How To Disable Or Fake Your Location In Firefox, Internet Explorer & Chrome

title geolocation   How To Disable Or Fake Your Location In Firefox, Internet Explorer & ChromeModern browsers including Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer now include “geolocation” services based in the browser. What this does is attempt to locate you based on your IP, wi-fi or network location. It is used for several reasons, including adding a location to your tweets or Facebook updates, or to locate you on a map. You might want to hide or fake this location IP due to privacy concerns, and it isn’t too terribly hard to do so.

What Is Geolocation?

Geolocation is a technology that locates your position on the planet and ties it into your web browser (or other application). A couple of services work to provide location services in your web browser. One is a Google service that looks at your IP and connected network information and matches it up to known locations, Microsoft runs another similar service. Apple uses the internal service CoreLocation to locate you across a variety of services. Geolocation has a lot of useful applications, but it also has some serious privacy implications.

Turning Off Geolocation

Turning off the location features in either browser is fairly easy. When you are first given the chance to allow or deny location in Firefox, you can disable it right from that menu. If you have already allowed it, go to the configuration settings by typing about:config in your browser window. Find the setting geo.enabled and double click it to set it to “false.”

firefox about config enabled   How To Disable Or Fake Your Location In Firefox, Internet Explorer & Chrome

In Google Chrome, the settings are in chrome toolbar   How To Disable Or Fake Your Location In Firefox, Internet Explorer & Chrome -> Options -> Under The Hood -> Content Settings -> Location:

chrome location   How To Disable Or Fake Your Location In Firefox, Internet Explorer & Chrome

Set the option “Do not allow any site to track my physical location” to disable geolocation in Chrome.

In Internet Explorer 9 you can also disable location services. Go into Internet options -> Privacy. Select “Never allow websites to track your physical location.”

ie location   How To Disable Or Fake Your Location In Firefox, Internet Explorer & Chrome

Faking Your Location

The easiest browser to fake your location in is Firefox. In fact, there is a browser extension that does just that called Geolocater (sic).

Download and install Geolocater and restart your browser. To configure it, you must go into the “Tools” menu, so right click at the top of your browser and enable the file menu to gain access to configuration.

geolocater markup   How To Disable Or Fake Your Location In Firefox, Internet Explorer & Chrome

When you launch it, you must add a new location and include the name to save it. Search or browse to the location you wish to set, enter the name in the box on the right, and then click the button that looks like a kite with a check mark to save it.

location geolocater   How To Disable Or Fake Your Location In Firefox, Internet Explorer & Chrome

Next time you go to a website that has geolocation enabled, you will be able to change which location you want to send to them and then “Share” to fake your location.

There is another alternative that works both in Firefox and Chrome, but you will need to do some editing of files to make it happen.

The way these geolocation services work is by requesting a file from Google which then responds with your location in JSON format. To fake this in Firefox, you can create a file on your computer with this text:

{"location":{"latitude":48.861426,2.338929,"longitude":2.338929, "accuracy":20.0}}

You can find this location by locating it in Google Maps or any other maps program that supports Latitude and Longitude. Google maps generates a link that looks like the following:

http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=48.861426,2.338929&spn=0.011237,0.027874&z=16

In this case the first number is the latitude and the second the longitude.

You can place this in a plain text file on your computer, then update the Firefox setting in about:config named geo.wifi.uri to the location on your computer. In Windows, it will look something like this:

file:///C:/Users/Username/Documents/location.txt

firefox about config file   How To Disable Or Fake Your Location In Firefox, Internet Explorer & Chrome

Make sure if there are any spaces in the directory to replace them with %20 for proper encoding. Restart Firefox and your location will show the updated information.

googlemaps firefox   How To Disable Or Fake Your Location In Firefox, Internet Explorer & Chrome

Location Is Disabled – But You Can Still Be Tracked

Even though location services have been disabled or faked, a great deal of information about where you are located is sent just by using the Internet. Your IP address can narrow your location down to your country and maybe even the city you are located in. Just be aware that unless you use a VPN, your location can still be tracked based on that information.

Do you have any other tricks to hide or fake your location IP?  Do you know how to disable or fake your location in other browsers such as Safari and Opera? Let us know!

Image credit: tranchis

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17 Comments -

0 votes

Virgil

0 votes

Virgil

0 votes

Virgil

0 votes

Clintondaly1

Try Hotspotshield

0 votes

Aibek

I am not sure if it’s still doing that but in the past it used to show an ad on top of the browser window. Many users found it rather annoying.

0 votes

Nat Jay

Tor is a useful option in cases that require online privacy. It can be slow at times but it does the job.

0 votes

Redhowl

Doesn’t work for Chrome 10.0.648.204, there is no such option

0 votes

Duplicitycheese

No there is. After you click on “under the bonnet”, press “content settings” in Privacy and you’ll find “location” there.

0 votes

Redhowl

That’s right! Thanks for your time :)

0 votes

Nlittle1

My geo-location is turned off in Firefox and Google still displays where I am.

0 votes

Dave Drager

Google is getting the information from your IP address, so it is not as “exact” as using Geolocation. There really isn’t anything you can do to block that info except for using a proxy.

0 votes

Mango

I may be slow, but could someone please explain this bit in more detail for firefox version 4:

‘Download and install Geolocater and restart your browser. To configure it, you must go into the “Tools” menu, so right click at the top of your browser and enable the file menu to gain access to configuration.’

I’ve installed the extension, and restarted, but how do I the next bit?

0 votes

Dave Drager

This took me a bit to figure out too. The problem is that with the new Firefox the tools menu is disabled by default. Right click next to the tabs in a blank area and check off “Menu Bar.” You will then be able to get to the “Tools” menu as in past Firefox versions.

0 votes

Mango

thanks dave.. got it now..

0 votes

Anonymous

How can I fake my chrome geolocation?

0 votes

sleep remedies

How can I do this in IE 8? There is no location option.

0 votes

Xxboxx

hi! before this geolocater works for me…. but now…. it just so happened… it doesnt work now…. =( any updated version? or something?