About Location Services in OS X Lion and Safari 5.1

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 www.apple.com/privacy.

Note: For information about Location Services in Mac OS X v10.6 and Safari 5.0, see this article. For information about Location Services on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, see this article.

Location Services in OS X Lion

In OS X Lion, 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.

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 to turn it on again the next time that application requests to use your location data.

Note: Macs without Wi-Fi capability will have the "Enable Location Services" checkbox unchecked and dimmed.

Location Services in Safari 5.1 or later

When you visit a geolocation-enabled website in Safari 5.1, 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 5.1 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).

Learn more

Disabling location services


You can turn Location Services off by deselecting "Enable Location Services" in the Privacy pane of Security & Privacy preferences.


If you want to disable Location Services in OS X Lion:

  1. From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences…
  2. From the View menu, choose Security & Privacy
  3. Click the Privacy tab.
  4. If the icon in the lower-left corner is locked, click it to authenticate with your admin password (to unlock the Security & Privacy pane).
  5. Deselect the "Enable Location Services" checkbox.

If you want to disable Location Services features in Safari 5.1 only: 

  1. With Safari running, choose Preferences from the Safari menu.
  2. Click the Privacy tab.
  3. In the “Limit website access to location services” section, select ”Deny without prompting”.


Information about products not manufactured by Apple, or independent websites not controlled or tested by Apple, is provided without recommendation or endorsement. Apple assumes no responsibility with regard to the selection, performance, or use of third-party websites or products. Apple makes no representations regarding third-party website accuracy or reliability. Risks are inherent in the use of the Internet. Contact the vendor for additional information.

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