How to Fix Pokemon GO Failed to Detect Location (12)

Trying to enjoy Pokemon GO but continuously getting the “Failed to detect location (12)” error?

As popular as this mobile game has become, it isn’t without its problems and this is one of the top errors we see users reporting.

Since the game relies on your location, it’s a pretty big problem too. You can’t play the game if your location can’t be accessed by the app.

In this guide, we’ll be explaining why this happens and what you can do to fix it.

Part 1. Why Does Pokemon GO Say “Failed to detect location (12)”?

While the reasoning behind the error doesn’t matter too much when it comes to fixing this error, it’s worth keeping some possibilities in mind as they could help you to produce a solution yourself.

Here are the most common reasons:

  • This error tends to happen more often on devices with Find My Device enabled
  • You have enabled the Mock Location setting on your device
  • Your device simply isn’t able to get a GPS signal
  • You’re using a fake GPS app.

It’s very likely that one of these reasons is reasonable for your specific situation, and there are several things you can try.

Part 2. How to Fix Pokemon GO “Failed to detect location (12)”

We’ve gone ahead and done the research for you and with one of the 8 solutions below, you can fix Pokemon GO failed to detect location (12) error.

1. Restart the Location Service

One of the first things we recommend trying is restarting the location service. If a firmware problem caused the location service to crash, it could result in Pokemon GO spoofing failed to detect location.

Step 1 – Unlock your device and launch the Settings application.

Step 2 – Find the Location option and tap the slider to disable the location service.

android turn on location

Step 3 – Wait a minute and then tap the slider again to enable the service.

Step 4 – And make sure the LOCATION MODE option is set to High accuracy.

2. Clear Cache and Data

Although doing this could cause you to lose some progress on the app, it’s worth clearing the app’s cache and data.

This can help because if you’ve been using an app a lot then there will be a lot of unnecessary data which slows it down and causes these types of problems.

Step 1 – Open the Settings app, swipe down and tap on Apps, and select Manage Apps.

android manage app

Step 2 – Swipe through the list and locate Pokemon GO.

Step 3 – Tap on the Pokemon GO entry and select both functions: Clear all data and then Clear cache.

clear pokemon-go data cache

Step 4 – Relaunch the Pokemon GO app and see if the issue has been resolved.

3. Disable Find My Device

As we mentioned before there has been a common factor associated with the majority of devices that get this problem, and that’s Find My Device being enabled.

We’d recommend that you disable it and see if Pokemon GO “Failed to detect location (12)” continues to be an issue.

Step 1 – Unlock your device and go to the Settings app.

Step 2 – Swipe down and tap Security & location.

google find my device

Step 3 – Locate Find My Device and if it is enabled, turn it off.

4. Disable Mock Location

Mock Location is one of the Developer options that Android users can enable but having this enabled can be problematic.

Ideally, you should turn this setting off whenever you aren’t explicitly using it, and here’s how to do so.

Step 1 – Open the Settings app and tap About Device.

Step 2 – Swipe down and locate Build Number, and tap on this detail 7 times until the notification appears.

android about phone build number

Step 3 – Navigate back to the main Settings menu and now tap on Developer Options.

Step 4 – Once you’re in the developer menu, locate Select mock location app and then select Nothing.

disable android mock location

Now check if disabling this fixes the Pokemon GO problem.

5. Spoof in Pokemon GO Application

If you aren’t able to find a way to fix Pokemon GO failed to detect location then you can instead deal with the error by spoofing your GPS location.

Your device needs to be rooted for this to work so if you don’t want to root it, jump ahead to the next method.

Step 1 – Start by rooting your Android device if your device isn’t already rooted.

There are a lot of methods for doing this so we’d suggest searching in Google “how to root” followed by your specific device model.

Step 2 – After you root the device, download the GPS Joystick APK.

Step 3 – Install the APK as instructed then launch the app.

Step 4 – After launching the app, make sure you choose Privacy Mode and then tap Generate.

gps joystick privacy mode

Step 5 – Enter the name PoGo GPS App and tap the Start button to continue.

joystick rename app

Step 6 – Once you tap Install you can then go to the app store and download the app Link 2 SD.

