app. (see screenshot below step 3)
C) Go to step 6 below.​
5. To Turn Off Location Usage for All Apps in Only your User Account
NOTE: This is the default setting. This will prevent you from being able to do OPTION THREE below since those options will be grayed out.​
A) On the right side under Let apps use my location (Windows 8) or Let Windows and apps use my location (Windows 8.1), move (swipe) the slider left to turn off this setting. (see screenshots above)​
B) Go to step 6 below.​
6. When finished, you can close PC settings if you like.​




OPTION THREE
To Turn Location Access On or Off per App in Your User Account

NOTE: This option will only affect apps in your user account, and not for any other users. If step 3 in OPTION ONE above was set, then the settings in this option will be disabled and grayed out.
1. If you have not already, you will need to do step 3 in OPTION TWO first.​
2. Do step 3 or 4 below depending on if this is the first time the app has been opened or not in your user account.​
3. If this is the First Time an App has been Opened in your User Account
A) If this is a Metro style app requesting access to location data, then you can click/tap on Allow (on) or Block (off) for this app. (see screenshot below)​
Metro_App.jpg
OR
B) If this is a desktop app requesting access to location data, then you can click/tap on Yes (on) or No (off) for this app. (see screenshot below)​
Desktop_app.jpg
OR
C) If you used OPTION FOUR to disable the Windows Location Provider feature, then you will see this after step 3A or 3B.​
Apps_Disabled.jpg
D) Go to step 5 below.​
4. To Set Location Settings for Metro Style Apps
A) From the Start screen, open a Metro app (ex: Weather) that you want to change the location settings for.​
NOTE: You can press the Windows key to go to the Start screen if not already there.​
Start.jpg
B) While the Metro app is open, open the Charms bar and click/tap on the Settings charm.​
NOTE: You could also press Windows+I keys to open directly to Settings.​
C) In the Settings flyout, click/tap on Permissions. (see screenshot below)​
app-1.jpg
D) To step 4E or 4F below for what you would like to do.​
E) To Allow App Access to Location


  • [*=2]On the right side under Privacy, move (swipe) the slider right to turn on this setting, and go to step 5 below. (see screenshot below 4F)
F) To Not Allow App Access to Location
NOTE: This is the default setting.​


  • [*=2]On the right side under Privacy, move (swipe) the slider left to turn off this setting, and go to step 5 below. (see screenshot below)
app-2.jpg
5. You can now close the app or continue using it if you like.​





OPTION FOUR
To Enable or Disable "Windows Location Provider" Feature for All Users

NOTE: If disabled, then turning on or off location access in OPTION ONE, TWO, or THREE above would not matter since it's disabled. In OPTION THREE, you would have to manually enter your location for the app instead.
1. Open Windows Features, and do step 2 or 3 below for what you would like to do.​
2. To Enable the "Windows Location Provider" Feature for All Users
NOTE: This is the default setting.​
A) Check the Windows Location Provider box, click/tap on OK, and go to step 4 below. (see screenshot below)​
3. To Disable the "Windows Location Provider" Feature for All Users
A) Uncheck the Windows Location Provider box, click/tap on OK, and go to step 4 below. (see screenshot below)​
Windows_Features.jpg
4. Click/tap on Restart now to apply. (see screenshot below)​
Windows_Features-2.jpg




That's it,
Shawn


 
Last edited by a moderator:

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Dark Rider

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#2
I don't like the idea of MS being able to track me. Even 350 meters is too close for comfort. Years ago people got upset when it was discovered MS had a phone home app built into the OS. This is the same but worse and whats more, its out in the open, not hiding and they expect you to like and use it. I understand if you use your laptop as a mobile platform and need apps like GPS this is necessary but it's not needed for desktop users if you use non microsoft apps like 3rd party weather apps - they have a way you can input your area so they can send you the right data.

Anyway, I understand this thing is turned on by default and in fact it has a check mark by it under Windows Features via Programs and Features as if it's installed ( the windows features section). But if I go to Control Panel/ Location settings, it does not look like it's turned on - no check mark. I cant trust MS to give me the straight dope (think MS in trouble with anti-trust lawsuits and the above mentioned Phone Home thing) so I disabled this feature completely via windows features. You missed this option to completely remove this feature in your tutorial above. That should work but for some reason, I still don't feel comfortable.
 

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Brink

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#3
Hello Dark Rider,

No problem. OPTION FOUR added for this. :)
 

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#4
Hello,

Optionally (for Option One) if you want to leave Location Services enabled, but want to disable feedback being sent to Microsoft:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Sensors\LocationProvider]
"CSEnable"=dword:00000000

0 Disables "Help improve Microsoft location services" whereas 1 Enables (default) it.
 

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Brink

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#5
Thank you for the addition StalessKnight, and welcome to Eight Forums. :)
 

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    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
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    Hard Drives
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    256GB OCZ Vector,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
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    Corsair Hydro H115i
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    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB8200 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone

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