Beyond just meeting up with friends, sharing your iPhone’s location can help you find your phone if you lose it. It can also help keep you safe in potentially dangerous situations, like when meeting a seller from an online marketplace. Plus, with many parents sending their kids off to college for the first time this fall, using it the right way can be an option to help put minds at ease this back to school season.
The best feature about sharing your location is that nobody can view it without your permission. This means that someone else won’t have access to your location unless you supply them that access.
Even when you do share your location with someone, you can stop sharing it at any time in your iPhone’s settings, another great reason to learn how to do this.
Before you share your location, you have to enable location services, something that many people keep disabled for privacy reasons. To turn on Location Services, go to your iPhone’s Settings, select Privacy, and tap on Location Services, you can toggle it on and off on this page.
Before you can actually share your location with others, you need to give your phone permission to do so. Go to Settings, tap on Apple ID or your name at the top of the screen, then Find My. Toggle Share My Location to the On position.
You have to enable Share My Location in your Settings before sharing it with others through an app like Find My or others.
Open the Find My application.
If, for some ironic reason, you can’t find it easily, simply go to your App Library by swiping right on your home screen, and type in Find My on the search bar.
From the bottom of the screen within the Find My app, choose People to open this tab.
Tap on the + (plus) sign to see what options you have for location sharing. Select Share My Location.
If you’re sharing your location with someone in your contacts list, simply enter their name to search for them. Otherwise, enter their phone number to send them your location.
Once you select someone, press Send.
Select which option of time best suits your needs. You can choose from sharing your location with the other person for one hour, through the end of the day, or indefinitely.
Other ways to share your location on iPhone
Although Find My can be the best fit for many reasons when you want to share your location with someone else, there are a few other ways to share your location from your iPhone that may be more appropriate for different situations. Sharing your location is also available through Family Sharing, with a specific contact, via Whatsapp, or with Google Maps.
Step 1: Open your contacts list
You can view your contacts either through the Phone app or through the Contacts app.
Step 2: Choose the contact and select Share My Location
Choose the contact you want to share your location with from your contact book. Once you tap on their name to view the contact card, scroll down until you see Share My Location.
After following these steps, you’ll have the option to choose the length of time you’d like to share your location with them, like in the previous method.
If you use Family Sharing for things like Apple TV+ subscriptions, iCloud, etc, then you likely already have family members added to your account. Here’s how you can share your location with your family members.
Step 1: Go to Settings and tap on your name
To access Family Sharing, go to your iPhone’s Settings, then tap on your name at the top of the screen.
Step 2: Choose Family Sharing
Select Family Sharing from the available options.
Step 3: Location Sharing
You should see all the Family Sharing settings on this page. Choose Location Sharing from the list of options.
Step 4: Turn on Share My Location
Once you tap on Location Sharing, the next page will come up where you can select Share My Location by toggling it on.
Step 5: Let your family members know
Now that you’ve enabled location sharing with your family members, your iPhone will give you the option to let them know via text. This will send your family a text with your location information.
Find the chat you want to share your location in. If you don’t have a chat open with the person you’re looking to send your location to, simply start a new chat.
Step 2: Tap on + sign and choose Share Location
Tap on the + (plus) sign in the chat to open a menu of actions you can use within the chat. Select Share My Location.
If you want to check if you are currently sharing your location with anyone on Whatsapp, you can check the Settings within the Whatsapp app and choosing Privacy. This will show you a list of contacts you’re currently sharing your location with.
Google Maps makes it pretty easy to share your location with your contacts, especially if they also use the same navigation app.
When you’re on Google Maps, simply tapping on your profile icon on the top right corner of the screen will open your options where you can choose Share Your Location. Then, select a contact and pick for how long you want to share your location.
To stop sharing your location so that someone else cannot view it, you can go to their contact card and scroll all the way down to where it says Stop Sharing Location and tap on that.
If you shared your location via Family Sharing, Find My, or simply want to stop sharing your location altogether, just follow these steps:
Go to your iPhone’s Settings
Tap on Location Services
Choose Share My Location
Toggle Share My Location off
Can I add names to frequent locations?
The Find My app also lets you name your different locations, which is helpful for places you visit often. You can do this by opening Find My, then:
Go to Edit Location Name
Select one of the name options or add Custom Label
Why can’t I share my location on my iPhone?
If you can’t share your location successfully with others, chances are you need to turn on Share My Location on your Settings. Simply follow these steps:
Go to Settings
Tap on your name
Select Find My
Enable Share My Location
Can I share my ETA with someone?
If you’re using navigation and want to send someone you’re meeting with your estimated time of arrival, Apple Maps has your back.
To share your ETA, tap on your route information at the bottom of your screen and select Share ETA. Then just choose someone to send your ETA. You can also simply ask Siri, “Share my ETA,” whenever your navigation is running.
Apple also lets users automatically set up a contact to receive your ETA any time you start navigation to that location. This can be pretty helpful if you’re picking up kids with their own phones, so they always know what time you’re coming. To do this, add the location to your Favorites, and choose a contact to receive your ETA. They will receive it when you begin turn-by-turn navigation to that location.
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