About Location Services in OS X Mountain Lion and Safari 6

Location Services allows applications and websites to gather and use information based on the current location of your computer. You have to give your permission before the application or website can use your location data.

Your approximate location is determined using information from local Wi-Fi networks, and is collected by Location Services in a manner that doesn’t personally identify you.

If you allow third-party applications or websites to use your current location, you are subject to their terms and privacy policy and practices. You should review the application’s or website’s terms, privacy policy and practices to understand how they use your location and other information.  Information collected by Apple will be treated in accordance with Apple’s Privacy Policy, which can be found at

Note: For information about Location Services on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, see this article.

Location Services in OS X Mountain Lion

Enabling Location Services

Follow these steps to enable location services in OS X Mountain Lion

  1. Choose Apple () menu > System Preferences… > Security & Privacy > Privacy (tab)
  2. If the padlock icon in the lower left is locked (), click it and enter an admin name and password to unlock it ().
  3. Select Location Services on the left.
  4. Check the "Enable Location Services" checkbox.

Applications that you have allowed to use Location Services appear in the Privacy pane of Security & Privacy preferences. Checkboxes show whether Location Services is turned on or off for an application. If you don’t want to allow Location Services for one or more applications, you can turn it off for those applications by deselecting the checkbox next to the application. If you turn Location Services off for an application, you will be prompted for your permission the next time you open the application and it requests to use your location data.

Location Services indicator

If an app has requested your location within the last 24 hours, an Arrow () item appears in the menubar.

Click it to see the list of apps and quick access to "Open Privacy Preferences…", where you can manage the apps.


Date & Time preferences

Location Services can be used for setting the time zone automatically in the Date & Time System Preferences.

Note: The "Set time zone automatically using current location" checkbox is available on Macs that have Wi-Fi capability. If your Mac does not offer this checkbox, manually choose the closest city.

Location Services in Safari 6.0 or later

When you visit a geolocation-enabled website in Safari 6.0, you are asked if you want to share your location with the website. Such websites may give you helpful location-based information, such as showing you the nearest post office or bank ATM. In the dialog sheet, you can check "Remember my decision for one day" to allow your authorization to last for up to 24 hours.

Note: You can reset all website authorizations in Safari 6.0 by choosing Reset Safari from the Safari menu, then selecting the "Reset all location warnings" checkbox (don't select the other checkboxes unless you are sure you want to reset those as well).

Follow these steps to disable Location Services features in Safari:

  1. In Safari select Safari > Preferences… > Privacy (toolbar) 
  2. Select the "Deny without prompting" radio button.

Important: Mention of third-party websites and products is for informational purposes only and constitutes neither an endorsement nor a recommendation. Apple assumes no responsibility with regard to the selection, performance or use of information or products found at third-party websites. Apple provides this only as a convenience to our users. Apple has not tested the information found on these sites and makes no representations regarding its accuracy or reliability. There are risks inherent in the use of any information or products found on the Internet, and Apple assumes no responsibility in this regard. Please understand that a third-party site is independent from Apple and that Apple has no control over the content on that website. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
Last Modified: Nov 2, 2012
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  • Last Modified: Nov 2, 2012
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