The world of online dating, itself not that old to begin with, has, in recent years, been completely revolutionized by new apps. There was a long period when online dating meant websites like OKCupid, eHarmony, or Plenty of Fish. Those services still exist, but in the last ten years or so smartphone-based apps like Tinder and Bumble have completely dominated the dating market. Tinder is the most popular and well-known dating app, but feminist-friendly Bumble is a close competitor, and many people prefer its interface, feature set, and rules. Like Tinder, Bumble uses the standard swiping interface, but adds a twist to new matches: in heterosexual matches, the woman has to start the conversation before the match begins.
Bumble also has modes that allow users to search for friends or business connections, making it an essential social app for smartphone users. Whether you’re using Bumble for dating or simply to meet friends, you’re limited to matching with people in your local city. But what if you want to match with people from farther away? Well, officially Bumble won’t let you do that… but unofficially, there are at least a couple of ways. In this article, I will show you how you can fake your location within Bumble.
Though Bumble has a paid membership option called Bumble Boost, it’s very different than rival Tinder’s paid accounts, Tinder Plus and Tinder Gold. Tinder’s premium tier includes a feature called Passport which allows you to set your location manually anywhere in the world, so that you can make matches all around the globe. Perfect for taking a vacation or moving to a new city, Passport is one of the most valuable premium features for Tinder but, unfortunately, Bumble doesn’t offer the same thing. Bumble Boost gives you some additional features, including the ability to see everyone who has right-swiped your profile, an extension of your matches before the conversation expires, and the ability to rematch with those expired connections, but a Passport-like feature is not included.
An official, simple and repeatable method for changing your location is non-existent in Bumble Boost. A disappointing but unsurprising lack of options for Bumble users looking to preview possible matches in new locations. But you aren’t out of luck just yet. First off, there’s one thing you can try regardless of your location or phone type. There are also ways, depending on your phone model, to modify your location data within your device, moving your Bumble account to an entirely new location.
The Official Way: Ask
There are no location settings in Bumble, and you cannot turn the GPS and WiFi location features off and trick Bumble into losing track of where you are. So what do you do if there’s a genuine glitch in your location settings, and your phone is showing your location incorrectly? Simple: you ask Bumble to manually override your location settings and hard-write the correct location into your account. This will only work if you want to adjust your location; perhaps you live ten miles outside of a major city in a completely dead suburb, and you’d rather show up as being in the exciting downtown core. You can submit a technical request to Bumble and there is a chance that they will adjust your location for you. Here’s how.
- Open Bumble.
Select your profile.
- At the bottom of the screen, tap “Contact & FAQ”.
- Tap “Contact Us”.
- Tap “Report a Technical Issue”.
- In the form, enter your address change request. Say that the GPS in your phone is unreliable and glitchy and that you want to request a permanent location change to such-and-such an address.
Now, there are limitations to this method. They aren’t going to move you to London from Des Moines, and they aren’t going to do this for you more than once. Still, if all you need is a small, one-time, permanent relocation, then this is the easiest way to make that happen.
Spoofing Your GPS
Spoofing your GPS on your Android device isn’t something you’re necessarily going to want to do every day, but it is an interesting option to have available for apps like Bumble or Tinder. GPS spoofing allows you to change your location to somewhere brand-new in order to view dating profiles in whatever area you set yourself. It’s not ideal for actually meeting up with people—remember, you’re still hundreds of miles or more away from them—but if you’re trying to get an idea of what the dating scene is like in your next vacation spot or in the place you plan on moving, it’s the perfect way to scout it out.
If you’re one of the billion or so people who own Android devices, you’re in luck. Spoofing your GPS on Android is really easy if you know where to look, and it doesn’t require rooting, modding, or any additional steps you can’t accomplish on your phone right now. All you need is the Fake GPS Location app from the Play Store. Despite a dated icon, the app is far and away the best option for spoofing your GPS location on an Android device, thanks to its reliable connection. After you’ve installed the app from the Play Store, leave it alone for the time being and open up your device’s settings menu. Though we’re using an LG Stylo 4 running Android 8.1 (Oreo), the steps for enabling this setting will remain largely the same regardless of whichever application you choose for this step.
Basically, while your phone doesn’t need to be rooted or hacked in order to gain access to a spoofed GPS signal, you do need to enable “developer settings,” a hidden menu inside Android that offers a load of options and customization menus to choose from. There’s no downside to enabling developer settings in the menu system of your phone. It just means that you’ll have an additional menu in your phone taking up space. Developer settings in Android are hidden by default because there are some options in there that, while reversible, can really glitch up your phone. To avoid a mass need for technical support it is not given out to general consumers. That said, we’re only changing one setting, so enabling developer settings is easy to do, generally safe and well worth it.
