How To Change Location on Snapchat

Changing our location on Snapchat gives us access to any location-based filter in the world.

By
&
Aliza Vigderman
Gabe TurnerChief Editor
Last Updated on Aug 10, 2021
By Aliza Vigderman & Gabe Turner on Aug 10, 2021

We’ve all wanted to change our locations on Snapchat to bigger, better, and sometimes weirder places. Whether we want to surprise a loved one with an unexpected visit home, catch a cool filter from Paris while we’re sitting on our couch in Manhattan, or hide our true location, there are options to alter our locations on Snapchat.

In this article, we’ll explain how to change your phone’s GPS location so you can fool your Snapchat friends into thinking you’ve gone to Dubai for the weekend.

How To Change Your Snapchat Location

Altering our location on Snapchat is entirely different from encrypting our IP address with run-of-the-mill VPN software. It’s not like changing a Netflix region.

If you want to change your GPS location, you’ll need to download a VPN software program or app that has specific GPS-changing capabilities. Right now, the only VPN we’ve tested with that capability is Surfshark, and it’s only effective on Androids.1 For more information, read our Surfshark review.

Snap Map is a Snapchat feature that allows us to share our location with friends when the app is open. If you have an Android, changing your Snap Map location is fairly simple. Again, Surfshark, the only VPN software with GPS-altering capability that we’ve tested, is an option for Android users only. It’s a safe and simple way to change your phone’s GPS location.

How To Change Your Snap Map Location on Android

  1. Sign up for a Surfshark VPN subscription.
  2. Download the Surfshark app from Google Play.
  3. Open the Surfshark app on your Android device.
  4. Tap “Settings.”
  5. Enable the “Override GPS Location” option.
  6. Tap the “Let’s Go” button as it appears in the pop-up menu.
  7. Tap “Open Settings” as it appears in the pop-up menu.
  8. In Settings, open your About Phone category.
  9. Scroll down until you see the Build Number.
  10. Quickly tap on the Build Number seven times. A message will appear, indicating that you are now in Developer Mode.
  11. Go back to the Surfshark app.
  12. Tap the arrow to proceed.
  13. Tap “Open Settings.”
  14. In the Developer options, scroll down until you see “Select Mock Location App,” then tap it.
  15. Tap “Surfshark” for your mock location app.
  16. Return to the Surfshark app. You should see that the setup is complete.

FYI: VPNs alone cannot encrypt your GPS location. The only VPN for Androids with GPS-changing capabilities is Surfshark. Read our article to learn how to set up a VPN on an Android.

GPS Location-Changer Software for Your iOS Device

Altering your GPS location on an iPhone without jailbreaking isn’t as seamless, since there aren’t any apps that let us change our GPS locations (Apple doesn’t allow GPS-changing apps). Unfortunately, there aren’t any VPNs on the market that offer GPS-altering software for iPhones either. That means the only way to change our GPS location on our iPhones is to download new software. Luckily, there are tools available that make this process easier than it sounds.

  1. Download iTools. This software allows us to change our GPS location on an iPhone or iPad and is fairly easy (though we don’t recommend it for someone who has a slow or bogged-down iPhone to begin with). Here’s how to change your GPS location using iTools:
    • Download the iTools software to your computer.
    • Connect your iPhone to the computer with a USB cable.
    • Click the Toolbox, and then click the Virtual Location icon.
    • Enter an address or GPS coordinates, and click “Go.”2
  2. Download iAnyGo by Tenorshare. Similarly, this software is free to use and offers iPhone or iPad users the ability to alter their GPS locations. Here’s how to change your GPS location using Tenorshare:
    • Install the Tenorshare software and launch it on your computer.
    • Click “Change Location” on the left side of your screen.
    • Connect your device to your computer with a USB cable.
    • Type in the location you want, and click “Start To Modify.”3
  3. Download Dr.Fone. We like this software because it allows us to change our GPS movement in real time. Here’s how to change your location using Dr.Fone:
    • Launch the Dr.Fone software on your computer.
    • Connect your iPhone to the computer with a USB cable.
    • Choose your desired location on the map to change your location.4

TIP: If you want to avoid the headache of downloading new software to your iPhone, you can always change your Snapchat location settings instead. This won’t let you alter your location, but it will allow you to hide your location from certain people.

Why Would You Want To Change Your Snapchat Location?

Most of us need our GPS locations to be accurate in order to use our everyday apps, like GPS navigation apps, weather apps, and rideshare apps. But in some instances, the ability to alter our locations can come in handy. Here’s why:

  • It allows more privacy. Contrary to popular belief, VPNs encrypt and change our IP address locations, but they don’t hide our GPS locations. That’s just not how VPNs work.
  • It gives us access to location-based Snapchat filters.
  • We can prank or surprise friends who check our locations frequently.

