If you get stranded in an unfamiliar territory, it can be challenging to ask for directions from a complete stranger, especially if you are in a hurry and you don't want to stop for directions.

For people who get lost so easily and are in need of real-time directions, the GPS feature on their smartphones is heaven-sent. Most smartphones have a GPS sensor that is used in coordination with a navigational app such as Google Maps.

However, there will be times when this function does not seem to work. If you are using an Android smartphone and your GPS is malfunctioning, there will be some small measure of troubleshooting involved.

Assisted GPS

Android phones make use of Assisted GPS to establish your location. Aside from GPS satellites, this technology also makes use of nearby cell towers and Wi-Fi networks. If you are having a hard time using your Android phone's GPS connectivity, here are the steps you need to do in order to improve its performance. Since Android's interface can be different from phone to phone, note that some of the steps indicated here may be slightly different for your device.

First, you need to ensure that Assisted GPS has been enabled on your Android phone. This can be done by going to "Settings" and clicking on "Location & Security." The options "Use Wireless Networks and "Use GPS Satellites" should both be checked. If this troubleshooting step still won't work, reboot the phone, do a "battery pull," and reinstall the app. Go back to the app you were using and try to establish a lock.

Android GPS Toolbox

If the GPS of your Android is still wonky after the boot, head on over to Google Play Store and download "GPS Status & Toolbox," a mobile app that can re-download your AGPS data to make sure your phone is using the right satellites. After downloading, launch the GPS Status & Toolbox app. Click the menu button, then click on "Tools."

Click on the "Manage A-GPS State" option, and then the "Reset" button to clear your GPS cache. Go back to the previous menu and do the same thing. Click on "Download" button instead of "Reset."

Check Your Phone's Power Management Settings

Another reason your GPS is malfunctioning could be due to the power management settings that you use to prolong your phone's battery life. This can interfere with the GPS connectivity when using a mobile app. To prevent this from happening, adjust your phone's power management settings. Here's how you can do so:

HTC

Access Phone Settings > Battery > Power Saving Mode - Battery Optimization > Select App > Don't optimize > Save

Samsung

Access Battery Settings > App Power Saving > Details > Select App > Disable

Huawei

Turn Energy Settings to Normal, then add the app to "Protected Apps."

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