How to Share Your Location on iPhone or iPad

If you want to be found, it's easy to send out a signal on iOS

share your location on iphone

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From group texts and chat apps to multiperson phone calls, the iPhone and iPad make getting together with friends and family super easy. When you share your location, there's no confusion about where you are or where to meet. Instead of telling people where you are, send them your exact location based on your device's GPS features. That way, they get turn-by-turn directions that lead right to you. There are several services and apps for the iPhone and iPad that can share your location.

Instructions in this article apply to iPhones and iPads running iOS 12, iOS 11, or iOS 10.

Share Your Location Using iCloud or Family Sharing

Location sharing is included in the iCloud and Family Sharing features of iOS, the operating system that runs the iPhone and iPad. To use these features, turn on Location services and set up a Family Sharing or an iCloud account.

  1. Tap Settings on the iPhone or iPad Home screen.

  2. Tap your name. In earlier versions of the iOS, skip this step.

  3. Tap Share My Location in iOS 12. Tap Family Sharing or iCloud in iOS 11 and 10.

  4. Tap Share My Location or Location Sharing. The option that appears depends on whether you chose Family Sharing or iCloud in the previous step. In iOS 12, skip this step.

  5. Move the Share My Location slider to the On (green) position.

    Name, Share My Location, and toggle ON in iOS Settings
  6. To stop location sharing, move the slider to the Off (white) position.

Apple makes a stand-alone app called Find My Friends that knows where your friends are based on their location.

Share Your Location Using the Messages App

Messages, the texting app that is installed with the iOS, lets you share your location, too. This makes it easy to send a simple "meet me here" message for a meetup.

  1. Tap Messages.

  2. Tap the conversation with the person who you want to share your location.

  3. In iOS 12, tap the name of the person, then tap the Info icon. In iOS 11 and 10, tap the i icon in the top right corner.

    Messages, Contact, Info button on iOS
  4. Tap Send My Current Location to share your location at the moment you send it. A map with your location on it is sent by text.

  5. Tap Share My Location to send your location as you move over a defined period of time. Then, choose the duration for sharing your location: Share for One Hour, Share Until End of Day, or Share Indefinitely.

    Share My Location, Duration options, and location icon for iOS
  6. Send the message.

You must have Location Services turned on in the Settings to send your location in Messages.

Share Your Location Using the Apple Maps App

Use the Maps app that comes with the iPhone and iPad to share your location. This makes it easy to get turn-by-turn directions.

  1. Tap the Maps app on the Home screen of your iPhone or iPad.

  2. Tap the location arrow in the upper-right corner to make sure your location is precise.

  3. Tap the blue dot that represents your current location.

  4. Tap Share My Location.

  5. In the sharing sheet, select how to share your location. Options include Messages, Mail, and others.

  6. In the To text box, enter the recipient or address information.

    Map marker, Share My Location, and To: field in messages app on iOS
  7. Send the message.

Share Your Location Using Facebook Messenger

Lots of third-party apps support location sharing, too. When using those, it makes sense to use popular apps that a lot of people you want to share with also use. Tons of people have Facebook Messenger on their phones and use it to coordinate getting together.

  1. Open the Messenger app and tap the person you want to share your location with.

  2. Tap the four-dot icon at the bottom of the screen.

  3. Tap Location.

  4. Tap Share Live Location for 60 Minutes.

    Four dots, Location icon, Share Live Location for 60 min buttons in Facebook Messenger

Share Your Location Using Google Maps

If you prefer Google Maps over Apple Maps, sharing your location is an option for you.

  1. Tap Google Maps to open it.

  2. Tap the three-line menu icon in the upper-left corner.

  3. Tap Location sharing.

  4. Tap Get Started.

  5. To control how long to share your location, tap the + and - icons. Or, set location sharing to run Until you turn this off to share indefinitely.

    Location sharing, Get Started, Share your real-time location buttons in Google Maps
  6. Choose how to share your location using the icons at the bottom of the screen. Tap Select People to share with your contacts, tap Message to share in a text message, or choose More to enable other options.

Share Your Location Using WhatsApp

WhatsApp is another hugely popular chat app, used by tens of millions of people worldwide​. Use it to share your location.

  1. Tap WhatsApp to open it.

  2. Tap the conversation with the person or people on your contacts list you want to share your location with or enter a phone number in the field provided.

  3. Tap the + icon next to the message field.

  4. Tap Location.

  5. Tap Share Live Location to share your location as you move. Or, tap Send Your Current Location to share only your present location, which won't update if you move.

    Plus icon, Location button, and Send options in WhatsApp