How to Calibrate the Compass on Android to Improve Device Location Accuracy

Android compass calibration instructions in Google Maps on Android

Google Maps uses your Android device’s magnetometer to determine which direction you’re going. To improve the location accuracy of your device, you need to calibrate your compass in the Google Maps app. Here’s how.

Your device needs a magnetometer for the compass function to work, and almost all Android smartphones have it. You must also install the Google Maps Android app , if it is not done yet.

These instructions should work on all recent versions of Android.

Google Maps direction accuracy check

Before calibrating your compass, check if the direction of your device is correctly indicated in the Google Maps app.

Open the Google Maps app on your Android device, then look for the blue circular icon indicating your location. If it’s not visible, tap the circular bubble icon in the lower right corner.

Tap the bullseye icon at the bottom right to display your location in Google Maps

This will display your location, as far as Google Maps understands it. The direction of your device is represented by a blue flashlight-style beam around the circular location icon.

The blue location icon in Google Maps

If the beam range is too large, Google Maps will usually ask you to calibrate your compass. If not, you must calibrate it manually.

Calibrate your Android compass in Google Maps

If Google Maps does not automatically calibrate your compass, you must perform manual calibration. Open the Google Maps app, making sure the blue circular location icon on your device is visible.

Tap the location icon to view more information about your location. At the bottom, press the “Calibrate compass” button.

On the detailed information screen for your location in Google Maps, tap the Calibrate Compass button to calibrate the compass on your device

This will bring up the compass calibration screen. The current accuracy of your compass should be displayed at the bottom as low, medium or high.

While holding your device and following the method on the screen, move your phone three times, tracing an eight in the process.

While calibrating the Android compass in Google Maps, trace your eight-shaped phone three times

Google Maps will alert you once you have successfully calibrated your device, to automatically return to the main map screen of the application.

The location of an Android device in Google Maps, with a calibrated compass

If the calibration process has been successful, the range of your steering beam should be reduced, which improves the accuracy of your location in the process.

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