- Open the Settings menu on your phone.
- Tap System.
- Tap About Phone.
- Tap Software Info.
- Tap Build Number 7 times quickly.
- Enter your phone’s lock code when prompted.
You now have access to the Developer Mode settings page under Settings->System->Developer Options.
Toggle Developer on if it didn’t turn itself on automatically and you’re ready to go.
The next step is to install the Fake GPS Location app from the Google Play store if you haven’t already.
Now you need to tell your phone to use the Fake GPS Location app as its GPS device.
- Open Settings.
- Tap on System.
- Tap on Developer Options.
- Scroll down to “Select mock location app” and tap on it.
- Select the Fake GPS app.
That’s all there is to it.
Setting your new location for Bumble (and any other GPS-enabled app) is easy. Just open the Fake GPS Location app and navigate the map to your intended location. Hit the green Play button, and your phone now believes you to be wherever you have navigated to on the map.
To check whether it’s working or not, force close Bumble from your device by swiping it away from your recent apps list, then reload into the app. Check the location of your first match and compare it to your actual location. For example, when we loaded our fake GPS location as Washington DC, we immediately began to see matches in Virginia, making it a success in our book. Occasionally, Bumble may notice that you’ve changed your location and attempt to put you back in a place that matches your IP address. If this is the case you may also want to consider using a VPN to match your locations together. However, generally speaking, the app should reset your location to your spoofed address every time you reset the app, so if you run into any major issues, just reset it.
If it still isn’t working, don’t despair. Check the app again and try to make sure your spoofing has been enabled. Past that point, you can also try out using different apps to see if the first app you chose isn’t working properly on your phone. Also make sure to check if your device’s GPS signal is on, it needs to be in order for GPS spoofing to work properly. Ultimately, GPS spoofing can be a bit touchy, so it’s important to make sure that you keep troubleshooting the device if you run into any major issues.
As an operating system, iOS has many differences from Android. One of the main differences is that Apple maintains a much tighter control over the internals of its devices than Android phone makers and OS developers do. What you can do with the flip of a toggle on any modern Android, requires either a difficult and risky “jailbreaking” on iOS, or the use of fairly expensive software. More recent versions of iOS aren’t jail-breakable, leaving Apple in even tighter control of the device that you allegedly own.
What it boils down to is that there aren’t any free GPS spoofing solutions for iOS, but there is a very solid paid solution called iTools. iTools has functionality other than GPS spoofing, but GPS spoofing is all we’re going to discuss here. You can download and install iTools for free, though the trial period doesn’t last long and if you decide to keep using the software you will have to pay for a license. A single-user license costs $30.95. Note that you actually install and run iTools on a Windows PC or a Mac and then connect your iPhone to the computer via a data cable, similar to the way iTunes works.
Installing iTools is simple; just visit the link and download the free trial. Then follow these steps to set up GPS spoofing on your iPhone.
- Click the Toolbox icon on the iTools panel.
- Click the Virtual Location button on the Toolbox panel.
- Enter the location you want to spoof your location to in the text box and click “Move Here”.
- Go to Bumble on your phone and do whatever you wish to do in your “new” location.
- To end the GPS spoofing, select “Stop Simulation” in iTools.
It isn’t as elegant a solution as the Android platform offers, but it will get the job done.
Fooling your friends into thinking you’re somewhere you aren’t, checking into locations you haven’t been, looking at dating profiles in all-new areas—it shouldn’t be a surprise that there’s plenty of options for configuring and changing your GPS settings depending on what you need. While we wouldn’t recommend spoofing your location all day, it’s a handy tool that’s good to keep in your app drawer, just in case you ever need to check out a dating profile in an upcoming location days before you actually get there.
Need more Bumble resources? We’ve got all kinds of great information for you.
If you aren’t getting enough matches, check out our walkthrough of what to do when you’re not getting matches on Bumble.
Trying to figure out if that dreamy potential match is active on the site? See our guide to telling whether someone is active on Bumble.
For more information on how Bumble handles location, see our article on what Bumble does when your phone is off.
Bumble isn’t always intuitive – here’s our tutorial on knowing when you’ve gotten a match on Bumble.
If you decide Bumble isn’t right for you, be sure to read our article on deleting your Bumble account.