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Android phones have the same GPS hardware as an iPhone, but iOS restrictions make it so that getting the phone to run any piece of code that could lead to the phone being free to run programs unsupervised is either an uphill battle or an absolute impossibility.
So is there any way to trick your iPhone into believing you are in a different place? It’s possible, but not with any simple software tweaks.
Let’s take a closer look at how you can fake your GPS location on an iPhone.
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How Do I Change My Current Location on an iPhone?
Faking GPS location can help with certain games like Pokémon Go. However, it doesn’t work with all apps, and many apps attempt to prevent GPS spoofing.
Using a faked GPS location in a game environment can result in a ban if detected, depending on the game. Many apps require your location in order to work at all (like Tinder or Bumble). For example, the weather app might not work properly with a spoofed GPS.
You should also know that Apple is quick to recognize methods for spoofing your location and if they detect you using “forbidden” software, they may take steps to shut your software down.
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Finally, if you decide to try to jailbreak your iPhone, it might mess up or even brick your device in more ways than one, including voiding the warranty.
For all those reasons, jailbreaking your iPhone to access GPS spoofing is a pretty risky way of going about it. But if you insist…
Fake GPS Location iPhone via Jailbreaking
By design, a jailbreak hacks into your iPhone so that you can change most of the native settings. In fact, you’ll have a hard time finding a jailbreak repository that works well with iOS 12 and above.
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But if you own an older device, you should be able to pull it off. Instructions for running a jailbreak are beyond the scope of this article, but you should definitely read our overview of jailbreaking to find out how to perform this task.
Once your phone is jailbroken, there are two Cydia apps that might be worth your attention, LocationHandle, and akLocationX. The catch is that akLocationX supports iOS devices with the A7 chip, which means iPhone 5s and iPads of that era running iOS 6 or 7. LocationHandle is a paid app that works with iOS 9 and 10 but you’ll have to install an on-screen joystick.
How Do I Fake GPS Location on iPhone Without Jailbreaking It?
If you’re worried about bricking your iPhone when trying to jailbreak it, use this method to spoof your location without jailbreaking your phone.
This method requires iBackupBot, a third-party tool for making changes to backup files. It would be advisable to first create a primary backup of your unmodified system just to be on the safe side.
After connecting your iPhone to a computer, launch iTunes and click on the iPhone icon to access more options. Select “Back Up Now” (keep “Encrypt iPhone” unchecked).
After the backup is done, close iTunes and launch iBackupBot, which should automatically locate and open the backup files.
Now, you need to look for the Apple Maps plist file, which can be found in one of two locations.
- User App Files > com.Apple.Maps > Library > Preferences
- System Files > HomeDomain > Library > Preferences
When you open the file, search for the <dict> tag and insert the following code right under it.
After that, you can close iBackupBot but keep the iPhone plugged in and don’t open iTunes yet.
Proceed to disable “Find My Phone” as follows.
Settings > Your Apple ID > iCloud > Find My Phone (tap to toggle off)
With this out of the way, you can reconnect to iTunes and restore from the modified backup.
Launch Apple Maps and navigate to the location you’d like to be in. Hit the bottom of the window to get location information and you should fine the Simulate Location feature. Tap to confirm and verify if it works for your other apps.
Other Ways to Spoof Your Location on iPhone
iTools is a computer app that works with iOS 12 and earlier (although many users have stated it does work on iOS 14). It comes with a file manager on top of GPS spoofing. It’s not exactly user-friendly though.
You need to connect to a computer with a USB cable and navigate to the Virtual Location feature. You’d then manually remove the fake GPS marker.
Until recently, using a VPN service was probably the best and easiest way to fake your GPS location. NordVPN is among the most popular for iPhone and available for iOS 9.0 or newer. You’ll have to pay for it though.
The Hardware Solution Many Have Been Waiting For
The fundamental issue that iPhone users have is that Apple doesn’t want people spoofing iPhone locations, so they forbid app developers from writing the very simple iOS apps that could perform that task.
However, in recent months a hardware company has put together an Apple-compliant system that permits you to virtually relocate your iOS device wherever you like! It isn’t free, or even cheap, but it works well and is a robust and reliable solution.
GFaker is the name of both company and product, and it is essentially a small hardware device that you plug your iPhone or iPad into, as though you were connecting to an Apple computer.
However, the GFaker devices present themselves to iOS as being external GPS devices, using Apple-approved chipsets and complying with the Apple External Accessory Framework standard. Then you run the provided app, which does not require jailbreaking, to set the location that you want to be in. The GFaker device, posing as a new GPS, tells any and all apps running on your iOS device that your current location is whatever you’ve programmed in. It’s so simple and elegant, you’ll think you have an Android phone.
The GFaker comes in two different models, the GFaker Phantom and the GFaker Pro. The Phantom ($259) works on all iPhones and iOS versions from iOS 9 to iOS 14. However, it does have one limitation – it does not report altitude data, so apps that are exceptionally “paranoid” about the GPS coordinates they use might balk. For 99% of applications, this is a non-issue, however. The GFaker Pro ($198) is an older model but still works perfectly with iOS 9 through 12. It will work with newer versions as well, but there are some extra installation steps. The Pro will also work with any iPad using the Lightning dock.
Although these products do come at a cost, for users needing a simple and reliable GPS solution, GFaker seems to be by far the best approach. Sometimes, especially with Apple products, you get what you pay for.
When all is said and done, faking your GPS location on an iPhone is quite tricky unless you are ready to shell out some cash for a VPN service or a GFaker.
Remember, there is a possibility that some of the methods listed in this article might work with newer iOS, though Apple may just block it with a new update. If you are looking for a free solution, iTools is your best bet. Let us know your preferred method and reason for faking GPS location in the comments section below.