Google Maps Location Sharing Not Updating? Try This

Google Maps Location Sharing Not Updating

It can be annoying when Google Maps refuses to share someone’s location or update fast enough when we need it most. So here is a comprehensive guide on Google Map’s location sharing issues and how you can fix them to get your location to update and operate as fast as possible.

Why is Google Maps Location Sharing Not Updating?

There are various reasons you could be having difficulty updating your location or receiving updates from someone you’re sharing with.

Sometimes we’re too hasty to allow the app to establish its connection and update, or perhaps you have a poor internet connection. You might also have issues with your device, settings, server, or any other problem often experienced by users.

If you’ve identified any of these issues, you can check out how to fix them in this guide. Likewise, if you are yet to figure it out, you can check out possible reasons you’re experiencing this error in the list below.

1. Not Enough Time Has Passed for It to Update

If you’re hasty to get an update, every second spent seems like minutes or hours to you, so your hastiness could be why it seems not to be working for you.

Also, depending on various reasons, Google Maps location might take a little while before updating for either side. So if you’re not patient enough, you’d think it’s run into issues that are probably not true, at least for most users who make the same complaints.

There is no standard update time for Google Maps to update locations, but it should only take a couple of minutes or an hour. So if the update is still within this time frame, you’re probably in a hurry and have to wait a little bit more to allow Google updates at the right time.

However, when it starts to drag for too many minutes, up to an hour or more, you should start considering other options to resolve the issue.

Fix – Wait for it to Update

Since not a long time has passed since you shared locations, you might as well wait for Google Map to update at its pace. If you’ve concluded, as outlined above, that you are being hasty with the update request, you should try to wait a bit longer and see if the issue persists.

If you’re patient enough, you’ll find out that it wasn’t an error at all. Instead, it’s probably only a customary time lapse between location sharing and the update by Google Maps, often due to a delay in the connection phase.

2. Poor Internet Connection on Both Sides

If you can’t get past this stage after waiting, something’s wrong with the process. But it’s not necessarily Google having difficulty pairing your location; it can sometimes be your internet connection.

Google Maps updates in real-time, so if you had a solid internet connection a few seconds ago, then lost it after, you won’t be able to get an update no matter how long you wait.

The real-time status means your device must always have a strong connection to the internet; otherwise, there will be no communication with the server and, therefore, no update.

If you’re sure your internet is excellent, check on the person you want to share locations with and confirm if they also have a solid internet connection.

Even if Google registers your location, it won’t be able to send the update to the other person, and the person won’t even be able to receive or send you their location until they fix their internet.

Fix – Fix Yours, Vice Versa

Fixing your network is a fix for both sides. So you must ensure you fix your internet before Google Maps can continue the update.

Unless you always carry your WiFi router with you, you shouldn’t use WiFi as your internet connection. If you aren’t connected to a strong network or if you’ve moved away from the area with string WiFi, you might experience bad network connections.

So it’s advisable to switch to your mobile data and ensure you have enough data from Google Maps. Then, tell the other person to do the same and fix their WiFi or switch to mobile data. This step should fix the issue in no time if it’s a result of an internet connection, but if not, you can diagnose other issues to resolve.

3. They Have No Signal, so It Can’t Update

As you need a real-time internet connection, you also need real-time server signals for both devices to connect and share locations successfully.

If they are in an area with poor signals, they might not be able to send or receive any update for a certain period till they leave the area and vice versa if it were you.

If either of you is blocking location sharing on their app, this could also break the signal. Turning off your location means you don’t want anyone, even Google, to know where you are, so it defeats the purpose of location sharing if you have it turned off.

Sometimes, your Google Map Settings could also need a minor change to get it working at maximum capacity.

Fix – Wait For A While

You can take your time and wait for the signal to be stronger or for the other person to leave the area with a low signal. If they can’t, you might have to wait for a long time before you can receive updates, or there might be a lag between the communication, so you only receive updates a few minutes after you should.

Fix 2 – Correct Google Map Settings

Check the Google Map settings to confirm nothing is affecting the signal. In addition, you can check the notification panel of your device to check if the location is turned on so Google can pick up your location. Otherwise, the other person won’t be receiving any signal since you’ve blocked Google from accessing the necessary information.

