How frustrating it can be, being in France but Google thinks you are in the UAE or another location, thereby directing advertisements in a language that belongs to the wrong location shown to your PC or mobile device when you make use of your browser. I understand how annoying it feels, I’ve been there. I also battled with the same situation for some time, so I know exactly how it feels, but that is in the past now.
Google or Netlfix thinks you are from a different location because something in your device is feeding that wrong information to Google. It could be your IP address, your browsing history, your google’s default search settings or maybe your internet provider is using an outdated IP.
One other possibility is that one of your applications in the device is using VPN or similar services that actively routes your traffic through a different country.
I was able to conquer the situation with a few hacks that worked perfectly for me. You are just at the right place, stay with me as I put you through how to fix that in a few steps.
How Google estimates your device location;
You should know that Google primarily makes use of your Internet Protocol address (IP address) to estimate the location of either a mobile device, a desktop computer, or a personal computer. The location of your IP address is normally the address of your parent internet Service Provider (ISP). Google is known to be the most reliable system as far as navigation and location are concerned, that is the reason most location-based software Applications and services use it as the core of their services.
Google also uses BSSID (Basic Service Set Identifiers) information from your WLAN Access Point to get an approximation of where you are located, even if GPS and Wifi are off. The BSSID operates on a lower layer as the IP stack, you don’t even have to be connected to an Access Point to receive these broadcasts.
What is an IP address?
An IP address is a numerical label that is assigned to every device connected to a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communications (usually the isp’s). An IP address basically serves two functions; To Identify the host(specifically its network interface) and to provide the location of the host in the network. There are two common versions of IP in use today; The Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) and Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6). The IPv4 is a 32bits IP address which was first deployed in 1983 while the IPv6 uses 128bits and was standardized in 1998.
Having established a background knowledge of how your location is being estimated, you will agree with me that the location feature is indeed a great asset in the world of today as its uses can never be underestimated. Google is known for its accuracy in detecting device locations, yet due to one or two reasons, the approximation of your location seems to be off at times.
Why Google may get your location wrong
Sometimes, the fault isn’t from Google itself. There are a few factors that might be the cause to Google’s inability to locate your device location perfectly, knowing the root of the problem is very important to solving the problem, it is said that “a problem whose source is known is halfway solved”. Some of the causes are;
Outdated IP network from a provider
Many years ago, when IP’s were being allocated, Google had addresses registered with them. Meanwhile, a lot of Internet Service Providers (ISP) still operate on an outdated private network which sometimes affects the accuracy of Google detecting your location.
Device inability to acquire accurate location;
You might have issues with your device that contributes to Google`s inability to locate your device perfectly. Some devices are slower in operation than others, the quality of the chip inside them is very poor thereby making it difficult to be located. The location data is provided by the Global Navigation System (GNS) which is built in the device. Google’s ability to locate your phone is as good as your phone’s GNS and the ability of your phone to calculate location. It might be due to the inability of your device to be located, not Google
Another factor that causes inaccuracy sometimes might be as a result of your browser history whose local storage still has information about your former location. While you are using your browser, it saves some junk files into your local storage which have traces of your location attached to them, so At times when you change location from where you used to be, these stored files make it difficult for Google to notice your change of environment because you still have traces of the former location on your IP address and as said earlier, Google cannot locate a device physically except with the IP address the device sends to them.
Device inability to support GPS
Some devices may not have the capacity to support the GPS functions. Expecting devices like this to be located is just not possible. This might be common with outdated versions of device models or Operating System.
Possible quick fixes to your google location inaccuracy.
Below are a few suggestions that will help you solve the problem, knowing the cause will surely be of great assistance in selecting a proper fix. What we recommend is;
Clear your browsing history
As said earlier, this problem might be as a result of Junk files saved on your local storage, having traces from your previous location. A way to fix this is by Clearing your browser history. This can be done manually from your browser settings or by downloading a browser history cleaning tool to assist is wiping your browser history.
Manually change device location
Sometimes, trying to make your location detected automatically may prove abortive even if your device is in a perfect working condition, another way to fix that is by changing your device location manually to your current location. This works well
Follow the steps below to change your device location manually
- Go to Settings
- Click on the Region & Language menu
- Then select your Country/Region from the drop-down list
- Close settings and restart your PC for the settings to take effect
Reset web browser
Another fix is to reset your web browser to clear the cache of previously visited locations, this can be done by following the steps below.
- Open your browser menu
- Click on Settings
- Scroll down and select Show advanced settings
- Hence, scroll down and click Reset settings
- On the pop up asking for confirmation, click on Reset
- Reset your PC afterwards.
Set location in a web browser
Another quick fix you might want to perform is directly changing the wrong location in your browser, I’ll give you a step by step approach to that for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox
For Google Chrome;
- Start your Chrome browser
- At the top right, click More and go to Settings
- Click on Advanced
- Under Privacy and Security, click on Site Settings
- Goto Location
- Turn on the “Ask before Accessing” option
For Mozilla Firefox
- Type about: config in your browser and then click on “Accept risk”
- click on the setting for enabled
- Set the value column to True
Migrate to an alternative browser
If you are really disturbed by your location inaccuracy and don’t have the nerves to deal with it, you can consider switching to an alternative browser. I’ll recommend a more lightweight browser like Opera which operates fine without location problems.
Following any of the solutions mentioned above will effectively resolve your location issue. These were as a result of my research while I was having the same issue so I felt I should help out people who may be facing the same problem. Stick to the option that works best for you. The problem of your device is located in a location entirely different from where you are is usually not a malfunction from Google, it is either a malfunction from your device or your Internet Service provider. Also, it might be as a result of poor reception from GPS satellite, but if this is the case, it will automatically locate your right location after some time when it is stable. However, If the problem persists after trying these fixes, then we recommend you check with your Internet Service Provider. Meanwhile, Hope you are not connecting through a VPN, make sure to double-check on that.