A global positioning system (GPS) chip inside a cell phone is used to track and trace the phone's location and is particularly helpful when a phone is lost or stolen. GPS chips also allow the use of GPS software on a phone, such as satellite navigation that can pinpoint your exact location and provide directions to a destination. However, many people are wary of GPS chips making them traceable through their mobile phone. Fortunately for them, GPS chips can be removed --- without damaging a cell phone if done properly.
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Things you need
- White paper
Disable your GPS software. Most cell phones (particularly smart phones) rely on the GPS chip for certain programs or applications to function properly. You can typically disable your GPS through the Settings or Options menus of your phone, but the method varies for each phone model. If you are not sure how to disable your GPS, consult your manufacturer or owner's manual.
Switch off your cell phone. Take off the back panel of your phone and remove the battery. Take a quick look in the back panel of your phone for a small GPS chip (some are as small as 2 square millimetres). You probably won't see the GPS chip here, but if you do, you may not have to further dismantle the cell phone. If you find the GPS chip at this stage, move to Step 4.
Dismantle your cell phone. Most cell phones have screws in their top and bottom corners. Remove these screws with a microscrewdriver and place the screws on a white paper so they are visible and won't be lost.
Locate the GPS chip. Do not remove a chip until you are certain it is the correct part to remove. The GPS chip is small and marked with the model or company name. Look for the smallest chip and jot down the information marked.
Use your phone manufacturer's website or the site of the manufacturer on your chip to ensure you have the GPS component. Your cell phone owner's manual may also provide a diagram of components, including the GPS chip. Several websites also detail the manufacturers and serial numbers of GPS chips (see Resources).
Pry the chip out carefully using your microscrewdriver. Pry each corner gently until the chip is loose enough to pull away. Do not force the chip out, as you may damage your cell phone.
Reassemble your cell phone. Screw the back panel to the cell phone and replace the battery.
Tips and warnings
- Make good use of technological websites which may have information on your cell phone model, including electronic information on certain components and chips.
- Dismantling your phone may void the warranty.
- Take care when removing anything from a cell phone. If you are unsure which chip to remove or how to dismantle your phone correctly, take it to a professional.
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