change location Android

Your location on Android can limit the online content you can access. Geo-blocking is particularly problematic when traveling abroad since many local and national governments are guilty of censoring the web. This can prevent you from accessing many different websites and services while traveling or working abroad. Your location on Android can also compromise your privacy since apps, websites, your ISP, and by extension, your government can see what you’re doing online. The easiest way around this is to use a VPN to change your location.

By changing your location on Android, you can bypass these content restrictions and internet censorship. Many people choose to do this when traveling overseas on vacation. Connecting to a Virtual Private Network (VPN) server in your home country allows you to access your favorite streaming services as normal. If you use a VPN to change location on Android, your real IP address and location will be hidden, allowing you to browse anonymously on Android.

This article will talk you through the process of using a VPN to change your location on Android, list some alternative methods, and answer some common questions.

How to change location on Android with a VPN

The quickest and easiest way to change location on Android is with the help of a VPN. This is a service through which you connect to a server in another country. In doing so, your internet traffic is routed through an encrypted tunnel, and your original IP address and location are hidden.

Here’s how to change location on Android by using a VPN:

  1. Sign up with a reputable VPN provider. We recommend NordVPN, although Surfshark and ExpressVPN also provide excellent Android apps for changing your location.
  2. Download and install the VPN’s app for Android. This shouldn’t take more than a minute or two. Furthermore, you can use the above VPNs to secure multiple devices at once.
  3. Log in to the VPN app and connect to a server in your preferred location. You’ll be assigned a new IP address in the process. For example, choose a server in the US to gain a US IP address.
  4. You should now be able to bypass restrictions. If you’d like to check your current IP address and location, you can do so via our IP Address Check tool.
  5. Problems? Try connecting to a different server to change your IP address. Be sure also to try changing your location settings on Android (more on this further below).
  6. Failing the above, your VPN’s customer support may be able to provide further assistance.


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Are there any other ways to change location on Android?

While a VPN is a very effective way of changing your location on Android, its success isn’t always guaranteed. A website or app has multiple ways to determine your location. On your Android phone, your GPS location is something of a giveaway, and a VPN won’t change this. As such, some streaming apps, in particular, will still fail to work regardless of whether you’ve changed your location on Android with a VPN service.

Geolocation spoofing isn’t a very common feature for VPN apps to have. ExpressVPN’s browser extensions are able to spoof your HTML5 location, which is useful for websites but not apps. Surfshark’s Android app does have an “Override GPS location” feature which matches your GPS location to your VPN location. You will be able to use this feature to access apps that request GPS location in order to access content.

Otherwise, you can spoof your GPS location with a GPS spoofing app such as Fake GPS Location or other options you’ll find Google Play Store. There’s no guarantee these will work with apps that have particularly strict location restrictions. To use them, you’ll first need to enable developer options as outlined below.

Here’s how to change location on Android using a GPS spoofing app:

  1. Download a GPS spoofing app from the Google Play Store.
  2. Go to Settings> About phone.
  3. Tap Build number seven times.
  4. Go back to Settings, followed by System > Advanced > Developer Options.
  5. Click Select Mock Location App and select your GPS spoofing app.
  6. Open the GPS spoofing app and select your location.

How do I change location settings on Android?

Aside from adding a VPN and GPS spoofing app, there are some settings you can adjust on Android in order to reduce the likelihood that your location will be tracked.

How to disable location services on Android:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Search for Location.
  3. Toggle off Use location.

How to disable specific location services and location on Android:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Search for Location and then Location services.
  3. Tap on those you’d like to disable.
  4. Toggle on or off as needed on the following page.

How to change individual app permissions on Android:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Search for Location. Select App location permissions or App permissions.
  3. Select the appropriate app.
  4. Choose Don’t allow to completely block an app from tracking. Alternatively, you can opt to Allow all the timeAllow only while using the app, or Ask every time.

Change location on Android: FAQs

Can I use a free VPN to change location on Android?

There are plenty of free VPNs for Android, although many simply won’t work as effectively. Most free VPNs offer only a small number of servers, limiting the locations you can change to. They also offer very few IP addresses, many of which become blacklisted, particularly by streaming services. As such, you’ll be limited as to the content you can actually access as well. 

Even if you do use a free VPN to change location on Android, bandwidth throttling makes browsing a challenge and streaming all but impossible. We’d also advise against you using a free VPN to change location on Android for security reasons. Some won’t properly protect your data and thus may end up leaking your location. It’s important to know that some free VPNs make money by logging your browsing activity and selling the information to third parties.

Why do I need to change location on Android?

There are two main reasons why people choose to change location on Android: to unblock geo-restricted content and to browse privately. Both are thanks to the fact that connecting to a VPN provides you with a new, temporary IP address. This essentially spoofs your location so that you can bypass geo-blocking. Furthermore, your real IP address and location are hidden while your internet traffic is encrypted, providing a level of security and online anonymity.

One further benefit of changing your location on Android is to bypass bandwidth throttling. If a specific activity (e.g. torrenting) or website (e.g. Netflix) is currently being throttled by your ISP, connecting to a VPN may actually improve your connection. However, it’s important that you choose one of the fastest VPNs that offer unlimited bandwidth.

Is it legal to change my location on Android?

Yes, the good news is that it’s legal to change your location on Android. In fact, we recommend it so that you can protect your online privacy. However, it’s still important to check your country’s laws when it comes to VPNs. 

While VPNs are legal in most countries, there are countries in which many popular VPNs have been banned. Indeed, many VPNs are blocked in China with the exception of those that are government-approved. We don’t recommend these particular VPNs due to the likelihood that the Chinese government has been granted backdoor access to them, rendering them far from private.