How to Calibrate Compass on Smartphone (Magnetic sensor)

Calibrate Compass smartphone

A magnetic sensor is mainly used to serve the purpose of a compass functionality in a Smartphone. Usually, it functions well, but on certain occasions, it can behave abruptly. Then, it becomes necessary to Calibrate Compass on a Smartphone. Below you can find ways to calibrate the compass or the magnetic sensor of your Smartphone if it does not function as intended.

Tips to Calibrate Compass on Smartphone (Magnetic sensor)

Almost all the Smartphones these days come with magnetic sensors (including iPhones and Android Phones), for a device to be compatible with Android, its implementations MUST meet  ‘Android Compatibility Definition’ requirements. ‘Magnetometer’ can be seen listed as the sensor requirements under the compatibility definition.

  • Calibrate Compass with GPS Essentials App
  • Calibrate Compass with Google Maps
  • Calibrate Compass on Samsung Phone
  • Calibrate Compass on iPhone

1] Calibrate Compass with GPS Essentials App

A simple solution to this problem is to download the GPS Essentials app. The app supports a compass function that has a calibration setting. Follow the instructions like rotating the device/tilting along the three-axis (X, Y, Z) to calibrate the compass on the smartphone. When it turns green, it indicates the magnetic sensor of your device has been calibrated successfully.

2] Calibrate Compass with Google Maps

Calibrating your Smartphone’s compass with Google Maps is somewhat easy. Open it and tap the blue dot, which indicates your location. The map will instantly prompt that something is wrong with the sensor.

Calibrate Compass with Google Maps

Next, repeatedly wave the smartphone around in a figure-of-eight motion until your direction narrows down. That’s it! You have a new calibrated compass. The blue dot should now be facing the right direction.

3] Calibrate Compass on Samsung Phone

If you are using a Samsung device like Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S9, use the following service routine.

  • Go to the Diagnostic Menu by issuing the code *#0*#. It’s a secret service menu.
  • Locate the ‘Sensor’ tile.
  • Select it to see all the sensors on your phone in real-time.
  • The compass is visible as a circle at the bottom. It will have a line through it pointing to the north.
  • Looking at this, you can figure out if the magnetic sensor is working correctly or not.

The value of 3 indicates it is calibrated and the value of 1 indicates, it’s not! To calibrate it, shake your device until it starts displaying the value of 3.

Calibrate Compass on Samsung Devices

4] Calibrate Compass on iPhone

First, you need to check if the Compass Calibration service has been enabled or not. If not, enable the service and do the following,

  • Click on the Settings icon > Privacy section > Location Services > System Services.
  • Turn Compass Calibration ON.
  • Open the built-in Maps App.
  • Follow the on-screen prompts to get an accurate location reading.
  • Continue to press the lower left side arrow until it starts pointing in the upper direction.
  • If your compass is not calibrated, a Calibration Circle screen will pop-up.
  • Choose to calibrate the compass by filling out that circle with figure 8 movements in the air.
  • Post this; you will notice a blue line of sight visible in the Maps application and pointing to the correct direction.

These tips should help you to Calibrate Compass. If it works, well and good, else visit the service centre. You might have a faulty sensor.

About the author

Hemant Saxena

The author Hemant Saxena is a post-graduate in bio-technology and has an immense interest in following technology developments. Quite by nature, he is an avid Lacrosse player.