How to disable location services for Passbook on your iPhone

How to disable location services for Passbook on your iPhone

Passbook for iPhone may be a great tool for managing boarding passes, reward cards, and more, but it can also be a drain on battery. Since Passbook continuously checks your location to see if you're in range of somewhere you may want to use one of your passes, it can significantly decrease your battery life.

While it's a convenient feature, if you're finding your battery life is suffering, you can disable location services to lessen the strain on your battery.

  1. Launch the Settings app from the Home screen of your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on the Privacy option.
  3. Now tap on Location Services.
  4. Scroll down and find Passbook in the list. Turn the toggle next to it to the Off position.

That's it. Passbook will now stop searching for locations where you have passes. The down side is your passes will no longer show on your lock screen, meaning you'll have to manually open Passbook to use them. The bright side is that you'll probably get a little more battery life out of your iPhone. You can, as always, return into settings and re-enable the feature anytime you'd like.

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Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

How to disable location services for Passbook on your iPhone


Oh my, thank you so much. Driving by Starbucks and getting the notification that I am near, is chewing on my last nerve!

I did this a few weeks ago. I kept seeing the arrow in status bar after downloading apps and adding cards. No big deal to open passbook when I get somewhere I have cards setup for. Ill take the extra battery over the reminders.

I live near a Walgreens and pass it everyday. At first I was concerned about battery life and having this notification active, but I have to say I never notice battery issues with this on. I know it's anecdotal, but having this service on all the time hasn't made any difference in my battery experience at all. In fact, I rely on it every time I go there. It works perfectly.

This is good feature. Anytime you are near a Starbucks it pops up on the screen. Good to know how to turn it off.

This is good feature. Anytime you are near a Starbucks it pops up on the screen. Good to know how to turn it off.

I thought that Passbook uses the major location change API (not sure the official name) which shouldn't be draining your battery. It doesn't constantly search, as mentioned, it only checks if there is a major change to where you are.

You are correct but any data or location pulling will use battery. It has to. I turned mine off and probably saved about 5-10% battery on average. Not a huge amount but it could be the difference between making it home to charge or not in some cases.

Allyson - you're assuming way too much without understanding the implementation.

Passbook uses a very efficient location lookup that uses wifi and doesn't cause the GPS to fire up. "Probably saved 5-10%" is an assumption not backed by any actual data. Your advice is also misguided because turning off location services doesn't stop passes that are date sensitive from showing on the lock screen. The right way to do it is switch off "Show on Lock Screen" on the back of the pass - but there's really no good power related reasons to do this - only user preference.

I had used up both of my Starbucks gift cards, yet the notification continued to pop up as I drove by one a block away from work each day. I eventually just deleted the gift cards from the app. Problem solved (until I reload them). Good to know there was an alternative.

I never allowed Passbook location access, so not a problem. However the TV Guide app had location access that was beyond useless since I always have to manually change locations anyway. Nice easy guide to let people know they can turn it off though.

I just disabled it to see how much of a difference I get. I had it disabled for Walgreens, since I live so close to one that the Walgreens notification comes up when I'm in my bedroom.

I'm pretty sure passbook uses the low power wifi location services that are constantly pinged anyways. Turning it off for passbook will have no effect on battery life. You would need to turn off location services completely to see any measurable improvement in battery life.

Finally! I love Passbook and all, but I live only one mile away from my Starbucks and the banner would always be there. Taunting me, urging me to drink coffee and laughing at me. Location services are now disabled. This one really helped A LOT.

Very useful. I had no idea how to shut up those damn notifications when I drove by my starbucks or Walgreens. Plus I'm a stickler for battery life, and seeing as how I constantly bitch about my battery life, this how to is a god send.

I leave location off on EVERYTHING besides Find my iPhone, period, unless I am actively using it and need location on right then.

Although I didn't notice a huge difference in battery, I definitely did this. Passbook works great and as advertised, but I didn't want to be notified every time I drove by a location. It's a convenience but since I don't use it everyday, I decided to do this.

You can do this by also going into Passbook and going to the card you want to disable by turning off "Show On Lock Screen" toggle off

Am I missing something, when I go to information on my Starbucks passbook card, I don't see an option to enable location based reminders. When I first added the card I remember hitting no on that option. Figured I could enable it again.
Also I flew on a delta flight few weekends ago and used passbook for my boarding pass. I assumed the boarding pass would appear on my lock screen when I got to the airport, or close to departure time. But that never happened. Does that work for anyone else ?
As far as the privacy option mentioned in the article, I did have location enabled for passbook ever since I got my iPhone.