Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

<p>Thanks for signing up! :)</p>

read more.mapouter{overflow:hidden;height:500px;width:600px;}.gmap_canvas {background:none!important;height:500px;width:600px;}
Home / Mobile Phones / How to Track and Locate Your iPhone Using Location Services

How to Track and Locate Your iPhone Using Location Services

Posted on

Your smartphone’s ability to pinpoint your exact location goes way beyond simple navigation. GPS is used for web searches to deliver relevant local results, in dating apps to find you a nearby date, and as a safety net when you lose your device.

Knowing how to customize your location settings is important, since location tracking presents a real privacy risk. Today we’ll look at how you can manage those settings, as well as sharing your location and finding your friends.

How to Turn On/Off Location Services on iPhone

To turn on Location Services on your iPhone:

  1. Launch Settings, scroll down the list, and tap Privacy.
  2. Tap Location Services and make sure the toggle is set to On.

Every app that has requested access to your location will appear below this option. It’s here you can easily revoke access, or grant access to an app you have previously denied. It’s a good idea to periodically check this list, since many apps can check on your location in the background.

track iphone location - Apps Using Location Services on iOS

While GPS used to consume a large chunk of battery power, location technology is way more efficient than it once was. Motion co-processors reduce the reliance on a “GPS fix” by reducing the number of satellite requests your device has to make.

It’s also required to use most mapping apps, exercise trackers, food delivery services, and ride sharing apps. There’s no need to disable Location Services on your iPhone anymore.

How to Send Your Location Using Your iPhone

To share your location using Messages:

  1. Launch Messages and find the contact you would like to share your location with (you may need to create a new chat).
  2. Tap the Info button in the top-right corner of the screen.
  3. Tap Send My Current Location to instantly acquire and share an Apple Maps link.

track iphone location - Send iPhone Location via Messages

To share your location using Apple Maps:

  1. Step 1: Open Apple Maps.

    Step 2: Tap the blue dot that indicates your device’s location.

    Step 3: Tap the blue Share My Location button.

    Step 4: Choose the app you want to use to send your location.

track iphone location - Share Location from Apple Maps

To share your location using Google Maps:

Step 1: Open Google Maps.

Step 2: Tap the blue dot that indicates your device’s location, or tap the hamburger menu (hamburger menu) in the upper-left corner and select Share Location.

Step 3: Select Share your location.

Step 4: Choose the app you want to use to send your location.

track iphone location - Share Location from Google Maps

Note: Google Maps creates a real-time sharing link which others can use to track your location, rather than a link to a static location.

How to Permanently Share Your Location on iPhone

To share your location permanently from an iPhone, you’re best off using Apple’s own Find My Friends service. This service only works within the Apple ecosystem, so your friends will need iPhones too.

You can also share with non-Apple devices using Google Maps, but it won’t be as reliable.

To permanently share your location using iMessage:

  1. Launch Messages and find the contact you want to share your location with (you may need to start a new chat).
  2. Tap the Info button in the top-right corner of the screen.
  3. Tap Share My Location then choose between One HourEnd of Day, or Indefinitely.

track iphone location - Share iPhone Location Indefinitely

To permanently share your location using Find My Friends:

  1. Download and launch Find My Friends.
  2. Tap Add in the top-right corner.
  3. Specify a contact with whom you want to share your location (they will need to approve the invitation with their Apple ID).

track iphone location - Share Location with Find my Friends

To permanently share your location using Google Maps:

  1. Download and launch Google Maps for iPhone.
  2. Let the app determine your location then tap the blue location pin.
  3. Choose Share My Location then choose Until you turn this off.
  4. Tap Select People and specify who you want to share your location with.

Note: Find My Friends is a feature integrated into your iPhone’s operating system, so it functions as a service rather than a third-party app. Google Maps, on the other hand, is restricted to Apple’s approved background processes like any regular app.

As a result, Google Maps likely won’t be as reliable as Apple’s baked-in technology.

How to Check Who Can See Your iPhone Location

To see who can detect your device location using Find My Friends and iMessage:

  1. Launch Settings, scroll down, and tap Privacy.
  2. Select Location Services followed by Share My Location.
  3. Browse the list to see who can track your location.
  4. Tap on a contact, scroll to the bottom of the page, and select Stop Sharing My Location where necessary.

track iphone location - Location Sharing Recipients

If you have set up location sharing in Google Maps, you’ll need to disable it within the app:

  1. Launch Google Maps and tap on the blue location pin.
  2. Select Share My Location then Until you turn this off.
  3. Tap Select People and revoke access to your location as you see fit.

How to Locate Your Own iPhone

If your iPhone is missing, you can locate it provided Find My iPhone is turned on. This feature is automatically enabled when you activate your iPhone, so unless you’ve specifically turned it off you should be able to locate your device:

1. Login to iCloud & start “Find My iPhone”

Head over to icloud.com and log in using your Apple ID credentials.

In case you land on iCloud’s two-step authentication screen, which prompts you to insert a code which was sent to your apple devices, you don’t have to necessarily enter that code.

