How to Know If Someone Turned Off Their Location

How to Tell If Someone Turned Their Location Off

There are times when people will choose to turn off their location. You can use the methods below to find out if someone has turned off their location.

How to Know If Someone Turned Off Their Location?

Yes, it’s possible to know when someone has turned their location off. On your iPhone, if someone has turned their location off, you may receive an error message saying that their location is not available or their Location is Not Found. Here are more ways to tell if someone has turned off their location.

1. It Says Location Not Available

When someone turns off their location, you will see a message that says “location not available” when you try to check it in the Find My Friends app or in iMessage.

2. Their Location Isn’t On the Map in Find My Friends

When someone has their locations on, you can find them on the map in Find my friends. If you can not find someone on the map, one of the reasons could be that they turned their location off in Find My Friends. To use Find my friends, you need to ensure that you are connected to the internet to get the correct location.

3. Their Location Isn’t On The Map in iMessage

You can always use iMessage to check someone’s location. If you can’t find someone’s location on the iMessage map, they turned their location off. If someone has their location on, you can use iMessage to see where they are, so they likely turned their location off if you can’t find them.

3. Ask Them If They Turned It Off

People are not always cautious of their location on their phones. If you want to be sure if someone turned their location off, the best way to find out is to ask them. Their location could be off because they are not connected to the internet, or their phone is off.

4. Ask Friends Or Family Members If They Can See Their Location

In the Find My app, you can view your device’s location or where it was last seen. You can use another device to check where your device is. When you visit the Find my app, at the bottom of the screen, choose Devices and the name of the device you wish to track down.

The Find my app will show the device’s location by displaying it on the map and seeing exactly where it is. If you want to know if someone has turned their location off, you need to ask someone who they’ve also shared their location with if they can see their location on the map.

Asking a loved one to check if they can see their location will help determine whether the issue is on your end or their end. If they use the Find my app and they can see their location, the problem is on your end.

5. Ask Them If It Says “You Stopped Sharing Location With” In Your Conversation Thread

Aside from certainly understandable privacy concerns, your phone does not consistently share your location information with others. Instead, you must choose whether or not to share your location with a specific individual.

You can also share your current location forever, or until the end of the day or an hour. If you want to know if someone has turned off their location, ask them if they have a message that says “you stopped sharing location with“.

If this is the case, it means that they’ve turned their location off. They may not have intended to, but it could be down to a few reasons.

Can Someone Tell If You’ve Turned Your Location Off?

When someone turns off their iPhone’s location services, you won’t be able to know their location. Thus, the person’s location will not be available for apps or services that rely on location data. Your loved ones will not be able to see you on any maps, which is how they may know that you’ve turned off your location.

Does iMessage Location Show When You’re Active?

iMessage location doesn’t show when you’re active, but it does show your movements as you’re actively moving around. Since it tracks your GPS location, someone can see when you’re moving in iMessage, but iMessage doesn’t reveal when you’re using the app. Someone will only know when you’re active on iMessage if you’re typing or you’ve sent them a message.

What Does It Say When Someone Turns Their Location Off

When someone turns their location off, it won’t say anything to notify you. The only message you will see that could be an indication that they’ve turned their location off is if you see Location Not Found. Besides this, Find My Friends or iMessage doesn’t say when someone has turned their location off.

Does Location Not Available Mean That They Turned It Off?

When someone’s location says location not available, it doesn’t mean they’ve turned their location off. In most cases, there’s just a problem with their iPhone.

Ask your loved one if their phone is linked to WiFi or cellular service, whether they are actively sharing their location, and whether location services is enabled on their phone.

When a location is not available, it does not mean that the person’s location has been turned off; there could be other reasons.

Here’s Why It Might Look Like They’ve Turned Their Location Off

1. They Might Have No Signal

To share location, you need to have a signal on your phone. If your loved ones are at a location where they do not have a signal, they will not be able to share their location with you even if their location is turned on.

2. Their Phone Might Be Off

If you choose to share your location with someone forever, once your phone turns off, your location will stop sharing. If you can see a loved one’s location and you suddenly can’t, the reason could be their phone switched off.

3. They May Have Only Shared Their Location Until the End of the Day or For One Hour

When sharing your location, you can choose whether you want to share it for one hour, until the end of the day, or to share it forever. If someone decided to share their location with you until the end of the day, you might think they turned their location off when the day ended.

4. They Logged Out Off Their iCloud

In the current version of iOS, the “Share My Location” feature is only available once you have signed in to your iPhone using your Apple ID.

If your friend or family member isn’t signed in to iCloud, you will not be able to see their location. You can fix this by getting them to sign in to iCloud and sharing their location once they have signed in.

5. They Have No Internet

iMessage is Apple’s exclusive instant messaging service that utilizes your data to transmit messages over the internet. It is only functional if you have an active Internet connection.

You’ll need a data plan to send iMessages, but you can also send them over WiFi. If someone isn’t connected to the internet, they will not be able to share their location with you.

6. They’ve Turned Off Location Services

They need to have their location services turned on to share their location. Some people do not feel safe when their location is constantly on, so they turn it off and switch it on when they want to share it with someone. It could be a simple case of them turning off location services and forgetting to turn it back on.

