Geolocation wrong (really wrong) in Edge but correct in Chrome

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Occasional Contributor

This is probably a Windows 10 API problem not an Edge issue, but geolocation is wrong - usually really, really wrong - in Edge... while Chrome gets my location dead-on.  On the same computer.  At the same time.

 

Before we get into any 101 fixes - I deal with location tech in my job, and I know W10 well enough to know how to correctly configure my country, and clear my location.  This is a problem that exists on fresh installs of W10 and Edge.

 

I can send some screenshots to engineers who may be lurking.  The distance off is around 500 miles or so.  It is locating me in a place that I've never visited.

 

This has been a problem for years and a few (Google) searches shows that it pops up in the Feedback Hub, the user forums and other places every now and then, with no fix.

 

I really want to use Edge.  But correct geolocation is so fundamental to everything associated with search-based services today, and it gets old getting recommendations to walk down the street to a store that is 500 miles away.

11 Replies

@vovchyk

have u found out an answer why edge and maps are not finding our location correctly and google chrome is?

thanks

ll

I have the same problem, a year later than this post.
I have the latest version of Windows 10 Pro version 20H2 with Edge Version 89.0.774.75 (Official build) (64-bit). I also have the latest version of Google Chrome.
Location settings for google.com is enabled on both browsers.
When I type "my location" in Edge it shows NJ (250 miles away from me) and when I type "my location" in Chrome is shows MA (and my correct precise location). Same issue if I go into Google Maps.
Is Edge looking at my IP address, which may be originating via my ISP in NJ, and Chrome reading my precise location from my laptop?
This is very annoying. Any suggestions?
I did more research into this.
Microsoft Edge determines your location using MAPS, an app within Windows 10.
Go to windows-button and type in "Maps" to open.
MAPS will use your location from your GPS chip on your device but if you have a PC without a GPS chip like me, MAPS will geolocate your location based on your ISP IP address.  In my case, it's using a location that might have once been affiliated with my IP address 250 miles away in NJ.  This is the exact same wrong location (down to the street address) that Microsoft Edge is using. If I do a "whois lookup" for my IP address I see it's currently referencing 3 neighboring towns to my town in MA.  So, I don't know why MAPS cannot properly geolocate my IP address.  In any event, Windows 10 gives you a way to change the "default location" in MAPS:
Click the elipse in the upper right, go to settings, and click "change default location."
This can also be accessed by going into Windows 10 settings/location/privacy/location and click "default location." Both methods above (MAPS and W10 settings) do the same thing which is change your default location.
One would think that would fix this problem but it doesn't.
When I go into MAPS it still uses my wrong geolocation.
Furthermore, when I go into Edge (then Google and type in "my location" in the search bar) is still uses that same erroneous location. I tried disabling MAPS permission to use my location so that the correct entered default location would be the only location associated with my PC. When I go into MAPS it shows no location and when I click the location button it says it can't locate my location.  When I go into Edge it still shows me the old, incorrect NJ location. When I re-enable the ability for MAPS to access my location then upon going into MAPS I go to that same incorrect NJ location.

So, it seems the Windows 10 bugs are twofold:
(1) the MAPS geolocation is not correct (for me off by 250 miles)
(2) when you enter a "default location" in MAPS it does not over-ride the existing geolocation as it should to fix this problem
There is a link to a fix along the lines of above that will explain this in more detail but, like I said, the fix doesn't work as I tried to describe.  But here it is:
https://www.howtogeek.com/264809/how-to-set-your-default-location-for-windows-10-apps/

If anyone knows how to override MAPS "location" with an entered "default location" please let us know.

Otherwise, Microsoft should fix this.
Chrome does not have this problem because they are not using Windows MAPS to determine the geolocation.  In fact, they are not doing a geolocation because when I go into Chrome and within google type in "my location" it shows my exact city not the neighboring towns that my IP address is associated with.  So, Chrome has the intelligence to associate my location with my profile either as part of my Google account or as a cookie in my Chrome browser.  All I know is it works in Chrome but not Edge and that doesn't make Edge look very good.

Although I found no fix to overriding geolocation in Microsoft MAPS, I did find a solution to this problem in GOOGLE.

Go to www.google.com, make sure you have given the site permission to access location in your browser (in Edge go to Settings/Cookies and Site Permissions then click on "All Sites" under "Site Permissions" then click on www.google.com and make sure "location" is set to "allow), also, make sure you are logged-in to your Google account in the browser (in this case Microsoft Edge).

Next, type in "my location" in the Google search bar.

Then scroll down to the FOOTER of the Google page, and click “Update Location” or “Use Precise Location.”

I had to do this a few times to work. This works on all devices. On my iPhone in Safari it works because it uses the GPS chip for precise location. On my Windows 10 laptop which has no GPS chip, when using Chrome there was never a problem (it knew my correct location by itself) but on Edge when I did the steps above and clicked “Use Precise Location” it changed my incorrect geolocation to what Google knows is my “Home.”

Hence, you also need to make sure Google knows your home or work location. To do that, go to Google Maps and enter your current address then set that to “Home” or “Work.”

This is an awkward workaround in Google to the fact that Microsoft Windows 10 is not using the most accurate geolocation. I suspect this is not uncommon so the real problem is that Windows 10 does not allow setting the “default” location in Microsoft MAPS override the Windows 10 geolocation. That would solve the problem.

The most reliable and consistent solution is for Microsoft MAPS default location to override Windows 10 geolocation for browser location purposes.