What you can do instead is to click on the the Find My iPhone quick access link on the bottom. This should direct you right into Find My iPhone’s map interface.

If you weren’t shown the two-step authentication, then you should see your iCloud dashboard after signing in. Click on the Find My iPhone icon, which the first one in the second row. Now you should see the Find My iPhone interface, including a map.

2. Choose your lost iPhone, AirPods, Mac or iPad

  1. Click on the “All Devices” drop-down menu on the top bar and select your missing device.
  2. The tracking of your device will now start.
  3. If successful, you should be able to see its location on the map.
  4. Now you have the option to trigger an acoustic signal, activate ‘Lost Mode’ or erase all data.

Depending on several factors, this can take a while. Also, use the erase option as a last resort, since Find My iPhone won’t work anymore on your device afterwards.

 

Find My iPhone lets you play a sound to try and locate your device, enable Lost Mode, or initiate a remote erase. You can also see your current battery level. When your battery dies, Find My iPhone will report the last known location.

 

track iphone location - Find My iPhone

If you have another iOS device like an iPad, you can locate all of your Apple devices with the Find My iPhone app.

How to See Someone Else’s iPhone Location

Provided your friends have already invited you to track their location, use any of the following methods to find them:

  • Download and launch the Find My Friends app. Anyone currently sharing their location (and any invitations) will show here. Simply tap on them to see their current location on a map.
  • Open the relevant Messages chat and tap on the Info button in the top-right corner. Your contact’s location will appear on a map.
  • Login with your Apple ID at iCloud.com and click on Find My Friends.

track iphone location - Track People with Find My Friends

How to Set Up iPhone Location Notifications

If you’re using iPhone 4 or later or iPad 3rd generation or later with iOS 6 or later, you can notify friends when your location changes. You can choose to notify whenever you leave from or arrive at a location, or send your current location. You can also get location notifications when your friend’s location changes provided they are already sharing their location with you.

  1. For the most accurate notifications, turn on Wi-Fi in Settings.

    Set a notification for multiple friends

    1. Tap Me.
    2. Tap Notify Friends.
    3. Tap in the To field, then enter a contact’s name or an email address. Tap Return after each.
    4. Tap Right Now, When I Leave, or When I Arrive.

      If you tap When I Leave or When I Arrive, you can change the location and turn on Repeat Every Time (the notification is sent every time you leave or arrive).

    5. To change the location, tap Other, then do any of the following:
      • Tap in the search field, then search for or choose a location.

        For example, search for a coffee shop or choose a suggested location.

      • Touch and hold the map until a drop pin  appears.
      • Drag any pin  to a new location.
      • To increase or decrease the location radius, drag the dot on the circle surrounding the location.

        With a larger radius, you’re notified when friends are close to the location instead of right at the location.

      • If you see the Refresh button , tap it to refresh the location options on the map.
        A drop pin showing the location radius.
    6. Tap Done.

    If you set a notification for when you leave or arrive, “Notify Friends” is highlighted in the Me pane to indicate that a location-based notification is set.

    If you’re not receiving notifications, see Notification issues.

    Set a notification for a specific friend

    1. Tap the friend you want to notify, then tap More.

      If you have a device that supports 3D Touch, you can press the name of the friend you want to notify, then press a little deeper to see more options.

    2. Tap Notify [name].
    3. Tap Right Now, When I Leave, or When I Arrive.

      If you tap When I Leave or When I Arrive, you can change the location and turn on Repeat Every Time (the notification is sent every time you leave or arrive).

    4. To change the location, tap Other, then do any of the following:
      • Tap in the search field, then search for or choose a location.

        For example, search for a coffee shop or choose a suggested location.

      • Touch and hold the map until a drop pin  appears.
      • Drag any pin  to a new location.
      • To increase or decrease the location radius, drag the dot on the circle surrounding the location.

        With a larger radius, you’re notified when the friend is close to the location instead of right at the location.

      • If you see the Refresh button , tap it to refresh the location options on the map.
        A drop pin showing the location radius.
    5. Tap Done.

    If you set a notification for when you leave or arrive, “Notify Friends” is highlighted in the Me pane to indicate that a location-based notification is set.

    If you’re not receiving notifications, see Notification issues.

    See which friends are receiving location notifications

    1. Tap Me.
    2. Tap Notify Friends.
      • Any notifications you set are listed below Add Notification.
      • Any notifications friends set for your location appear below From My Friends.
    3. To see when a friend is notified of your location, tap the friend’s name.

    Change or remove notifications you set for your location

    1. Tap Me.
    2. Tap Notify Friends.
    3. Tap the name of the person you no longer want notified.
    4. Change any of the settings, or tap Remove.

track iphone location - Location Notifications on iPhone

Location Sharing Is Caring

The perks of using your iPhone’s GPS abilities to share your location with friends and family vastly outweighs the battery life you’d save by turning off Location Services. Just be mindful of which apps and contacts you grant access to your location, and review the list periodically to avoid any nasty surprises.

 

Sources:
Make Use Of
Digital Trends
Trend Blog
Apple Support

Leave a Reply

Top
%d bloggers like this: