gps not working, satellites or my phone?


Android Enthusiast
Nov 19, 2009
All of sudden this week, everytime I am using maps, and press the button for my location, it searches and comes back with 'your location is temporarily unavailable' .

this was a bad week for this to happen as I had to drive downtown and was looking for cutoffs from traffic.

thought maybe when i was in my car just couldn't get a lock, but driving back from town before had the top down so clear view of sky, and ran gps status app, and only was getting 2 sats. Need at least 4.

I run the phone with location only on gps, not triangulation from cell towers, i don't like the google note saying they are getting info from me even when i am not using maps if you turn on the cell location.

I have hard reset the phone, no difference. Is there another program to check on my gps , or is the gps chipset bad and i need a new phone? Thanks for any advice.
I've seen this randomly as well. But a hard reboot always clears it up. I think that some other app I have installed grabs ahold of the GPS and doesn't release it to Maps.
It could also be that the constellation of the satellites in their orbits at the time you were driving was bad for your location, it was only able to connect to 2 sats. It does happen occasionally that there just isn't good coverage. Currently 3 sats are unusable, check out GPS Constellation Status Website

GPS Test shows all satellites in orbit that your Droid is seeing and rates them on strength in a colored real time chart - changes second by second - or you could go to a different view and see their sky orientation relative to you... and it can do a whole lot more then that. and it is free :)
I was having this problem and it resolved once I got rid of my task killer and rebooted. I'd recommend giving it a shot if you have a task killer installed.
downloaded gps test, which is similar to gps status, shows gps sats and their relative strength.

also removed wavesecure.

went outside, was only seeing 2 sats, then after a few minutes, got a lock on many.

was under the impression that w agps it uses the phone to remember where you are and what locks it had so if you are within the same vicinity, once you use the gps, it gets a lock very quickly, which isn't happening right now.

I know that when I travel via plane and get off in new timezone etc. it takes a while to get a lock, in fact i find that restarting phone from airplane mode works much better for gps.

However, when in boston area, my phone used to get gps lock and never told me 'location is temporarily unavailable'.