7. You’re Not Connected to The Internet

If you rely on using iMessage to check someone’s location, you will need to be connected to the internet to see their location. If you aren’t connected to the internet, you will not be able to see the location.

8. They Need to Correct the Date and Time on Their Device

For someone’s location to share, they need to have their time and date set automatically. If one does not have the correct date and time set, they will not be able to share their location with you.

9. They Signed Out Of Find My Friends

Apple’s Find My Friends and Family app allows you to keep track of the location of your friends and family members. The person you wish to follow must also have an iPhone and agree to your request to disclose their location to you.

However, once the tracking system is in place, you can track your family or friend’s iPhone. The function was formerly known as Find My Friends, but with iOS 13, the Find My Friends and Find My iPhone applications consolidated into a single feature known as Find My. The service is now referred to as Find My. If your friend has signed out of the Find My Friends app, you will not be able to see their location.

Why Would Someone Turn Their Location Off?

1. They Don’t Want You Stalking Them

Having your location on all the time is unsafe because you never know who is stalking you. There is no way to know how often someone checks your location, so some turn it off. If someone has their location turned off, it could be for safety reasons like avoiding stalkers.

2. They’re Somewhere They Shouldn’t Be

Parents are a large group of people who rely on having their loved ones turn on their locations. Using the Find my app is an excellent way of knowing where your child is.

If you notice that your child’s location is turned off, it could be because they are somewhere they shouldn’t be. When they’re somewhere they shouldn’t be, you will notice that they will turn off their location or phone to avoid you tracking them.

3. They Feel Like Their Privacy Is Getting Violated

Having your location on means that people can check where you are at all times, and some people feel like that is violating their Privacy.

Unfortunately, if you have your location on, people you are not sharing your location with can also find out where you are. To avoid people violating their Privacy and asking them what they are doing and where they are, some people would rather switch off their location.

What Do People See When You Turn Off Your Phone?

When you switch off your phone, no one can see your current location using the Find My Friends app, but they can see your previous location.

Apple services will only show the most recent location from which the iPhone received data to its servers, and the servers will not accept new data until you switch on your iPhone.

If your friend attempts to access your location, they will get “Location not available or location not found”. The same message they would receive if you switched off your location.

Can You Track Someone’s Location If Their Phone Is Off?

On iOS devices, Apple’s location-based service lets you keep in touch with friends and family throughout the day. It helps assure safety, and it might be unsettling if you suddenly lose sight of a loved one’s location. However, this does not imply that anything has gone wrong or they’ve turned off their location.

You won’t be able to see someone’s location if they switch their phone off. Turning your phone into Airplane mode is the most straightforward way to hide your location. A phone in Airplane mode has no WiFi or cellular connections so no one can track your location.

It makes no difference if the phone was turned off, placed in airplane mode, or the battery died; the consequence is no location transmission.

On October 4, 2011, Apple unveiled Find My Friends, a location feature. It arrived on Apple devices on October 12, 2011, only hours before the introduction of iOS 5. Users of iOS 8 can get the software from the App Store.

From iOS 9 through iOS 13 and iPad 13, the app was merged with iOS and installed automatically. Find My Friends was combined with Find My iPhone (iOS) and Find My Mac (macOS) into a brand-new software named Find My when iOS 13 and macOS Catalina was launched.

You can use this location feature to find your friends and family using Apple products such as your iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch, or iPod Touch. It works in conjunction with the iPhone’s location service and GPS, and everything that affects the GPS or iPhone impacts the Find My app.

What Does It Mean When Someone’s Location Is Not Available?

There are many reasons why someone’s location is Not Available,’ and they are as follows:

  • It’s possible that the device, or yours, has been switched off or disconnected from WiFi or mobile data.
  • The date on the person’s device might be incorrect.
  • Hide My Location has been enabled in the Find My Friends app.
  • They are in a country or location where the Find My Friends app is not accessible.
  • A problem with their phone or yours prevents you from obtaining their location; for example, the GPS or location tracking technology is broken.
  • Neither of your location services is enabled.

You can address the problem and find their location by following these easy steps:

1. Restart your phone—occasionally, your phone may be overworked with all of the background applications running, causing apps to malfunction.

2. Exit and reopen the Find My Friends app—after closing the app, clear the cache memory and reload it.

3. Request that your friend changes the date on their device—as it’s simple as heading to Settings > General > Date & Time. To be on the safe side, choose the Set Automatically option.

4. Check your phone’s internet connection and update it as needed since location services will not operate if you or the individual are not connected to the internet.

5. Confirm that the individual did not activate Hide My Location—they should open the Find My Friends app, choose your photo at the bottom, and toggle the setting to “Share My Location.”

6. Check the person’s Location Services—it must be turned on for you to obtain their location. Open the settings menu and go to Privacy> Location Services > Find Friends.

7. Check whether the individual is logged into the Find My Friends app.

8. Confirm that their GPS is operational and switched on.

9. Delete the individual from the Find My Friends app and issue a new request. It might work if they accept your request.

10. Request that the individual quit and reopen the Find My Friends, or, if all else fails, uninstall and reinstall the app.

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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