Keeping Your Information Private

Snapchat enabled the controversial Snap Map feature in 2017. The emergence of the feature raised fears over stalking and cyberbullying amongst the minors who use the app predominantly.5

Childnet International, a child safety group, has recommended Snapchat users “not … share their location, especially with people they don’t know in person.” That’s because the Snap Map feature is precise and allows users to pinpoint each other’s locations on a map.6

When location-sharing options are on, Snapchat uses GPS tracking to pinpoint locations, but only when we open the app. Unlike other apps on our phone that use GPS, such as Google Maps and Find My Friends, Snapchat does not operate in the background. So, if we haven’t opened Snapchat all day, our location is unlikely to be accurate.7

How To Change Your Snapchat Location Settings

  1. Tap “Settings” at the top of your Map screen.
  2. Change who can see your location or hide your location altogether by toggling on the Ghost Mode option. All of these options are available in Location Settings.

Location-Sharing Options

  • Ghost Mode: Your location isn’t visible to anyone on the map.
  • Select Friends: You can choose specific friends to share your location with.
  • My Friends: Snapchat will share your location with all of your friends.

You can also set a duration if you want the settings to last a certain amount of time before going back to your default settings. All these options will be available to you in the Settings section at the top of your Map screen.

Keeping Your Data Private

If you’re interested in altering your GPS location for safety and/or privacy reasons, you’ll need to take more steps than just changing your location. Unfortunately, apps like Snapchat have more data on you than just your location.

Snapchat’s terms say it does not sell our personal information to third parties. But it does take information about our in-app activity from third-party services, and it uses that information to better target its advertisements. For example, if we click on “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” updates on Snapchat’s “Discover” section consistently, it will use that information to target its advertisements toward us. We can opt out of interest-based advertising to avoid targeted ads.8

Another way to keep your data private is to stay off social media apps altogether. The data big tech companies have on us is surprisingly vast. The more social media networks we’re on, the more personal information we’ve probably signed away without realizing it.

How To Opt Out of Interest-Based Advertising on Snapchat

  1. In Snapchat, tap your profile picture in the top left corner of your screen.
  2. Tap “Settings.”
  3. Scroll down until you see “Additional Services.”
  4. Tap “Manage.”
  5. Tap “Ad Preferences.”
  6. Uncheck “Audience-Based” and “Activity-Based.” This will disable targeted advertisements based on your activity.

Recap

Even after opting out of interest-based advertising and turning off your location, the only surefire way to keep your private information secure is through a virtual private network, or a VPN. VPNs protect our web activity from the network’s internet service provider.

If you have an Android and are set on GPS-changing capabilities, the easiest way to do this is through Surfshark’s VPN. If you have an iPhone, we recommend downloading VPN software to protect your data privacy. If you’re concerned about your GPS location on Snapchat or other apps that track your location, either change your location settings within the apps or download software that allows you to change your location.

FAQs

We know location changing your location on Snapchat can be complicated. Here are some common questions about it.

  • Is it illegal to change my location using a VPN?

    It is not illegal to change your GPS location using a VPN unless you are using your mock location to perform a crime.

  • Can VPN software change GPS locations?

    The only VPN on the market that has GPS-altering software is Surfshark, and it only works on Android phones. Other VPNs can change your location using IP addresses, but not GPS addresses. Surfshark can do both.

  • How do I change my GPS location on my iPhone?

    Changing a GPS location on an iPhone isn’t quite as seamless as downloading an app for Android. But computer software programs such as iTools and iAnyGo make it possible.

    1. Download and install location-changing software to your computer, such as iTools or iAnyGo.
    2. Connect your iPhone to your computer using a USB cable.
    3. Navigate to the map to enter your desired location.
  • Why does Snapchat track my location?

    Snapchat tracks your location using GPS so your friends can check in on your whereabouts, but only if your location-sharing settings are turned on.

Citations
  1. Surfshark Help Center. (2021). What is the GPS override feature and how to use it?
    support.surfshark.com/hc/en-us/articles/360011723459-What-is-the-GPS-override-feature-and-how-to-use-it-

  2. ThinkSky. (2020). iTools.
    thinkskysoft.com/itools/

  3. Tensorshare. (2021). Tensorshare iAnyGo.
    tenorshare.com/products/ianygo-change-gps-location-iphone.html

  4. Dr.Fone.(2021). Mock and Change Location on Your iPhone in 1 Click.
    drfone.wondershare.net/ad/ios-virtual-location.html?gclid=CjwKCAjwmK6IBhBqEiwAocMc8mUWQJ8xIpxyiNaSFr-zwjUdeEZ6Llk6C9GheeY1Ym7eHkrCUIm8DxoC4OIQAvD_BwE

  5. The Guardian. (2017). Snapchat's new map feature raises fears of stalking and bullying.
    theguardian.com/technology/2017/jun/23/snapchat-maps-privacy-safety-concerns

  6. Childnet International. (2017). Introducing ‘Snap Maps’ – the new location sharing feature in Snapchat.
    childnet.com/blog/introducing-snap-maps-the-new-location-sharing-feature-in-snapchat?utm_content=buffere2c35&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

  7. Mint. (2017). 5 things you should know about Snapchat's latest feature Snap Map.
    livemint.com/Leisure/3nKPPBdviq36UGrUJz54rM/5-things-you-should-know-about-Snapchats-latest-feature-Sna.html

  8. Common Sense. (2020). Standard Privacy Report for Snapchat.
    privacy.commonsense.org/privacy-report/Snapchat