Turned Off iPhone Location Sharing: How to Know?

Here’s how to know someone turned off their location so that their location is not shared:

If you can’t see someone’s location in the Find My app, it could be because they turned off their location services data or location sharing. 

In this case, their name will disappear under the “People” tab in the app. 

It’s also possible that the phone is currently off or without any internet access available to it.

So if you want to learn all about how to know whether someone turned off their location, then you’re in the right place.

Keep reading!

Turned off Location to Stop Sharing: How to Know? (iPhone)

What Does It Really Mean to Share Your Location on Your iPhone?

If you really want to know about someone’s location and location sharing, the beginning point of this journey is understanding what Apple really does with location sharing.

There’s a specific service available to Apple device users. 

Apple allows you to send location data to your friends and family as you see fit. 

If you choose to share your location, then the people on the receiving end can pinpoint you via the Find My app.

If someone else is sharing location data with you, then you can similarly see where they are at any given moment. 

As long as the app is allowed to present that data, you can see them in real time. 

It’s great for parents to see where their kids are, easily meeting up with friends when plans change, and many other instances.

The thing to know is that you can pretty much enable and disable the feature with a few taps, so if someone doesn’t want to share their location with you, they can stop at any moment. 

If you’re trying to tell the difference between someone turning off the feature, losing access to it, or disappearing from the app for other reasons, I’m going to break it all down for you.

How Do You Track a Location on Your iPhone?

As I already mentioned, the Find My app is the primary way for Apple users to keep track of locations. 

In order to use this app, you have to have an Apple device.

It’s exclusive like that.

To find the app, you can look in the settings of your device, or you can use the search feature on your device and type in “Find My.”

The app is designed to be intuitive. 

When you open it up, you can see a list of people sharing or receiving location data with or from you. 

You can also see a plus sign that lets you add more people to your list.

There’s also a map. There are no real secrets here. 

The map shows you where the device was most recently seen, and it is a global map. 

Theoretically, you could see the people on your list no matter where they are in the world (although we’ll get into some exceptions later).

What Does It Look Like if Someone Turns Off Their Location on Their iPhone?

Now that you know a little more about the app, we can get into some of the discrepancies. 

There are a number of ways that people can stop sharing their location with you, and it’s not always easy to tell which is the case.

First, you can tell if you aren’t receiving the data. 

When you load up the app, that person won’t be on the shared list anymore. 

If they’re missing, then they opted out of sharing their data with you.

It is also possible that their phone is unable to upload data. 

This can happen if they lose Wi-Fi or their cellular signal.

It can also happen when the phone is off.

For instance, if a person is on a flight and has enabled airplane mode, they’ll disappear from the Find My app in the same way as someone who disabled location sharing.

How to Tell if Someone Has Stopped Sharing Their Location on Their iPhone?

So then how do you figure out if the person has simply lost access to Wi-Fi and their cell network, or if they stopped sharing their data?

You’ll have to do a bit of detective work. 

If the person is in a big city, they’ll probably have cell service access wherever they go.

In this case, there’s a good chance that the person in question made the decision to stop sharing their location.

If cell service is spotty and they probably don’t have Wi-Fi access, it’s possible that their phone just isn’t able to relay their location data despite location sharing being enabled.

You should know that you don’t get a notification when someone stops sharing their location, it just happens. 

So if you don’t keep a close eye on the Find My App it’s possible that you won’t even notice.

How to Tell if Someone Has Disabled Location Services on Their iPhone?

Apple devices have an option to disable all location data use entirely. 

This stops not only their location sharing with other people, but also apps like Maps, Weather, and so on from using location data.

If someone has done this and you are trying to track their location, you will be unable to once again. 

Their name will similarly be gone from the Find My app until location services are once again enabled.

How to Tell if Someone is Sharing a False Location on Their iPhone?

It’s possible for people to share incorrect location information or to give you location information that might not be totally accurate.

The easiest method of doing so just requires an additional Apple device.

It can be an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, or Mac.

Let’s say you have an iPhone and an iPad. 

You can choose to share your location from the iPad instead of your iPhone, meaning that as long as you leave your iPad somewhere with a stable internet connection, you can go anywhere with your iPhone while others who try to view your location think you’re where the iPad is.

It’s hard to tell when someone is doing this, but you can at least know it’s a possibility when someone has multiple Apple devices.

How to Tell if Someone Is Spoofing GPS Data on Their iPhone?

There are ways to get your phone to send false location data in place of your actual location. 

A person could make their location appear as if they’re in an entirely different country despite not moving at all.

If you are closely monitoring someone’s location and they seem to teleport from one spot to another, far away location, they might have used a method to send faked GPS data in place of legitimate location info.

The easiest methods of changing your location make it difficult to pick a specific spot to fake it, but there are tools that allow users to pick a spot of their choice to fake their location as.

What Is Timed Location Sharing?

Another way a person might stop sharing their location data is by setting up timed location sharing. 

This allows people to specify exactly how long they will share their location with others.

This can be set up through the Messages app or from someone’s contact. 

All you have to is press the info button next to a contact and your device will open a page that allows you to stop sharing location data.

It will also provide the option to share your location only for a set amount of time, such as one hour or until the end of the day.

By using this option, a person can disable their location data without having to press any buttons at the time they stop, making it hard to spot what they’re doing.

You can’t see if a person has set their location sharing up this way from your end, only their device will show it’s scheduled to stop sharing.

How Can You Tell if a Phone Is Not Sharing Location Because It Is Off?

One of the easiest ways to test if the phone is turned off is to try calling or sending a text to the person. 

If the call instantly goes straight to voicemail, the phone might be turned off or out of battery.

Likewise, if the text you sent to the friend or family member in question does not get delivered, their phone is likely not powered on.

If someone was really trying to trick you they could temporarily block you and it could create a similar effect, however. There is a way to catch this, though.

Blocked messages do not get delivered when the recipient unblocks you. 

Undelivered messages to phones that are turned off do get delivered when they are turned on again.

This means you can monitor the status of the message when you know your recipient’s phone is working again.

How to Tell if Someone Has Disabled Location Sharing if You Have Their Phone?

When you have access to someone’s phone it becomes very easy to look into their settings and see if they have disabled location sharing, or removed you from the list of contacts they share location with.

To get to the spot where you can view this info, just follow these quick steps.

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap their name.
  3. Tap the Find My, which should be just a few options down.
  4. See if Share my Location is enabled. The slider bar should be green.
  5. Make sure you appear under the list of people their location is being shared with.

If you don’t see yourself there, then you’ll need to enable location sharing from your contact card in their phone. 

There’s no way to guarantee that the person doesn’t just remove you from the list of people they share location with again, however.


  • Theresa McDonough

    Tech entrepreneur and founder of Tech Medic, who has become a prominent advocate for the Right to Repair movement. She has testified before the US Federal Trade Commission and been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, helping influence change within the tech industry.

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