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Disable Geolocation in Chrome and Firefox

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011 by | Filed Under: Using The Internet
 
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Todd asks:

Great tip (Disable Geolocation in Internet Explorer 9), but can this be done in Firefox or Chrome?

Thanks for the question, Todd. Like Internet Explorer, both Chrome and Firefox employ geolocation technology, allowing them to track a user’s location. However, if you’re annoyed by the technological nanny state in which browsers always want know our whereabouts, we can show you how to disable this feature.

Despite its intrusive nature, there are advantages to geolocation. For example, when using Google Maps–with geolocation enabled–clicking the button just above the scaling tool should prompt a request to track your location, offering a starting point for directions. However if, as demonstrated below in Chrome, geolocation has been disabled, your location will not appear.

disable_geolocation_chrome_4

But, even with the feature enabled, a computer’s location might not be recognizable. I had mixed feelings upon receiving the message below. On one hand, I couldn’t demonstrate the location display. On the other hand, Google Maps couldn’t find me. Take that, nanny state.

disable_geolocation_chrome_4b

Disable Geolocation in Chrome

Click the Wrench icon in the upper right corner and select Options.

disable_geolocation_chrome_1

In Options, select the Under the Hood tab and, in the Privacy section, click the Content settings… button.

disable_geolocation_chrome_2

In Content Settings, scroll down to the Location section and click the radio button beside Do not allow any site to track my physical location.

disable_geolocation_chrome_3

Disable Geolocation in Firefox

Type (or copy) about:config into the address bar and tap the Enter key.

disable_geolocation_chrome_5

If the message below appears, click the button, I’ll be careful, I promise!

disable_geolocation_chrome_6

Then, type geo.enabled into the filter and double click the geo.enabled link.

disable_geolocation_chrome_7

Your Status, Type, and Value will change from this…

disable_geolocation_chrome_7a

…to this, and geolocation will be disabled.

disable_geolocation_chrome_7b

It’s satisfying to know that we can still maintain at least a shred of control in a world that becomes less private every day. Now, if we could just get the browsers to stop pestering us about eating our vegetables and running with scissors.

~Kevin

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2 Responses to “Disable Geolocation in Chrome and Firefox”

  1. Amanda Allen says:

    By disabling this however, it might prevent you from going to sites that only allow access from certain areas (i.e. IP addresses). I had to re-enable this so I could get to the sites.

  2. Joan says:

    This is so funny! Google never seems to know where I am. Once it said that my “device” was logging in from Louisville, KY, another time from Greenville, NC, etc. I don’t live anywhere near any of the places where it says I am. I am delighted that their tracking is so off – although sometimes my bank site says it doesn’t recognize me and I have to prove it really is me. Hmmmm…

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