Language: HTML | XAML

Detect the user's location (XAML)

[This documentation is preliminary and is subject to change.]

Learn how to detect the user's geographic location using APIs in the Windows.Devices.Geolocation namespace. This topic uses code examples, based on the geolocation sample, to demonstrate key points. For more info, download and run the sample.

Roadmap: How does this topic relate to others? See:

Step 1: Verify that location is enabled

Before your app can access location, Location must be enabled on the device. In the Settings app, check that the following location privacy settings are turned on:

  • Location is turned on
  • The setting Let Windows and apps you choose use your location and location history is turned on
  • Under Choose apps that can use your location, your app is set to on

Note  In some cases, the Location and Choose apps that can use your location settings may not be available.

Step 2: Enable the location capability

Double click on package.appxmanifest in Solution Explorer and select the Capabilities tab. Then check Location in the Capabilities list. This adds the Location device capability to the package manifest file.

    <!-- DeviceCapability elements must follow Capability elements (if present) -->
    <DeviceCapability Name="location"/>

Step 3: Request access to the user's location

Request access to the user's location using the RequestAccessAsync method.

Important  Call the RequestAccessAsync before accessing the user’s location. At that time, your app must be in the foreground and RequestAccessAsync must be called from the UI thread. Until the user grants your app permission to their location, your app can't access location data.

using Windows.Devices.Geolocation;
var accessStatus = await Geolocator.RequestAccessAsync();

The RequestAccessAsync method prompts the user for permission to access their location. The user is only prompted once (per app). After the first time they grant or deny permission, this method no longer prompts for permission. To help the user change location permissions after they've been prompted, we recommend providing a link to the location settings as demonstrated later in this topic.

Step 4: Get the user's location and register for changes in location permissions

The GetGeopositionAsync method performs a one-time reading of the current location. Here, a switch statement is used with accessStatus (from the previous example) to act only when access to location is allowed. If allowed, the code creates a Geolocator object, registers for changes in location permissions, and requests the users location.

switch (accessStatus)
    case GeolocationAccessStatus.Allowed:
        _rootPage.NotifyUser("Waiting for update...", NotifyType.StatusMessage);

        // If DesiredAccuracy or DesiredAccuracyInMeters are not set (or value is 0), DesiredAccuracy.Default is used.
        Geolocator geolocator = new Geolocator { DesiredAccuracyInMeters = _desireAccuracyInMetersValue };

        // Subscribe to StatusChanged event to get updates of location status changes
        _geolocator.StatusChanged += OnStatusChanged;
        // Carry out the operation
        Geoposition pos = await geolocator.GetGeopositionAsync();

        _rootPage.NotifyUser("Location updated.", NotifyType.StatusMessage);

    case GeolocationAccessStatus.Denied:
        _rootPage.NotifyUser("Access to location is denied.", NotifyType.ErrorMessage);
        LocationDisabledMessage.Visibility = Visibility.Visible;

    case GeolocationAccessStatus.Unspecified:
        _rootPage.NotifyUser("Unspecified error.", NotifyType.ErrorMessage);

Step 5: Handle changes in location permissions

The Geolocator object triggers the StatusChanged event to indicate that the user's location settings changed. That event passes the corresponding status via the argument's Status property (of type PositionStatus). Note that this method is not called from the UI thread and the Dispatcher object invokes the UI changes.

using Windows.UI.Core;
async private void OnStatusChanged(Geolocator sender, StatusChangedEventArgs e)
    await Dispatcher.RunAsync(CoreDispatcherPriority.Normal, () =>
        // Show the location setting message only if status is disabled.
        LocationDisabledMessage.Visibility = Visibility.Collapsed;

        switch (e.Status)
            case PositionStatus.Ready:
                // Location platform is providing valid data.
                ScenarioOutput_Status.Text = "Ready";
                _rootPage.NotifyUser("Location platform is ready.", NotifyType.StatusMessage);

            case PositionStatus.Initializing:
                // Location platform is attempting to acquire a fix. 
                ScenarioOutput_Status.Text = "Initializing";
                _rootPage.NotifyUser("Location platform is attempting to obtain a position.", NotifyType.StatusMessage);

            case PositionStatus.NoData:
                // Location platform could not obtain location data.
                ScenarioOutput_Status.Text = "No data";
                _rootPage.NotifyUser("Not able to determine the location.", NotifyType.ErrorMessage);

            case PositionStatus.Disabled:
                // The permission to access location data is denied by the user or other policies.
                ScenarioOutput_Status.Text = "Disabled";
                _rootPage.NotifyUser("Access to location is denied.", NotifyType.ErrorMessage);

                // Show message to the user to go to location settings
                LocationDisabledMessage.Visibility = Visibility.Visible;

                // Clear cached location data if any

            case PositionStatus.NotInitialized:
                // The location platform is not initialized. This indicates that the application 
                // has not made a request for location data.
                ScenarioOutput_Status.Text = "Not initialized";
                _rootPage.NotifyUser("No request for location is made yet.", NotifyType.StatusMessage);

            case PositionStatus.NotAvailable:
                // The location platform is not available on this version of the OS.
                ScenarioOutput_Status.Text = "Not available";
                _rootPage.NotifyUser("Location is not available on this version of the OS.", NotifyType.ErrorMessage);

                ScenarioOutput_Status.Text = "Unknown";
                _rootPage.NotifyUser(string.Empty, NotifyType.StatusMessage);

Step 6: Help the user change location settings

If the location settings don't allow your app to access the user's location, we recommend providing a convenient link to the location privacy settings in the Settings app. In this example, a Hyperlink control is used navigate to the ms-settings://privacy/location URI.

        <TextBlock x:Name="LocationDisabledMessage" FontStyle="Italic" 
                   Visibility="Collapsed" Margin="0,15,0,0" TextWrapping="Wrap" >
            <Run Text="This app is not able to get location data. Go to" />
                <Hyperlink NavigateUri="ms-settings://privacy/location">
                    <Run Text="Settings" />
            <Run Text="to check the location privacy settings."/>

Alternatively, your app can call the LaunchUriAsync method to launch the Settings app from code. For more info, see How to display built-in settings pages by using the ms-settings protocol.

using Windows.System;
bool result = await Launcher.LaunchUriAsync(new Uri("ms-settings://privacy/location"));

Related topics

Windows 10 Technical Preview geolocation sample
Windows 8.1 geolocation sample
Bing Maps SDK Samples
Guidelines for using sensitive devices



© 2015 Microsoft