1. Home
  2. tech
  3. how-to
  4. 5 ways to troubleshoot if a friend or family member's location is not available on your iPhone

5 ways to troubleshoot if a friend or family member's location is not available on your iPhone

Dave Johnson   

5 ways to troubleshoot if a friend or family member's location is not available on your iPhone
  • If a friend's location is not available on your iPhone, odds are that the issue is on your friend's phone, not yours.
  • Ask your friend to make sure their phone is connected to WiFi or cellular, they're currently sharing their location, and that location services are enabled.
  • If their phone seems properly configured, try to toggle your own wireless connection, restart the Find My app, and restart your phone.

Thanks to your iPhone's location services, you can track the location of friends and family from your iPhone. Whether you're checking to see a friend's ETA on the way to dinner or where your kids are after school, the Find My app makes it easy to see anyone who has opted into sharing their location with you. Sometimes, though, instead of a location, you see an error message, noting their location is not available. Here's how to troubleshoot and solve the dreaded location-not-available problem on your iPhone.

It's probably a problem with your friend's phone

If your friend's location isn't available on your iPhone, it's most likely that the problem is on your friend's phone. The most likely problem, for example, is that the other iPhone might not have cellular or WiFi reception. In addition, that other phone could be turned off, or your friend might have turned off location services in Settings. Here is a list of all the most likely problems — if possible, you can ask your friend to check each of these issues on their phone:

  • No WiFi or cellular. The phone might not be connected to WiFi or cellular, or the connection might be unreliable. Ask them to check the phone's WiFi and cellular status at the top of the Home screen.
  • Not sharing their location in Find My Friends. Ask them to start the Find My app and in the People tab, tap your name and choose Share My Location if needed.
  • Location Services might be off. Your friend should start the Settings app, tap Privacy, then Location Services, and make sure it's on by swiping the button to the right.
  • The date and time isn't set automatically. Your friend should start the Settings app, tap General and then Date & Time. Make sure Set Automatically is on by swiping the button to the right.

Toggle Airplane mode on and off

If your friend's phone appears to be properly configured for sharing their location, you might be the one with a connectivity problem. Check the status at the top of your Home screen to see if you have a solid WiFi or cellular signal. Often, you can resolve a small connectivity glitch by toggling Airplane mode – pull the Control Center down from the top right of the screen and then tap the Airplane mode icon. Wait a moment and tap it again. After your phone reconnects, check the Find My app.

Restart the Find My app

A lot of problems can often be resolved simply by restarting software, which can flush out errors when the app is closed and then reopened. Close the Find My app by starting the iPhone's app switcher and then swiping up on the Find My app. Then start the app again and see if that solved the problem.

Restart your iPhone

Another common troubleshooting strategy is to restart your entire device. If you're still having no luck seeing your friend's location, turn your iPhone off and then back on again. After the phone reboots, any temporary glitches should be resolved, so check the Find My app again.

Check for updates

While relatively unlikely to resolve your issue, it's always possible that there's a bug or incompatibility with your current version of the Find My app or some other software on your iPhone. It's a good idea to always keep the software on your phone up to date. To see if this is the issue, update any apps which have available updates. Start the App Store app and tap your account icon at the top right. In the Upcoming Automatic Updates section, tap Update All.


Popular Right Now