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How to calibrate your iPhone compass and improve accuracy

Wondering to calibrate your iPhone compass and get accurate directions? Read on to find out in this easy guide.

Published onDecember 24, 2023

The iPhone Compass is a handy tool that can help you navigate unfamiliar places, level objects, and even detect magnetic fields. However, the compass may sometimes not work correctly due to various factors such as magnetic interference or GPS errors.

In this article, we will show you how to calibrate your iPhone compass and make sure it gives you accurate readings. We will also show you some fixes you can try if your Compass ceases to function. You can use your iPhone compass confidently and efficiently by following these simple steps.


You can automatically calibrate your iPhone’s compass app by toggling Compass Calibration from the Settings app. You can also disable True North and move your iPhone in a figure-8 motion to improve accuracy.


How to calibrate your iPhone compass

Your iPhone’s internal compass can help you with many tasks, but it can also lose its accuracy quickly, especially when you are indoors. In the past, you needed to manually recalibrate your iPhone compass whenever it became misaligned after the initial calibration procedure. Thankfully, nowadays, calibrating your iPhone compass is very simple. Here are some steps you can follow to calibrate your compass more accurately:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Privacy & Security > Location Services > System Services, and make sure the Compass Calibration toggle is switched on.

This enables the iPhone compass to automatically calibrate whenever you launch the app without requiring manual recalibration.

Another thing you can do to make sure your compass is calibrated correctly is to turn off True North from your iPhone’s Settings. This is turned on by default, and you must deactivate it yourself. Follow the steps below to learn how:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Compass and then toggle the Use True North switch off.

This will make it so your iPhone’s compass will use Magnetic North instead of True North in its readings and may negate the effect of any external interference.

Your compass calibrates itself by sensing your movements over time, such as when you walk or take your phone out of your pocket. To adjust the compass if it is slightly off, try shaking your phone or moving it in a big figure-eight shape. This can improve the precision of your compass.

iPhone Compass not working? Here’s how you can try to fix it

Many of us rarely need our iPhone compass. But when we do, we don’t want it to malfunction. The Compass app may have some issues that prevent it from working properly; here’s how to fix them!

Keep your iPhone away from any magnetic items

The iPhone has a magnetometer that measures magnetic fields, which the internal compass uses to show directions. This device can be disturbed by nearby magnets. You can fix this problem by keeping all magnetic things away from your iPhone to ensure your device is aligned correctly.

Restart Location Services

A possible cause of your Compass app malfunctioning could be GPS issues. You can fix this by switching Location Services off and then on again to refresh it. Follow the steps below to learn how to do it:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Privacy & Security > Location Services, then toggle the Location Services switch off. Tap Turn off.
  3. Switch the toggle on again to restart Location Services.

Restart Your iPhone

To fix your iPhone’s compass, you can try rebooting your device. This is a proven method to resolve any issues, but some people may find it inconvenient. After your iPhone is turned on again, the compass should function properly and show you accurate readings.

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