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I'm not quite sure why this is happening. Whenever I CtrlA and apply the location, it just resets. animated gif showing the object going back to the orign

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  • $\begingroup$ do you have any constraints, parents, drivers, or anything else acting upon the location of that object? $\endgroup$ – David Nov 5 '16 at 0:43
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This is centainly not normal.

I would suggest:

  1. Move the object to where you want it
  2. Go into Edit Mode
  3. Select everything
  4. Press shift+ s
  5. Click Cursor to Selected
  6. Get out of Edit mode
  7. Apply Location
  8. Go into Edit Mode again
  9. Select everything again
  10. Press shift+ s
  11. Press Selection to Cursor

Make sure to not move the cursor after Step 5

OR:

  1. Shift+ s
  2. Cursor to Center
  3. Shift+ Crtl+ Alt+ c
  4. Origin to 3D Cursor
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Well, that's the way Apply Location works (slightly different from Apply Rotation & Scale) - it sets the object location to 0,0,0 - moves it to center.

If you still want the object to stay at the current position and have zero location, you need to set the cursor to center using Shift-C and the use the Set origin to 3D Cursor option in the Toolbar.

However, there is very few situations, when you would want to Apply Location.

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