Google has its tentacles in every pie, and one of those pies just so happens to be your geographical location. That may be fine if you like tailored Google search results based on your coordinates. But what if you need your search results to be detached from your location? Time to change it on Google — and we have several ideas about how you can do that.
Table of contents
How to change your location on Google Chrome on PC or Mac
If you’re using Google, you’re likely using Google Chrome, and a lot of advice on how to change location on Google deals with the browser. So here are some tips for those using Chrome on a PC or Mac.
Manually choose custom location on Google Chrome
The only way to change your actual location to a different location by using Google’s own tools involves messing with the developer settings. It’s easier than it sounds!
- Having opened a Chrome tab, press CTRL+Shift+I to enter the inspection mode.
- Click on the hamburger menu;
- Choose More tools;
- Slide down to Sensors;
- Use the Location drop-down menu to choose one of the pre-set locations;
- That’s it!
Tip: you can set a custom location by choosing Custom in the Location drop-down menu and entering the latitude and longitude. Since no normal person memorizes such information, you can find the latitude and longitude of a desired location by going there on Google Maps.
Now, there are some caveats with this one:
- The location change isn’t permanent;
- It only works on the same Chrome tab that you did the changes on;
- It doesn’t work against more serious geolocation tools, like IP-based (Internet Protocol) tracking.
So, what else can we do about our location tracking on Google Chrome?
Turning off location tracking on Google Chrome
Do you want Google to simply not take your location into account instead of changing your location online? If so, there are some settings you can fiddle with.
- Open Google Chrome on your PC (or Mac);
- Click the hamburger menu on the top right and choose Settings (or just enter chrome://settings in the address bar);
- Choose Advanced on the left-hand menu and navigate to Privacy and security;
- Select Site Settings and click Location;
- Set the toggle next to Ask before accessing (recommended) to Blocked.
This will block websites from accessing your location — hurray!
How to change your location settings on Google Chrome on Android
Chrome on an Android device is a bit more limited in what it can allow you to do with regard to changing your location. Actually, you can only disable location tracking.
- Open a Chrome tab and tap the hamburger menu icon;
- Choose Settings and then Site settings;
- Toggle Location to Blocked.
How to change your location settings on Google Chrome on iOS
Much like with Android, changing your location on Chrome on an iPhone or iPad is limited to just blocking it.
- Open the Settings on your iPhone or iPad;
- Find Chrome and tap it;
- Tap Location and then choose Never to block location tracking.
Using a VPN to change the location
Google gives you very limited tools to change your present location. Thankfully, you can use a VPN to change your location. It only takes a few seconds and adds an extra layer of security to your connection as well.
“VPN” stands for “Virtual Private Network.” It’s a technology that securely routes your internet data via a server. As you do that, your data gets tied to the server’s IP address.
Google uses the device’s IP address to determine the location. But as we mentioned earlier, when you’re using a VPN, you’re using the VPN server’s IP. Google (or any service or website you connect to while using a VPN) will consider you to be connecting from the location of the VPN server – this means you will have effectively changed your location online.
Here’s how you install a VPN for Chrome:
- Subscribe to Surfshark;
- Download the Surfshark VPN extension for Chrome;
- Log into the extension;
- Connect to a server in the location you want Google to see;
Of course, a Google Chrome VPN extension will only encrypt and route data that’s sent and received through Google Chrome. You can alternatively install a full VPN on your device to secure all the data.
Pros and cons of using a VPN to change location
While VPN is the best tool for changing location, it has its pros and cons:
Good VPNs aren’t free
Easy to use
You need to install a thing
Reliably fools location checks
Some drop in internet speed
Secures your data in transit
Keeps your activities private from the ISP (Internet Service Provider)
A wide choice of locations to choose
Change your location on Google with a VPN
Google doesn’t offer much in the way of changing your location when using its services. After all, knowing the geographical location allows for more precise advertising, and there’s money in that. That’s why you need a VPN to really get results. Whether you’re using an extension for Chrome or a full VPN app, there is no better way to change your location on Google.
How do I change my current location on Google?
You can change your current location on Google in three ways:
- By blocking location tracking on Chrome;
- By using developer tools to set a custom location;
- By using a VPN.
Of the three, the VPN is the best tool.
Why is my location wrong on Google?
Google uses the IP address of your device to detect your location. So there may be several reasons why the location is wrong:
- Roughly speaking, the IP address of your device depends on where it’s connecting from. But the official address of the connection point (router, Wi-Fi router) may not match the exact location of where you are;
- If you’re connected via a VPN or proxy, Google will see the IP address of the VPN or proxy server;
- Lastly, you may have disabled location tracking on Chrome, etc., and thus Google has nothing to go by.