Windows 10 can find your device’s location in a variety of ways, often by examining nearby Wi-Fi networks. But this doesn’t always work well, especially on desktop PCs. That’s why Windows 10 offers a way to set a “default location” that is reported to apps if it can’t get a solid read on your location.

This default location will be sent to any application that uses the Windows location services, including Maps, Cortana, Weather, and Microsoft Edge.

For whatever reason, this option is not available in the main Settings app. Instead, Microsoft has hidden it in the Maps app. But don’t worry: Despite the location of this setting, it doesn’t just apply to the Maps app. It applies to every application that uses Windows 10’s location services.

To access the option, open the “Maps” app from your Start menu. Click or tap the “…” button at the top-right corner of the window and select “Settings”.

Scroll down and click the “Change Default Location” button under Default Location.

You’ll be taken to the map with a “Default Location” box visible. Click the “Set Default Location” button.

To set a default location, you can either type a street address into the box or click “Set Location” and select a specific position on the map.

If you’re using a stationary desktop PC, the choice is clear–use the address the computer is located at. If you’re using a laptop or tablet that moves between locations, you’ll probably want to choose the address you most frequently use the device at.

To change or clear the default location you set in the future, open the Maps app again, open the menu, select “Settings”, and click “Change Default Location” again. From the window that pops up, you can click “Change” to change the default location or “Clear” to unset your default location.

While various apps will use this default location if they can’t get a read on your location, you can always set different locations in individual apps. For example, you can set any city of your choice in the Weather app to receive weather for that location. But this option helps individual apps know where you are if Windows can’t detect your location on its own.

Chris Hoffman Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor in Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for nearly a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6 and Chicago's WGN-TV, and his work has been covered by news outlets like The New York Times and the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than 500 million times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
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