You should also ensure Google Maps is on the list of apps that are allowed to access your location. If your location is turned on, but Google Map is not allowed to access it, you won’t be able to share your location with anyone, likewise for the person you’re trying to connect with.

There is also a setting in Google Map that determines how accurate and strong your location signals should be. The default setting will suffice in most cases, but if not, you can change the location settings to High Accuracy mode for a better experience.

How to Allow Google Map Access to Location:

1. Open Settings on your device

2. Go to Privacy

3. Tap “Permission Manager”

4. Tap on the Location to check apps that are using your location

5. Allow Google Maps to use your location

How to Set Google Maps to High Accuracy

1. Open Settings

2. Tap Location.

3. At the top, switch location on

4. Tap Mode and select High accuracy

4. They’ve Logged Out of iCloud

iCloud is a cloud storage application that allows you to sync across multiple devices and keep your files safe online. This app can sync well with Google Maps to keep your map history, favorites, and others safely stored online.

Since there isn’t any special map feature or app for iPhone users except through Google Maps, you can only sync the cloud storage with Google Maps when you share your location.

The process involves data sharing in real-time over the internet, so logging out of iCloud might malfunction since Apple will reduce your internet interactions such as location sharing and data storage.

So to keep your map history safe anytime you’re sharing your location, make sure you’re connected and logged into Cloud.

Fix – Tell Them to Log Back In

If you log out of iCloud and have two-factor authentication enabled, Maps will keep your data in sync across all your devices using end-to-end encryption.

For example, your Favorites, History, and Guides are encrypted end-to-end, so Apple cannot read them. Therefore, you must be logged or tell the other person to log back into their iCloud for a possible fix of the issue.

5. You Have Encountered a Bug/Glitch

If the issue persists, you can test for bugs on your device or Google Maps. There is little you can do when the bug is not detectable, but you can quickly get rid of a bug once you suspect it’s screwing with your update.

Glitchy or buggy errors usually appear as a malfunction on your device (if they are detectable), so always look for any abnormal behavior on your app or phone.

It’s probably a bug if your app keeps closing anytime you open it or if you can’t click a button until you try several times.

Also, if your app isn’t responsive as it should or there is a lag, you can expect the problem to arise from a bug lodged somewhere on your device. So, try any of the suggestions below to flush it out and rid your phone of app bugs.

Fix – Restart Google Maps App

Try to restart Google Maps when you notice it being buggy. Restarting the app helps clean up the activity log, and if there is a bug somewhere in there, you’ll be able to get rid of it. Likewise, the process also restarts all the programs and features of the app, so it’s like starting afresh after a rough start.

It’s also a possible scenario due to the app running for an extended period. So restarting does allow it to let off steam and kick off again. Ensure the app closes and is not just minimized when you restart to get the best effects.

Fix 2 – Update Google Maps

After many years, Google updates its Map app to fix bugs and add newer features. So if you’re not using the latest updates, you might be haunted by bugs of past versions. So if the bugs affecting your update are in an old version of Google Maps, updating to the latest version will help you clear it and allow you to fix the error.

Also, ensure you update from the Play Store or any other official platform to avoid downloading or updating to a spammy or fake application. Once you’re done updating, close the app, reopen it to affect the changes, and allow the new features to load correctly.

Fix 3 – Clear Cache

Clearing your cache is often suggested alongside updating it. So when you clear your cache, you should update your app (if there’s an update) and vice versa.

The reason is that clearing the cache removes all past app activities and clears any bugs from the app, so when you update the app, it logs its activities, unlike leaving it clogged with activities from the previous buggy versions.

You can clear the cache in your app settings by selecting storage and clicking “Cleared Cache.” When you clear your cache, you won’t lose much data on your app, too; you’ll only be clearing the past minor changes and activities you’ve done on Google Maps.

Fix 4 – Re-install App

Another option is to reinstall the app and start afresh. Finally, you can uninstall the app from your phone whether there is a new version to update or not. That way, you’ll remove every program and associated files on your device. This fix is ideal if you believe the whole app has been compromised with bug issues.

So when you reinstall the current version again or update it, the app runs on a clean slate of data. All the programs run as if you’re using them on your phone for the first time. We recommend doing this only when you’re sure you won’t be losing important files or data from the uninstallation.

