Look, you know we’re all walking around with tiny supercomputers in our pockets that are basically tracking our every move. And you know all that information is out there… somewhere, in case you get caught in a landslide or commit murder or whatever.
But still. It is kind of creepy for everyone to know exactly where you are, especially Tinder matches you haven’t even met. This is an approximation of the train of thought that leads, inevitably, to the question: Does Tinder show users’ exact locations? Does Tinder show your exact location?
No, Tinder doesn’t show your exact location. Tinder shows distance and, if you’ve added it, the city you live in. It does not show your exact location in Discover or to your matches.
Your physical location is never revealed to your matches – that would lead to all sorts of trouble.
But you would be forgiven for thinking they do though, or that they might do soon, as there was a flurry of articles a couple of years ago about a CREEPY NEW UPDATE for Tinder that would pinpoint all users’ exact whereabouts.
This was actually Tinder Places, which was a short-lived feature that showed your matches on a map. These days, you definitely can’t work out exactly where your Tinder matches are, and they can’t work out where you are either! At least not from Tinder.
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Does Tinder Know Your Exact Location?
Of course, everything we see when we look at Tinder has been carefully selected, packaged, and in some cases designed by user experience professionals. On the back end, Tinder knows way more about the location of all users than they would ever let on.
So does Tinder know your exact location? Yes. You have to enable location permissions to use Tinder. This gives Tinder your exact location.
Tinder uses the exact coordinates of its users to calculate the distance between them, which must logically mean that someone (or at least an algorithm) knows those coordinates.
There’s nothing to worry about security-wise though, or at least there isn’t anymore, as after a couple of notable security breaches in the early days of the app, Tinder has Fort Knoxified their user location data.
The app does something very complicated with geometry and grids and pins and stuff to hide where Tinder users are located from even the most determined of hackers!
How to Hide Location Tinder
It’s actually really hard, verging on impossible, to hide your location on Tinder. The Tinder app won’t work if you turn off GPS in location permissions.
However, you can fool Tinder by faking the GPS location on your phone.
So if you really want to go all James Bond or whatever, you can change your location to the South Pole, but if you do that you won’t be getting many matches. Maybe a thirsty penguin or two? Or an Antarctic explorer who’s getting frostbite while swiping?
If you have Tinder Plus or Tinder Gold, though, you can use Tinder Passport to add an additional location you want to see matches from (say, the city you’re visiting at the weekend).
But you cannot hide your location from your potential matches and they’ll be able to see how far you are from them. Maybe with Tinder Vault, you’ll be able to lock your location away.
And if you’re seriously worried about what people see on Tinder, make sure your Tinder pictures are taken in a wide range of places. They should be anyway, as diverse backgrounds make for the best Tinder profile pictures.
And, of course, Tinder still knows where you are, so if that’s your issue then I’m afraid you might need to scrap the location-based dating apps! I have a guide to other dating apps, too, in case you’re looking for something to replace good ol’ Tinder.
If you’re interested in Tinder Plus or Gold and their Passport feature, check out my article on whether or not paying for Tinder is worth it. I cover what you get for your money, and what to consider before taking the plunge.
Does Tinder Update Your Location Automatically?
You might have noticed that when you travel, Tinder seems to know everywhere you’ve been. In fact, if you’ve been road-tripping you sometimes end up with matches from everywhere you stopped at a light, and if you were flying and you switched planes at a hub airport like Miami or Dallas then god help your Tinder feed.
So does Tinder update your location automatically? Yes. Tinder automatically updates your location based on a number of info points delivered to the app by your phone.
If you swipe as you travel, you’ll have matches thousands of miles away popping up for days, as people who were less than a mile away from you for a couple of hours in the airport travel to their end destination and you travel to yours – and your chance for an airport hookup is gone!
Does Tinder Location Update Without Opening The App?
If you’re the international playboy sort, then having matches all over the world might suit you. But for most people it’s an inconvenience, so you may be wondering when does Tinder update your current location?
Does the Tinder location update without opening the app? No. Tinder won’t update the location while the app is closed. Tinder only updates your location as long as the app is running. If you don’t have the app open, your location won’t update.
That isn’t limited to you using the app though – if Tinder is running in the background then your location changes all the time.
I don’t know about you, but I definitely don’t shut all my apps down totally after I use them. In fact, I only swipe them all closed when my phone is freaking out and I’m like ‘ugh, this phone is such a piece of crap’ and then I look at what I have open and it’s fifty apps all trying to use loads of processing power.
And my phone is not a piece of crap at all, I’m just terrible at looking after it. Anyway, what I’m saying is if you don’t want to have your location updating all the time, close Tinder properly! That’s the moral of the story.
Keeping Tinder closed while you travel isn’t a bad idea. Don’t be swiping away your holiday – and don’t leave your matches back home thinking “his tinder location keeps changing”.
Tinder will never reveal your location to your matches – but hopefully, you will, when the time is right.
Yep, every great Tinder conversation should be leading toward a real-life date. But you’ll have to get those matches first.
So why not level up your Tinder profile? My 6-Step Tinder Tune-Up is on-hand to help you out for the perfect bio, optimized Tinder pictures and will help you create an overall vibe that attracts the matches YOU want.