GPS Not Calibrated Alert? Here’s Your Comprehensive Fix

If your “gps not calibrated” warning is flashing, you’re not alone. This message can be quite common among GPS device users, and it signals that your device may not be providing the most accurate location data. However, there’s no need to panic. This guide will walk you through understanding and rectifying the issue, ensuring you can rely on your GPS device once more.

gps not calibrated

Understanding the ‘GPS Not Calibrated’ Issue

Calibration is a fundamental aspect of any GPS device. In its essence, a GPS – which stands for Global Positioning System – works by connecting to several satellites simultaneously.

The device then triangulates its position based on the data received from these satellites. A calibrated system will do this efficiently, providing accurate location readings.

The ‘GPS not calibrated’ message signifies a discrepancy in this triangulation process.

Such discrepancies can arise due to various factors, from simple software glitches to external obstructions like tall buildings or natural formations blocking the satellite signal. Knowing this is the first step to remedying the situation.

Steps to Recalibrate Your GPS

1. Ensure Clear Sky Visibility

As previously mentioned, GPS devices operate by connecting to satellites in space. For this reason, any obstructions between the device and the sky can disrupt the signal, leading to calibration issues.

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If you’re in a densely populated urban area, surrounded by tall buildings, or even in a forest with thick tree coverage, your GPS might struggle to connect to the necessary satellites.

It’s always recommended to move to an open area, free from significant obstructions, to give your GPS the best chance at receiving a clear signal. Once in a more open location, wait a few minutes and see if the device recalibrates itself. In many cases, this simple step can resolve the issue.

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2. Check Your Device’s Software

Software plays an integral role in the operation of your GPS. Outdated or corrupt software can easily lead to calibration errors. To combat this, ensure your device’s software is up-to-date.

Most modern devices will notify you of available updates, but it’s a good practice to manually check from time to time. You can usually find software updates on the manufacturer’s official website, such as this support page for Garmin devices.

3. Restart Your Device

Like any electronic device, your GPS isn’t immune to occasional hiccups. Sometimes, the easiest solution is a simple restart.

By doing so, you’ll refresh the device’s internal systems, potentially clearing out any temporary glitches causing the calibration issue. Turn off the device, wait a few moments, then turn it back on. After a restart, check to see if the calibration error persists.

4. Use Calibration Tools

Many GPS devices and smartphone apps come with built-in calibration tools designed to rectify any calibration issues.

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Accessing these tools is often straightforward, and you typically need to follow the on-screen instructions. For instance, iPhones have a compass app that, when used, can help recalibrate the phone’s GPS.

5. Seek Professional Assistance

If you’ve tried all the above steps and still face issues, it might be time to consult with a professional.

Consider reaching out to the device manufacturer’s customer service or visit a professional technician who specializes in GPS devices. They’ll have the expertise and tools to diagnose and rectify the problem.

Additional Tips for Ensuring Accurate GPS Calibration

1. Regularly Clear Cache and Temporary Data

Over time, your GPS device or app can accumulate temporary data and cache, which might hinder its performance. By periodically clearing this data, you can ensure smoother operation and better calibration.

For smartphone users, this can be done through the settings menu under storage or application management. However, be careful not to delete essential data or apps inadvertently.

2. Avoid Using Multiple GPS Apps Simultaneously

Using multiple GPS applications at the same time can sometimes lead to conflicts and inaccurate readings.

If you’re running more than one navigation or location-based service, it’s advisable to close the ones you aren’t using to avoid potential interference.

3. Ensure Battery Optimization Isn’t Affecting GPS

Many modern smartphones have battery optimization features that can limit the performance of certain apps to save power.

While useful for prolonging battery life, this can sometimes hinder the performance of GPS apps. Check your phone’s settings to see if any power-saving modes are active and consider disabling them for your GPS app.

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4. Periodically Test Your GPS’s Accuracy

It’s a good practice to test your GPS’s accuracy from time to time. You can do this by comparing its readings to a known location or another reliable GPS device.

There are also specific apps and tools available, such as GPS Test, that can help you assess the accuracy and performance of your GPS.


Dealing with a “gps not calibrated” issue can be frustrating, especially if you heavily rely on your device for navigation. However, with a bit of patience and by following the steps above, you can ensure your GPS offers precise and reliable location readings once more.

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