Sometimes, updates break things. That seems to be the case for some HTC owners who, upon receiving a silent update to the newest version of Google Play Services, are having trouble using apps that rely on location data. According to HTC phone users in this support thread, Google Now continually asks to turn Location Services on, location-dependent applications like Foursquare and WeatherBug don't function properly, and Maps is unable to lock onto a location.

The good news? Google's looking into the problem. The bad news? No ETA. And unfortunately, because Google Play Services updates in the background automatically, wiping data won't help. However, a Google team member did provide a potential fix that may alleviate the issue for some users, although many are reporting it isn't working:

  1. Go to the Google Settings app
  2. Select Apps with Google+ Sign In
  3. Find the app that's causing the sign-in problem in the list
  4. Select Activities visible via Google to
  5. Change the presented setting (i.e. from Public to Your Circles)

If that succeeds, the problem should be solved and you can repeat the above steps to return to your preferred settings.

Alternatively, you can disconnect the app causing the problem (Settings app > Apps with Google+ Sign In > App > Disconnect App), which should have a similar effect.

Hopefully, a permanent solution is forthcoming.

Thanks, Ari

Kyle Wiggers
Kyle Wiggers is an avid writer, web designer, podcaster, and video producer with an acute interest in all things technology. When not reviewing or commentating on gadgets, apps, and videos, he enjoys reading New Yorker feature articles, tinkering with computers, and playing the occasional game of Rock Me Archimedes.

  • http://twitter.com/Twitteninja Zargh

    Sounds like HTC tweaked something they shouldn't have with GPS/location. They did the same thing with Calendar, which is why the Google Calendar app has a dedicated "what's broken on HTC devices" section on its Play store listing.

  • Adam Jones

    GD, this is happening to my father-in-law (AT&T One X). I wiped about everything I could think of short of a factory reset. It's not happening to my wife or mother-in-law, and they have the same phone on the latest update also.

    His Facebook check in location can't get a fix (thinks he's in Tulsa, though he's in PA). Maps works alright though it does always ask to turn WiFi/GPS on despite it all being on.

    I don't believe he has Google+ installed though!

  • Jaime Larios

    Sounds like something on Htc's end. If it were a bug on Google's part it would be happening to other OEMs as well.

    • jonathan3579

      It IS happening to other OEM's, genius.

      • MasterMuffin

        Wow, genius(es), didn't even bother to read the headline?

        • http://www.facebook.com/joshua.hill.940641 Joshua Hill

          See my post above. This effects Nexus 4 & 7 users (not sure about 10) since android 4.2. What's with the name calling, geniuses :p

          • MasterMuffin

            Jonathan was calling him genius, so I called them both :D I didn't read the comments so I didn't know about that, but those GENIUSES (:P) didn't even read the headline

        • http://www.facebook.com/joshua.hill.940641 Joshua Hill

          @Mobius has also mentioned the LG X4 being effected in a post above too.

          Why don't tags work in disqus on a mobile phone???

  • Justin Winker

    Wow, thought I as the only one having issues with this.

  • http://twitter.com/7Syon Eclectech

    This explains why I all of a sudden had to turn on GPS for Foursquare which would normally work without it. #HTCOne

  • QwietStorm

    I feel like Google Services is suddenly causing severe battery drain on my Nexus 4. The only reason I have this assumption is because this has only been happening since Google I/O, and now Android System and Android OS are high in my battery list, even above screen on time.

    • Amir

      Its because of maps. It just keeps on using it. Try force stop.

      • QwietStorm

        Have you experienced the same thing, and has it only started recently?

  • Eric Liou

    Developing for Android is difficult :/
    Not even Google, that follows all the guidelines I assume, can escape those traps.

    • Casey Kline

      Google does not always follow it's own guidelines.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joshua.hill.940641 Joshua Hill

    Perhaps I missed it but I haven't heard anything from Google about fixing the battery issues that plague Nexus users since jelly bean 4.2 yet their officially already working on this. Pretty poor service to Googles own Nexus customers.

    Hopefully 4.3 will ship soon and fix this.

  • Sean Powell

    I was wondering why my girlfriends One S was having the battery killed by Play Services when she wasn't even using the phone that much

  • Mobius

    That is not only a problem by HTC. The LG Optimus X4 has exactly the same problem.

  • dav

    It's not just HTC phones. Lg, Samsung and even a couple nexus devices. majority are HTC one, s and x but not all. Just look here at the people reporting this issue: https://productforums.google.com/forum/m/?hl=en#!msg/mobile/LEPcl9e3dYE/ut5jVjlNJmwJ

    • matt

      Problems with Samsung Galaxy S Iii. Gps often refuses to work until I disable, then renewable location services and then agree to google's popup again.

      • matt


  • http://www.facebook.com/krzysztof.gicala Krzysztof Gicala

    So that's why my phone was telling everyone on facebook that I was sending messages from Camden even though I live 25 miles away from that lol.

  • Designer_PC_Jan

    Google... *PLEASE* stop doing these "secret" and "silent" updates... with no way to turn them off. Ugh. I would be perfectly happy running the older (WORKING) version... instead of the newer (non-working) one.

