Exploration Guides

We're all explorers. You just need the right guide.

Help: My compass is broken!

This app, and most other apps which use a compass, use a built-in, internal sensor in the device to determine direction. Sometimes this sensor just doesn’t work. This is one of the more common problems on mobile devices.

Stuck Compass: Either the compass doesn’t move at all, or it only moves a little, instead of all the way around. There are two common reasons for this to happen:

First, if you’re around a strong magnetic field, sometimes found near power lines, or large, metallic objects, it could be blocking the Earth’s magnetic field. This might make the compass think you’re facing north when you’re really facing south. To fix this problem, just move away from it.

The second, and less common problem is that the sensor itself sometimes actually gets stuck. Various suggestions have been made for unsticking it, but they generally include rolling the device over repeatedly in your hands while turning it, so it points in every direction, gently shaking it, or turning it upside down and gently tapping it.

Compass pointing the wrong way: If the compass turns all the way around, but it just insists on pointing in the wrong direction (pointing east when you look north, pointing north when you look west, etc), it needs to be recalibrated. The easiest way to do this is usually to just reboot the device. Just turn it off, then turn it back on once it’s shut down. That should fix it.

If all else fails: If none of these things work, you may need to get the actual hardware repaired, but don’t worry, the GPS and everything else should still work fine, the compass arrow will just be pointing the wrong direction.

No comments yet.

Leave a Comment