Windows Version 10.0.19042 Build 19042

Same issue as reported by others in this thread: my location in Maps is being reported as being in Brisbane, QLD, Australia, when I am actually 1000Km (620miles) away in Sydney. The location in Brisbane is where my ISP is located. No workaround has fixed it for me either. I invested in the switchover from Chrome to Edge after being a loyal Chrome user for many years; I'd like to stay, but this is something that just bugs me too much. In addition to getting location-based search results that would be useful if I was in Brisbane but not so much in Sydney, I tend to use maps frequently to plan trips etc, and it's just irritating having to specify my current location whenever I do so.

This is most certainly a design flaw in the way that Windows Maps obtains the current location via IP geolocation. Given that more and more ISPs are starting to use ISP-level NAT, along with other reasons that the IP address location is an unreliable source, this means that there are likely to be millions affected by this, with most of them quietly just switching back to Chrome because they don't know what to do about it.

Microsoft, if you are serious about beating Google, location based services is a fundamental, mandatory thing to get right for a whole lot of reasons. You probably don't know how many users are affected by this poor design decision or how much of your location-based advertising business is being impacted, so at the very least, do some customer research to figure out the scale of the issue. You might find it's having a major impact on your Edge uptake, at a minimum.

@SkipperGreg This is nuts - similar problem which seems to be on Microsoft but location dependent. Bear with me - I noticed my Window time (on auto time-zone) was incorrect. I have travelled up to my parents on the Sunshine Coast in Oz but it was fine when in Brisbane. The auto-time zone was showing Amsterdam, Rome, etc and not Briabsn. So I checked on the location settings and setting the "default" to choose current location and it zoomed the map to a town in Italy. Did the same in Google Maps in MS Edge. But not in Chrome - it went directly to where I am.
So I checked my parents' laptops and exactly the same problem - so it must be the ISP or the wifi router AND how windows/microsoft gathers the location data but NOT Google Chrome. So I tried my mobile hotspot - Same result but the mobile is on the same ISP (Optus).
So, process of elimination, the issue (in my case at least) surely must be a combination of what the ISP is showing to windows.

Two screenshots below, one from Edge thre other from Chrome, same action to select location from the map.

I believe the laptop has a GPS (spectre x360).

Then my Dad told me he noticed this a few weeks ago... what can cause this?

Yes, @Masobaso, if your device has no GPS then Windows 10 and its apps (like MAPS and Edge) use geolocation off of your IP address, which can be terribly wrong as this thread shows. The bug was that when you set a default location in W10/Settings/Privacy/Location -> Default Location button (which updates your default location in MAPS), it doesn't effectively over-ride the IP address geolocation consistently in Edge. As mentioned, I believe Microsoft fixed this in their latest Cumulative Update, July 13, 2021—KB5004237. Google uses the same methods to override IP address geolocation based on your Google Account defined location and that seemed to work and continues to work reliably when you use Chrome.

 

Regarding time zone, I have had no problem and you would think that the internet-based auto-set of time (and zone) in W10 would override any time-zone interpolation from the IP address geolocation. Check to make sure you have selected the right time-zone in W10 Settings/Time & Location/Date & Time/. In this setting you can switch "Set Time Automatically" and it will use synchronize your W10 clock with internet-time. You can click "Sync Now" to force it. For time zone, you can either switch to "Set Time Zone Automatically" ON or turn if OFF and manually pull-down your correct time-zone from the pull down labeled "Time Zone."  For what it's worth, my set-time automatically is ON and set time-zone automatically is OFF.  I have never had a problem with the correct time.

 

Good luck!

@SkipperGreg - I agree with what you say about the IP address usage however, it's the time zone which is the key factor here; it's what drew my attention to the issue in the first place. 

 

Time zone has always been set to auto and when it showed wrongly I started trying to find out why which is how I found that I'm in Italy not Queensland. See the screenshots, as soon as I set it back to Auto it resets to the wrong time.

 

I did also check something else. If I turn wifi off, it seems to not know where I am at all. Thing is, you might think that means there's something wrong witht he laptop (GPS or something) but I see exactly the same behaviour from my mum's newish Lenovo and Dad's old HP Pavilion.

 

Also, observation on default location - my understanding is that is only used as a fallback for when the device cannot find geolocation details (i.e. no GPS, no wifi or internet connection. It doesn't actually have any bearing on location identification. Could be wrong but that's my understanding - you can set it to anywhere in the world but it won't change where the device thinks it really is if it can get hold of any current location data.

I didn't want to create a new post but this is definitely NOT a Windows specific problem but instead an EDGE specific problem.

I'm on a Macbook Air M1 using Edge  Version 92.0.902.73 (Official build) (arm64) and my location is incorrect in google maps and waze live map

If I use Safari my location is dead on. Definite bug in microsoft edge

Both Chrome and Edge use the Windows Location Services endpoint for geolocation through the navigator.geolocator js api.

Edge obeys the Windows Location Privacy settings and Microsoft Store registered app consent store permissions. Chrome, which is not a MS store app, doesn't honor any of that. Just the site permissions.

So for Edge make sure the "Allow apps to access my location" option is on and if you are in an enterprise environment have your guys look up the admin templates for a GPO push.

That being said... The way the js navigator object works is mysterious. Sometimes I have observed the opposite. Chrome failed while Edge worked. Both scenarios with a geowatcher in high accuracy mode.

In other scenarios, with all these settings on just right, Chrome works but both Edge and a Powershell script using a geowatcher instance were BOTH WRONG.

Premiere support still hasnt got an answer for me on that one. Its going to take me a while to get in contact with the product group.
I'm using 93.0.961.38 (Official build) (x86_64) on Intel Mac, Also has this issue.