Fix 5 – Wait For the Problem to Go Away

If you can’t get results from all of the suggestions above, you can wait for your app to get back on track. Your device is constantly trying to function properly and remove bugs from its activity logs.

So if you’re lucky, leaving your phone for a while might help you resolve the issue, especially if it’s related to device memory or app usage. So, waiting for a bit is a good decision if you can’t seem to find a solution to the bug issue.

6. Google Servers Are Down

Google is a giant tech company, but that doesn’t mean it’s immune to server error and downtime. So keep an eye out for server downtime with Google. Luckily, it’s not a common occurrence and not something you can look forward to, but it’s still a good idea to open your mind to the possibility of Google’s server having issues.

When the server is down, you won’t be able to use any Google app, including Google Maps. However, Google Maps has a separate server, so you should ensure to check a platform like downdetector to confirm. Additionally, you can check the areas affected on the platform to know if the downtime will affect you or the other person.

Fix – Wait For Servers to Resolve

When there is an issue with the server, you have limited options other than waiting until it’s resolved. So unless you’re part of Google’s server management team, all you can do is wait for Google to fix things and get the Map running again.

You might improve the waiting period by keeping track of the progress via Downdetector, so you’ll be aware once it’s back online.

7. Their Phone Is Off

You might be going through all this stress because they switched off their device, in which case you won’t be able to know until you try to reach them. If you decide to share your locations, they must have their device turned on and their internet connection solid for real-time checks.

So if they left their phone dead or switched it off after discussing it, there won’t be two-way communication between the devices. Yours will be sending the signal, and since they won’t be able to receive it, you’ll be stuck trying to fix the issue while there isn’t an issue.

By sending them a message online, you can confirm if they are still online. Likewise, you can check if they still have their phone on if they aren’t by sending them an offline message.

Fix – Wait For Them to Turn It Back On

If they don’t turn their phone back on, you will probably keep trying to fix different issues without seeing results. So it’s advisable to stay in touch with the person you’re sharing location with so that both sides are always online and have their device running.

If you notice Google Maps isn’t connecting, try checking on them immediately and confirm if they are still active and online.

In a scenario whereby you try to reach them online, and they aren’t responding, send them a message offline or call their line. If it notifies you that the line is unavailable, it’s safe to assume the person switched off their phone. So all you can do in this case is waiting for them to turn it back on.

8. They Ran Out Of Battery

Alternatively, they could have run out of battery, similar to switching off their phone since you can’t connect to their device anymore. The other user might not be aware you need to keep your device on and connected for the location sharing feature to work, so they didn’t bother plugging in their phone when it’s down.

It can also be due to unforeseen circumstances, so ensure you confirm if they are active before stressing yourself with all the tweaks in this guide. You can call their line and check if it goes through; if not, you won’t be able to connect until they switch on their phone.

Fix – Wait For Them to Charge Their Phone

Once you confirm their phone’s dead and they didn’t switch it off, all you can do is wait for them to charge their device. If the person doesn’t charge their device because they didn’t think it was necessary, you can try reaching out to them via other means. Otherwise, go over to alert them of the situation and how it works.

9. They’ve Put Their iPhone on Airplane Mode

Airplane mode is an in-built phone feature that allows you to block any external connection to your device. Every WiFi, Bluetooth, hotspot, Mobile data, and other connection will be disabled when in airplane mode. You also won’t be able to receive calls or messages till you switch it off and allow everything back on.

So if either of you has this feature turned on, you certainly aren’t going to get any signal or update on Google Map. When you aren’t connected to the internet, Google Maps can notice this and notify you of no internet connection, so you probably won’t spend too long to realize this if you check the Map. So it’s the other person you need to inform of disabling airplane mode.

Fix – Wait For Them to Turn it Off

Airplane mode blocks everything, so you probably won’t be able to reach them even if you wanted to. So you’re better off waiting for the person to turn it off and allow the signal to continue.

If you have other means to contact them, then notify them and advise them to turn off the airplane mode to allow the two devices to pair and share locations anywhere in the world.

David Johnson is a freelance writer with 9 years of experience writing for Techzillo and other established tech outlets like iMore. His focus and key interests are Apple and accessibility as well as consumer technology in general. Read our Editorial Guidlines and Fact Checking process.


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