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iPhone compass not working? Check these solutions

iphone compass not working

Out of all complex apps on iOS, no one would suspect that a simple utility like Compass will fail to work. However, some users report that iPhone Compass is not working — showing wrong directions and glitching. If you’re among them, check the solutions we provided below.

iPhone Compass showing wrong directions

If iPhone Compass starts showing wrong directions, make sure to enable Location Services and check Location Services permissions for Compass. Also, you can try enabling True North or reinstalling the app.

Finally, if the Apple-provided app doesn’t work, there are plenty of alternative compass apps. Get the from App Store.

1. Restart the iPhone and avoid magnetic devices in close proximity

Start with a restart. After that, open the Compass and make sure that Location Services are enabled (Settings > Privacy > Location Services). If that doesn’t make any changes to compass readings, continue to the next step. Also, ensure that no magnetic devices are close to your device as this can interfere with sensors and cause wrong readings.

If iPhone Compass is still not working, make sure to check on a plethora of settings that can cause Compass to show wrong directions.

2. Check all Compass-related settings

There are a few settings to tweak and permissions you need to grant to Compass in order for it to work. Of course, most of these are good by default and you only have to allow Location access, but it’s still worth checking everything before moving on to the next step.

First, make sure that Compass and Compass Calibration have access to Location Services:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select Privacy.
  3. Select Location Services and enable Location Services.
  4. Open Compass from the list and set the Allow Location Access to While Using the App. Also, enable Precise Location.
  5. Get back to the previous app’s list and open System Services.iphone compass not working
  6. Toggle ON the Compass Calibration option.

The next thing you should enable is the True North setting in Compass Settings. For this, open Settings > Compass and enable True North.

3. Reinstall the app and calibrate the compass

Although it comes preinstalled, you can uninstall Compass from your iPhone and install it again. After you reinstall the app, make sure to calibrate it and check if it works.

Here’s how to reinstall Compass on your iPhone and calibrate it:

  1. Tap and hold on to the Compass shortcut on the Home Screen or App Library.
  2. Tap Remove App.
  3. Select Delete App and confirm.iphone compass not working
  4. Open App Store and look for Compass.
  5. Download the app and open it.
  6. You should see the calibration prompt. Accept and follow instructions to calibrate the compass.

4. Try with a third-party app

Finally, if the native Compass app is not working, you can try downloading an alternative from App Store. There is a lot of options to choose from, but just make sure to grant the Location Services access to the app, as explained above.

And, with that said, we can conclude this article. We thank you for reading and encourage you to share your thoughts in the comments section below. We always look forward to hearing from you.

Picture of Aleksandar Ognjanovic

Aleksandar Ognjanovic

Managing editor at Mobile Internist. @lemmingspain My fascination with mobile technology, particularly Android and iOS, began years ago and continues today. I'm captivated by the constant evolution in the smartphone industry and its impact on our daily lives, always anticipating the next big innovation. That’s the main reason why I found myself writing instructive content on the subject for users who are not as familiar with all the bells and whistles.
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