Mobile Phones iPhone & iOS How to Use Find My Friends for iPhone and iPad Send your location info to trusted loved ones By Sam Costello Writer Sam Costello has been writing about tech since 2000. His writing has appeared in publications such as CNN.com, PC World, InfoWord, and many others. our editorial process Facebook Twitter Sam Costello Updated January 27, 2020 iPhone & iOS Switching from Android Tweet Share Email Every iOS device has location features built-in, which makes it easy for the Apple Find My Friends app to track the people who are important to you and share your location with them. This is terrific for working parents who want to know when their kids get home from school or arrive at sports practice. It's convenient for partners who want to let each other know when they're heading home from work or arriving safely when on a trip. Here's how to set up and use Find My Friends. Instructions in this article apply to devices running iOS 9 and later. How to Set Up Find My Friends Find My Friends comes pre-installed with iOS 9 and up. Use the Spotlight search tool to find it. For earlier versions of iOS, or if it's not pre-installed, download the app from the App Store. Find My Friends uses iCloud and your Apple ID, so when you sign in to iCloud, you sign in to Find My Friends. How to Add Friends in Find my Friends Adding people to the Find My Friends app is quick and easy; it only takes a few steps. The people you want to add must have an Apple ID. To add friends to the app: Open Find My Friends, then tap Add. In the To field, tap + to choose friends from your Contacts app. Or, go to the Search box and enter an email address or phone number to choose a contact. Then, tap Send. Choose how long to share your location with those friends: Share for One Hour, Share Until End of Day, or Share Indefinitely. Your friends' devices display a notification informing them that you're sharing your location and asks if they want to share their location. They have the same options, plus an additional Don't Share option. How to Use Find My Friends on iPhone and iPad Opening the app shows the location of all of your friends, but there's more you can do. Notify Friends When You Leave or Arrive To notify your friends when you leave or arrive at a location, follow these steps: Tap Me, then tap Notify Friends. In the To field, add the friends you want to notify of your movements. Tap Right Now to share your location immediately. Tap When I Leave or When I Arrive to tie the notification to your departure or arrival at a specific place. Tap Other to change the place that triggers the alert. If you want to use the default location, which is your current location, skip to Step 7. Go to the Search bar, enter an address, then tap the correct address. On the map screen, drag the line to set the radius you have to be inside to trigger the notification. Then, tap Done to save your settings. Turn on the Repeat Every Time toggle switch to send the notice every time you satisfy the conditions, for example, when you leave work for the day. Then, tap Done to finalize the alert. Now, the friends you designated will receive an alert every time you leave or arrive at the location you set. Delete a Leave or Arrive Notification To delete a notification, tap Me, then tap Notify Friends. Swipe right to left across the notification, then tap Remove. Tap Add Notification to create a replacement or tap Done to finish. Hide Your Location To hide your location for a short period of time without deleting a notification entirely, tap Me and turn off the Share My Location toggle switch. You'll disappear from your friends' map, but reappear when you start sharing your location again. Stop Sharing Your Location To keep seeing your friends' locations, but to stop sharing yours permanently, follow these steps: Open the Settings app, then tap your name. Tap Share My Location, then turn off the Share My Location toggle switch. Turning off this setting turns off sharing for Find My Friends and for apps that use your location. Another Way to Use Find My Friends: iCloud The Find My Friends app uses iCloud to show your location and connect with your friends. Use iCloud to find friends without using the app. Log in to iCloud using a web browser to find your friends and use the features found on the iOS app, even if your iPhone or iPad isn't nearby. The Pros and Cons of Using Find My Friends Depending on your perspective, Find My Friends may sound terrific or terrifying. There's truth to both opinions. Consider the pros and cons before you use the app. What We Like Parents know where their kids are and get notifications of activities. Spouses can notify each other without calling or texting. Makes it easy to meet friends at a specific location. What We Don't Like It can be creepy to think that people know exactly where you are at all times. Could be used by an abuser to keep tabs on their partner.