How To Spoof or Change Your Location in Snapchat
If you use Snapchat and also travel a lot, you’re already aware that the app provides you with a neat variety of filters, badges, and stickers as you visit each new locale. These little premiums are a nice touch that allow you to brag about your travels to your Snapchat friends. You can globetrot to Paris or just visit the next state over, and have something to show for it in your favorite chat and picture app.
Snapchat knows which filters and badges to award you because it knows where you are; your phone’s location services tell it where you are located. But what if you don’t want Snapchat to know where you are? Or what if you want Snapchat to think you’re somewhere that you’re not? In this article, I’ll show you how to both hide your location from Snapchat entirely, and also to trick the app into thinking that you’re somewhere else.
There are legitimate and illegitimate reasons to hide your identity; it isn’t our job to judge. Whether you’re trying to keep your ex-wife from serving you for child support or just want to use that cute Sydney, Australia filter you saw your favorite celebrity use but don’t want to take a two-day flight to the Outback, there are ways to obscure or even fake your location.
SnapMap is the feature within Snapchat that provides the location-based filters etc. If you haven’t heard of it, or haven’t turned it on, then it isn’t active on your account. The feature was rolled out in 2017 and unless you’ve deliberately activated it, you’re still “off the grid.” You literally have to tell SnapChat *three times* (and then your phone a fourth time) to turn on the feature.
SnapMap pretty much just lets you see where your friends are and allows them to do the same with you. Your SnapMap location updates regularly as long as your app is open. If you close the app, then SnapMap simply shows your last known location until it expires after several hours.
Is this creeping you out? Don’t worry, Snapchat offers ways to edit who can see you on their SnapMap or simply hide yourself altogether.
Turning off Location Sharing
Turning off your location settings is very simple. First, launch the Snapchat app on your device.
- Go to Camera, Friends, or Discover screens.
- Tap the magnifying glass.
- Tap Map.
- Pinch and pull with your fingers to zoom in and out.
Once on the Map screen, you’ll want to access your settings by tapping on the cog icon. Now you can make some adjustments to better protect your privacy. There are three basic settings:
- My Friends – Your Snapchat friends can see your location when you are using the app.
- My Friends, Except… – Your friends can see you but for a few that you expressly exclude.
- Only These Friends – Choose the select “inner circle” of friends that can see where you are.
- Ghost Mode – Keep your location a secret. Only you can see it on the map.
Select “Ghost Mode” and Snapchat will give you the choice of how long to ghost yourself – three hours, a day, or until you unghost manually. Choose whichever setting works for you.
Presto, you’re now private on Snapchat – or you’re broadcasting your location to the world, whichever you prefer!
Spoofing Your Location
So that’s how to stop Snapchat from keeping track of your location. How can you convince the app that you’re somewhere that you aren’t? Well, there’s no direct way to do it within the Snapchat app itself. Snapchat wants everyone to be honest about their locations. So in order to do this, you need to get creative.
The way to trick Snapchat is to trick your phone. Snapchat doesn’t really know where you are; it just knows how to ask your phone where you are. If your phone thinks you’re in Kazakhstan, then that’s where Snapchat will think you are. There are several ways to do this, depending on whether you are using iPhone or Android.
iPhone – Spoof Snapchat Using iTools
Newer iPhones can’t be jailbroken, which was the old-fashioned way of spoofing your GPS location on an iPhone. The iOS operating system is very secure and locked down, and doesn’t allow you to play games with GPS location the way you can on an Android. However, there is still a way to spoof your GPS location on the iPhone, although it is more difficult and less flexible.
Unfortunately there is not a free tool for this functionality, but there is a commercial program called iTools which will allow you to spoof your SnapChat location data. iTools has features besides GPS spoofing, but that’s the only feature we’ll talk about today. You can get a free trial of iTools to see if it will work for you, but after that a single-user license costs $30.95. You run iTools on a Windows PC or a desktop Mac, and then connect your iPhone to that computer using a cable (like you would do if you were connecting to iTunes). So your iPhone will have to stay with the host computer to make this work. (Or you can move the computer with the phone, if you’re using a laptop Mac.)
Once you have iTools installed, 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.
Android – Spoof Snapchat With Fake GPS Apps
GPS works by translating signals from a network of satellites in high Earth orbit. Pretty much all modern smartphones have GPS enabled, and this lets your phone know where you are to within a few feet – plenty accurate enough for apps like Snapchat. Because Android smartphones are so easy to configure, it’s trivial to tell your Android phone to get its GPS location data, not from the satellite network, but from another app running on the phone. Here’s how to do it,
Getting this working takes several steps.
You will need to download the Fake GPS Location app from the Play Store. You can use other GPS-faking apps, but this one works and is reliable and free. Once you’ve installed the Fake GPS Location app, leave it.
Next, you need to enable developer settings on your Android phone. Developer settings is a menu option on Android phones that tells the phone you are running experimental software or hardware. It basically changes some security settings so that you can run programs like the Fake GPS Location app that trick the operating system. These instructions are specific to an Android phone running Android 8.1 (Oreo) but should work for any Android phone with minor changes.
Here’s how to turn developer settings on.
- 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.
And presto, you’v got it installed.
Changing the location for SnapChat is now trivially simple. Just open the Fake GPS Location app and move the map to wherever you want to “be”. Hit the Play button, and your phone now believes you to be wherever you have navigated to on the map.
It’s easy to check this – open SnapChat and see where your icon is located on the map. You should be where Fake GPS Location thinks you are.
Looking for more info on how to spoof your location or identity with various apps? We’ve got you covered!
We’ve got a general overview of spoofing GPS on Android.
Here’s our guide to spoofing a phone number!
We can show you how to spoof your location in Google Maps.
We’ve got a guide to hiding your location from Bumble.
We’ll even show you how to send fake text messages.