Google Smart Lock Isn’t Working! Troubleshooting Ideas


Androids are great because they provide you with a wealth of options – including many ways to secure it. You can use passwords, patterns, fingerprints, and on some models, face detection. These options are great but it’s still annoying to keep unlocking it every time you receive a notification and want to check it,
Security is important. It decreases the chance of someone tampering with your phone, causing you to seek cell phone repair. However, when you are at home and nobody is around, you really don’t need to have your device locked. Here’s where Smart Lock comes into play. It keeps your device unlocked based on your location.
There are other Smart Lock options, like keeping your device unlocked while it is on your person, but technically anyone who picks up your phone could unlock your device. You can unlock your phone based on a Bluetooth connection, but many of us like to keep Bluetooth enabled only when we really need to use it.
Smart Lock is great when it works, but many Android users complain that they are having issues setting up Smart Lock – and the problem is frustrating to say the least. Here are some troubleshooting tips you can use to get Smart Lock working again.

  • Choose Your Location With More Accuracy

Google Maps can pick up your location pretty well, but you must choose your location on the map in the Smart Lock configuration screen instead of typing your address.

To get to the Smart Lock configuration screen head to Security > Smart Lock.

Here is where things become confusing. Google will ask you to enter your home address but it doesn’t work. You’re going to need to tap on the map and drag the pin over your house and drop it there to make it work.

You can’t move the pin, so you will need to move the map around with your fingers to adjust the pins location. You’re going to want to zoom in as much as possible to get the most accurate reading.

Sometimes, the trusted places map will fail to automatically detect your current location even after you type the address. Drop the pin manually, and the issue may be resolved. Click Update when you are finished up and see if Smart Lock works now.

  • Make Sure Location Accuracy Mode is Set to High

Go to Settings > Location > Mode. Set location to high accuracy so your phone can use wi-fi with mobile networks and Bluetoothe to determine your location with more precision. If this doesn’t work, try turning on Bluetooth so it can assist you in finding your trusted location with more accuracy.

  • Make Sure that Google Maps is Working

Smart Lock depend on Google Maps to determine your location to help keep it unlocked. Open Google Maps to see if it’s working by clicking the GPS icon located on the lower right of the screen. Is it showing your location correctly? If not, clear Google location history.

To do this go to Settings > Location > Google Location History

Look for the Manage Timeline setting at the bottom of the screen. This will open Google Maps. Open this and choose Settings. Select Delete All Location History. Confirm. Head back to trusted places under Smart Lock and check to see if it is working.

  • Update Your Location

Maybe your Android hasn’t recently updated its location status. Trusted places needs a recent location report before it unlocks your phone. Open Google Maps, tap the compass icon located in the bottom-right corner. When the screen zooms over your location, you’ll have an updated location report.

  • Remove Superfluous Google Accounts on Your Phone

Trusted places may stop working if it is pulling data from a Google account that isn’t your primary one.

Smart Lock does not allow you to decide which account to use, so if you’re signed in with multiple Google accounts on the same phone, it could be pulling location data from the wrong account.

So, remove any additional Google accounts from your phone by going to Settings > Accounts and select any non-primary Google account. Select “remove account” on the next screen, then confirm your choice. Repeat for any non-primary Google account.

  • Disable Other Devices Using Google Location Reporting

If you’ve got more than one Android device, or if you have recently switched phones, location data from the other device may be interfering with Smart Lock’s trusted places.

Go to Settings > Google > Location > Location History and make sure only your current device is enabled.

  • Ensure that Google Play Services Isn’t Battery Optimized

Go to Settings > Battery Optimization and select the top result. Look through the list of Google Play Services. If it isn’t listed, tap the drop-down menu, select “All Apps” then find Play Services and set it to “Not Optimized.”

  • Ensure Google Play Services Has Location Permission

All of the Smart Lock features are built upon the system app Google Play services, which needs to see your device’s location for Smart Lock to work.

Go to Settings > Apps > All Apps > Google Play Services > Permissions and ensure that the location toggle is on.

  • Be Sure that Play Services is Allowed to Modify System Settings

Play Services is able to unlock your device by using a permission called “Modify System Settings.” Go to Settings > Modify System Settings and choose the top result. Select Google Play Services and ensure the toggle is turned on on the following screen.

  • Clear Google Play Services Data

Head to Settings > Security > Smart Lock then scroll through each item on the menu and disable all Smart Lock features, including your trusted places.

Head to Settings > Apps. Select “All Apps” from the drop-down menu, then scroll through to find Google Play Services. Select it, then choose “Storage.” Next, choose “Clear Storage” and confirm your choice. Now, restart your phone. Enable your Smart Lock features and see if they are working.

  • Delete the Trusted Place and Add it Again

Go to Settings > Security > Smart Lock > Trusted Places and choose the address you’re having trouble with. Select Edit then tap the trash icon to remove the address. Confirm.

Now, restart your phone. When it is back on, go to the trusted places menu and tap “Home” and enter the address again.

Smart Lock is a great feature that can make your life easier. Just note that it recognizes the place only and not the person who is unlocking the phone. Be careful when you are in your trusted place and have untrustworthy people around.


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