How to Share Your Location on iPhone or iPad

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

share your location on iphone
image credit: Caiaimage/Sam Edwards/Getty Images

From group texts to chat apps to multi-person phone calls, the iPhone and iPad make getting together with your friends and family super easy. And, thanks to the ability to share your location, there's no need for confusion about where you are or where to meet. Instead of just telling them where you are, you can send them your exact location based on your device's device's GPS features. That way, they can get turn-by-turn directions right to you.

There are a number of different apps for the iPhone or iPad that can to share your location. This article shows you how to do that in some of the most popular apps. The tips in this article work for iOS 10, iOS 11, and iOS 12.

Share Your Location Using Family Sharing

screenshot of iphone location sharing options

Location Sharing is built into the Family Sharing feature of the iOS, the operating system that runs the iPhone and iPad. You'll need Location Services turned on and Family Sharing set up, but if you've got that done, follow these steps: 

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Tap your name (in earlier versions of the iOS, skip this step).
  3. Tap Family Sharing or iCloud (in iOS 10 and 11) or Share My Location (in iOS 12).
  4. Tap Share My Location or Location Sharing (which you see depends on whether you chose Family Sharing or iCloud in step 3). In iOS 12, skip this step.
  5. Move the Share My Location slider to on/green.

To stop location sharing, move the slider back to off/white.

Apple also makes a standalone app dedicated to knowing where your friends are based on their location. Learn all about it in How to Use Find My Friends For iPhone And iPad.

Share Your Location Using the Messages App

share location with messages

Messages, the texting app that comes pre-installed with the iOS, lets you share your location, too. This makes it easy to send a simple "meet me here" message for a meet up. Here's how:

  1. Tap Messages.
  2. Tap the conversation with the person who you want to share your location with.
  3. Tap the i icon in the top right corner (in iOS 10 and 11) and skip to the next step. In iOS 12, tap the name of the person at the top of the screen.
  4. In iOS 12, tap the Info icon.
  5. Tap either Send My Current Location or Share My Location. The first option shares your location at the moment you send it, while the second lets you send your location as you move over a defined period of time (step 7 has more on this)
  6. If you tap Send My Current Location, a map with your location on it will be sent by text in the conversation.
  7. If you tap Share My Location, choose the duration for sharing your location in the pop-up menu: One Hour, Until End of Day, or Indefinitely.

Share Your Location Using the Apple Maps App

share location with apple maps

The Maps app that comes with the iPhone and iPad lets you share your location. This makes it easy to get turn-by-turn directions. Here's what to do:

  1. Tap Maps.
  2. Tap the location arrow in the top right corner to make sure your location is precise.
  3. Tap the blue dot that represents your location.
  4. In the window that pops up, tap Share My Location.
  5. In the sharing sheet that pops up, select the way that you'd like to share your location (Messages, Mail, etc.).
  6. Include the recipient or address information needed to share your location.

Share Your Location Using Facebook Messenger

share location with 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 may also use. Tons of people have Facebook Messenger on their phones and use it to coordinate getting together. Just follow these steps:

  1. Tap Facebook Messenger to open it.
  2. Tap the conversation with the person who you want to share your location with.
  3. Tap the + icon on the left.
  4. Tap Location.
  5. Tap Share Live Location for 60 Minutes.

Share Your Location Using Google Maps

share location with google maps

Even if you prefer Google Maps over Apple Maps, sharing your location is an option for you. Do it by following these instructions:

  1. Tap Google Maps to open It.
  2. Tap the three-line menu icon in the top left corner.
  3. Tap Location Sharing.
  4. Control how long to share your location by tapping the + and - icons. You can also set location sharing to run Until you turn this off to share indefinitely.
  5. Choose how to share your location: 
    1. Select People to share with your contacts.
    2. Tap Message to share via text message.
    3. Choose More to enable other options.

Share Your Location Using WhatsApp

share location with WhatsApp

WhatsApp is another hugely popular chat app, used by tens of millions of people worldwide​. It also lets you share your location using these steps:

  1. Tap WhatsApp to open it.
  2. Tap the conversation with the person or people who you want to share your location with.
  3. Tap the + icon next to the message field.
  4. Tap Location.
  5. You now have two options:
    1. Tap Share Live Location to share your location as you move.
    2. Tap Send Your Current Location to share only your present location, which won't update if you move.