    Awful design.

    • Alex Lockwood

      For the most part, these new releases are offering huge benefits for your applications... even if this bug annoys you, the positives greatly outweigh the negatives.

      It also makes life a lot easier for applications that make use of these services as they can be sure that a wide majority of users will have the most up to date release (think about the thousands of users who don't bother manually updating their applications on a regular basis).

      • Brandon Watkins


      • Jan

        At this moment it is though a big disadvantage. I'm using a handicapped phone. Very irritating.

  • dave tripp

    same location issue, lg optimus g. which is strange since it's pretty much the same as the nexus 4.

  • Chris Brown

    I have this problem on my new HTC One since installing an OTA update about 2 weeks ago. I thought I was crazy. I couldn't understand why Google Now wouldn't work anymore without required GPS. Same with Foursquare...even if I was on Wifi. Hope this is fixed soon. I don't really like keeping GPS on all the time.

    Also noticed a problem with audio streaming that causes Google Play Music, Amazon Cloud Player and HTC Music will crash the app streaming certain songs that are long in length. Maybe some kind of buffer overload?

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    My wife started complaining about battery life, so I decided to check her phone. Holy shit: http://i.imgur.com/PbUKrH3.png. I wonder if it's because of this issue.

    The Weather Channel is getting disabled stat for now.

    • HeatMiseR

      Artem, I found this to be an issue with the Weather Channel app itself before this issue with Android Location Services. I uninstalled about two weeks ago, plenty of other great weather apps out there, don't need this one...

  • mckungs makong

    Galaxy S II GT-I9100T ICS 4.0.3 and 4.1.2. have the same problem.

  • HeatMiseR


    Had the same issue as everyone else, Android Location Services not working causing apps to crash, not load, or get stuck when trying to grab a location.

    After reading the Google forums talking about this widespread issue, I decided to perform a factory reset on my phone.

    Backed up all data, reset phone, reinstalled and configured my apps, disabled Play Store from auto-updating apps, updated every app EXCEPT the following:

    Google Play Books, Google Play Magazines, Google Play Movies & TV, Google Play Music, and Google+

    It's been 5 days now and my phone is working great! All of my apps that require location services are working again. WAZE doesn't crash, Facebook checkins are working, Weather widgets are working, etc...

    I don't even use the Google Play apps listed above! I don't really care if they ever update them... I don't mind leaving them off my phone for good!

    All I know is that I've got my phone back working again...

    Most people are intimidated by doing a factory reset, it's not that big of a deal. Most important thing to do FIRST is back up your data! Contacts, SMS, MMS, Calendar, Photos, Videos, etc...

    • Brandon Watkins

      Well its not too bad now but it used to suck. You couldn't back anything up, unless you were rooted, besides the stuff on your sd card.

  • MLBaylor

    I had this same problem on a Nexus with Google Maps. To fix it i opened maps > settings > location settings > location reporting, and then manually selected a point on the map, so the location service wont update because it will be static

  • Marshall

    Yeah I'm having the same problem with my phone.

  • Felipe

    You can also just enable the gps before using location services...hopefully a fix is coming

  • belgrade

    Still waiting for a solution...
    I just hope they will not play with android users like this anymore.

    Htc one X - Belgrade

  • Lewis Weston

    I have had this problem for the last week so had a look at your solution, but I had no apps linked with Google+. I have tried everything and finally found something that worked for me. Go into your apps, disable Google+, uninstall updates and clear data. Reset your phone and hopefully you will have locations restored as well. It's been behaving for a while and I don't miss Google+ at all

    • Richard

      Yes, this works for me ! Thanks for this tip. My locations are working again.

      • Steven

        This worked for me too - I didn't need to reset my phone, just disable Google+ and uninstall updates. Thanks Lewis!

    • Dan

      Worked for me too! Thank you!

  • Midd

    Ridiculous that this is still a problem a week later. Really bothered that Google hasn't found and issued a solution yet.

  • Chris Brown

    Any update on this bug?? It is so annoying and tarnishing my love of the HTC One.

  • http://www.friv3.co/ friv 3

    This is what I've been looking for. Thank you!

  • groovepeppy

    I dont think it was related to google+ cause i did not and never installed it but my Sensation clock weather still shows my country, not my current location :(

  • Dude!

    It will probably be completely unrelated, but here is me hoping that the chrome thing is a sign of a app store unification/some PNaCl action.

  • Cheryl

    me (Cheryl Obrentz change)

    3:09 PM (18 minutes ago)
    my HTC One V Android phone when I pressed the blue globe in the past to
    get me to the main Google search page, my location appeared on the
    bottom. Last week it began showing up as UNKNOWN, and a couple of days
    ago it just disappeared. WHEN I speak a request, like 'pizza shops' it
    uses my location to find places. BUT, if I type it, it doesn't recognize
    my location.

  • Henry

    I uninstalled the Google play services updates and location bit seems to be working properly

  • ÍñTëgratéd Çïrcuît

    my android system is using 80% battery....on htc butterfly ... i dont know why ?? how to fix this ? battery drainage is at extreme ??