How to Calibrate the Compass on Your iPhone: A Step-by-Step Guide


Michael Collins

Calibrating the compass on your iPhone can enhance location accuracy and provide better navigation results. It’s a simple task that requires you to move your device in a certain way so that the iPhone can re-adjust its internal compass. It’s like helping your iPhone get its bearings in the world. After this quick process, you’ll have a compass that points true north and maps that know exactly where you’re headed.

Step by Step Tutorial to Calibrate the Compass on Your iPhone

Before we dive into the steps, let’s talk about why you might need to calibrate your iPhone’s compass. If you’ve noticed that your maps are off or the compass doesn’t seem to point in the right direction, a quick calibration can fix that right up. It’s also a good idea to calibrate if you’ve traveled a long distance or after an iOS update.

Step 1: Open the Compass App

Open the Compass app on your iPhone.

The Compass app is pre-installed on all iPhones, so you don’t need to download anything new. You can find it by swiping down on your home screen and typing "Compass" in the search bar.

Step 2: Follow the On-Screen Instructions

Follow the on-screen instructions to move your phone in a specific motion.

The app will prompt you to tilt your iPhone to roll the red ball around the on-screen circle. It’s like playing a game where you have to get the ball to move around the entire circle.

Step 3: Complete the Calibration

Continue moving your phone until the calibration screen disappears.

You’ll know you’re done when the app stops asking you to move your phone. It might take a few turns, so be patient and keep at it until the app says you’re all set.

After completing these steps, your iPhone’s compass will be calibrated. This means your navigation apps will be more accurate, and your compass will be more reliable. It’s a small task that can make a big difference when you’re trying to find your way.

Tips for Calibrating the Compass on Your iPhone

  • Always calibrate your compass in an open space away from any magnetic or electronic interference.
  • Remove any cases or accessories that might have magnets in them before you start the calibration process.
  • If the calibration fails the first time, don’t worry! Just try again, making sure to follow the on-screen instructions precisely.
  • Calibrate your compass regularly, especially if you travel frequently or after updating your iOS.
  • If you’re still having trouble, try restarting your iPhone and then attempt to calibrate the compass again.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need to calibrate my iPhone’s compass?

Calibrating your iPhone’s compass helps improve location accuracy and the performance of navigation apps.

Can I use my iPhone while the compass is calibrating?

It’s best to focus on the calibration process to ensure it’s done correctly. Save other tasks for after the calibration is complete.

How often should I calibrate my iPhone’s compass?

Calibrate your compass whenever you notice issues with location accuracy, after traveling long distances, or after an iOS update.

What should I do if my compass still isn’t accurate after calibration?

Try restarting your iPhone and calibrating the compass again. If the issue persists, there might be a hardware problem, and you should contact Apple support.

Does calibrating the compass use a lot of battery?

No, the process is quick and shouldn’t significantly impact your battery life.


  1. Open the Compass app on your iPhone.
  2. Follow the on-screen instructions to move your phone.
  3. Complete the calibration by continuing the motion until the screen changes.


Navigating the world with a well-calibrated iPhone compass can make all the difference in your travels, whether you’re exploring a new city or hiking a trail. Not only does it provide you with the correct direction, but it also ensures that your location-based apps function optimally. Remember, technology is here to assist us, and by taking a moment to calibrate the compass on your iPhone, you’re setting yourself up for a smoother, more accurate experience. So, the next time you’re waiting for a friend or have a spare moment, why not give your compass a quick tune-up? Your future self, undoubtedly standing confidently at a crossroads, will thank you.