Step 7 – Open the Link 2 SD app after installing it and now find PoGo GPS App from the apps list.

Step 8 – Tap the app then tap the menu icon and select Convert to system app. After this, you will see a “Reboot device” message, you need to reboot your device for the changes to take effect.

convert pogo gps to system app

Step 9 – Next, open the PockemonPro app and tap the menu icon, then select Settings.

custom app enable settings

Step 10 – From this screen, enable the following settings:

  • Enable Indirect Mocking
  • Enable System Mode
  • Disable Location Service
  • Enable A GPS Reset

Step 11 – Next, open the Android Settings app and navigate to Location.

Step 12 – Enable the location setting and set the Mode to Device Only.

android location device only

Step 13 – Finally, go back to the PockemonPro app and tap on Set Location to choose a suitable GPS location.

6. Uninstall Map Updates

When you’re using Pokemon GO it uses a real-time version of the map. As a result, if your Android device has a more recent map, or it is providing conflicting data, then Pokemon GO won’t function properly and this error will appear.

You can uninstall map updates if this is the problem.

Step 1 – Launch the Settings app and go to Apps > Maps.

Step 2 – Locate the setting called Uninstall updates and use it.

android uninstall map updates

Step 3 – Now go back to Apps and locate Pokemon GO, and clear the app’s cache and data.

7. Reboot Device and Enable GPS

Next up we have another simple method and that is to reboot your Android device and manually enable GPS. As with most tech-related issues, a basic “turn it off and on” approach can often be the best solution.

Step 1 – Turn off your phone (how you do this will depend on the model of Android you have).

Step 2 – Turn your device back on.

Step 3 – After it is powered on again, manually enable GPS (again this will depend on your specific device, but usually it can be done through the Settings).

8. Install an Older Version of Google Play Services

Our final solution to Pokemon GO failed to detect location is to install an older version of Google Play Services. This is a service that runs in the background while you’re using the device and some users have reported that after it updated, Pokemon GO stopped working. Here’s how to install an older version:

Step 1 – Launch the Settings app and navigate to the Apps section.

Step 2 – Find Google Play Services on the list and tap on it.

Step 3 – Tap the menu icon at the top-right and tap Uninstall Updates.

google play services uninstall updates

Step 4 – Open a browser app and search for the older version of this service to install.

9. Stop Using Fake GPS APP

Some users may encounter this issue when they use a fake GPS app such as JoyStick.

Once Pokemon GO detected that you are using a fake GPS app, they’ll put a regulation to stop you from using it.

So, if you are using a fake GPS app such as GPS JoyStick, Fly GPS, FGL Pro, iSpoofer or FakeGPS Go and getting failed to detect location (12) Pokemon Go. Then you need to stop using those apps.

Bonus: Why is Location Important in Pokemon GO?

Maybe you’re dealing with this error and wondering why Pokemon GO needs your location at all. Can’t you just use the app without your location data?

Unfortunately, you can’t, and here are the main reasons for it:

  • Real-Time App Data. When you play Pokemon GO, you’re walking around trying to catch Pokemons that are located near you. If the location that the app stores for you isn’t very recent, your experience will be diminished and you won’t be able to catch Pokemons in real-time.
  • GPS Accuracy. In addition, the accuracy of the location that the app stores for you needs to be updated frequently. By having access to your location in real-time, the app can track your movements and update the game with new Pokemons that are near you which can be captured.

Pokemon GO is very dependant on location data so in other words, if the app doesn’t know your location, you won’t be able to use it at all.


Now that you know why Pokemon GO failed to detect location and what you can do to fix this error, you can get back to enjoying the mobile game that hundreds of millions of people across the globe have been enjoying.

There’s no doubting that Pokemon GO has been among the most successful mobile apps ever, but these types of errors get in the way and prevent users from truly enjoying the game.

Hopefully, with these solutions, you no longer encounter this error.

About Author

Darren has been passionate about ios devices ever since he got his first iPhone since 2013, while he was still a student in junior high school. He currently uses an iPhone 11 and iPad Pro, and he’s become the go-to guy for many of his friends who have mobile device unlocking-related problems.

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