The iPhone Compass app is a handy tool that helps you find direction and coordinates. However, it can sometimes let you down during the crucial period. Usually, the problem with the iPhone Compass is its precision. It sometimes goes out of calibration and shows the wrong coordinates.

If the Compass App is not working, you can troubleshoot this issue by simply rebooting or modifying the in-built compass settings. Or, you may need to calibrate the app all over again.

Continue reading this article for more fixes.

Why is Compass Not Working on iPhone

The compass app might struggle to work accurately or doesn’t work at all on iPhone because of the following reasons below:

  • If there’s a magnet close to your iPhone, it can affect the Compass.
  • Your iPhone is physically damaged.
  • There are bugs within the app and device.
  • Location service within the Compass app is disabled.

How to Fix Compass Not Working on iPhone

While using the Compass app, removing the Magnetic case on your iPhone would be better. Magnet can hinder the Compass from functioning properly. If the issue is not solved after removing the magnetic case, you can try other fixes in this article.

Relaunch the Compass App

It’s normal when your app doesn’t work or keeps crashing occasionally. It can happen due to bugs, or you have opened tons of apps in the background, and the memory isn’t able to handle it well. Compass doesn’t consume much memory, but sometimes it struggles.

So, force close all the apps from the background and try opening the app after a minute to see if it might work again. 

  1. Swipe up from the bottom and release your finger in the middle of the screen to open the recent apps.
  2. Close all the apps or close the Compass App.
  3. Wait for a minute and launch the app. 

Force Reboot the device

As mentioned above, your app can occasionally crash due to bugs or memory management. To fix it, you can easily force reboot the device to help resolve such issue. When you force reboot, the memory has to force start from the beginning, clearing the previous apps and services running in the background. So, try rebooting and see if the Compass might work after it.  

  1. Firstly, Press the Volume Up, then immediately press the Volume Down. Next, Keep on holding the Side button for 30-40 seconds to turn off the screen.
  2. Once the screen turns off, you must keep holding the Side button until the Apple logo shows on your display.  

Enable Location Service 

The compass app uses GPS to track location, and it may not work if you have disabled the location service within the app. Therefore, enable the location service or toggle off and on to make your compass work back to normal. Also, with a compass, you want to have an exact location, so it’s better to enable the precise location. 

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Scroll down and click on Compass.
  3. Tap on Location.
  4. Select While Using the App and Toggle on the Precise Location.

Turn on Compass Calibration

This feature is disabled by default. It is always not a big factor if your compass app is not working. However, you should enable this to make the most out of the Compass. So, you can also enable the compass calibration feature and check it might work. 

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Go to Privacy.
  3. Hit Location Services. 
  4. Scroll down and Click on System Services.
  5. Toggle on the Compass Calibration.

Toggle off True North

Another fix you can try to resolve your compass app not working is toggling off the True North feature. If you have enabled this feature, it might be feasible in a situation when you want True North’s geographical direction. You can toggle off this feature and open Compass to check it’s working again.  

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Scroll down and click on Compass.
  3. Toggle off the Use True North.

Gently Shake the Device 

Firstly, you need to open the Compass app. Then, hold your device and shake it gently. It’s not a guaranteed solution, but it might work for some devices. You should have iPhone X or later devices to make it workable. If it doesn’t work with this method, you can move on to the next method. 

Set the Accurate Date and Time

Having an accurate date and time on your device is very important. If you have changed the Date and time by yourself, your device may be unable to perform some functions. Your device needs to sync with the app/service you are using. That is why set the accurate Date and time or toggle off/on the Date and time to fix it. 

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Go to General.
  3. Tap on Date and Time.
  4. Toggle on the Set Automatically.

Use Compass Alternative 

If you are in a rush and your built-in Compass is not working, you can find many compass apps and download them from the App Store. Sometimes your Compass app might be bugged and may be unable to access for a while. So during such times, you can easily download other alternatives. Most compass apps work similarly to built-in apps. So, it can get the job done. 

Reset Location and Privacy 

If your Compass is not working, you can try and reset the Location and Privacy settings. When you reset those settings, all the GPS, Location, and Privacy related settings will be restored to default. If any of those features is hindering the Compass from working, resetting this setting without losing any of your other personal data will be a good choice. So, try resetting and see if it might work for you. 

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Go to General.
  3. Scroll down and Tap on Transfer or Reset iPhone.
  4. Click on Reset.
  5. Hit on Reset Location and Privacy.
  6. Enter the Passcode. Then, you need to click on Reset Network Settings for confirmation.

Update the Compass App and Device

One of the best ways to fix most device issues is by updating them. If any of your device’s bugs prevent the app from functioning properly, updating to the latest version has a better chance of addressing issues. Also, before updating the device, check whether an update for the Compass is available. If so, update the Compass and test it out.

To update the device to the latest version: 

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Go to General.
  3. Click on Software Update.
  4. Tap on Download and Install.
  5. Enter the Passcode. 
  6. It will take a while to complete the update.

To update the Compass app:

  1. Open App Store.
  2. Click on your Profile.
  3. Scroll down and see if there’s an update available for Compass.


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