How to Share Your Location on iPhone and Android

How to Share Your Location on iPhone and Android

Have you ever wanted to help your friend find your meeting spot? Or maybe you wanted to give a family member some peace of mind while you're traveling? Sharing your location is a simple way to do that. It's easy to do on Apple® iPhones and Androids and can help in many different situations. Let's go over everything you need to know about location sharing on iPhones and Androids.

Why Would You Want to Share Your Location?

• Staying safe while traveling
• Sharing your arrival time
• Helping someone find you
• Helping the family stay in touch
• Locating a lost device

Why Would You Want to Share Your Location?

Digital privacy is a big topic right now. You might wonder why anyone would want to share their location like this, but location sharing can be very useful. It's used for things like:

  • Staying safe while traveling: You can share your location in many new situations, like when visiting a new country or going on a first date. It shows your friends and family where you're at in case anything should happen.
  • Sharing your arrival time: Going on a road trip to visit friends? Send them your location so they know when to expect you. If you run into traffic or construction, they can see where you're at without distracting you with a call or text.
  • Helping someone find you: Say your friend is supposed to meet you in a certain spot, but they're not sure where that is. You can send them your location, and they can navigate right to you! Continuous location sharing is also handy if you get separated from a group.
  • Helping the family stay in touch: Many parents like to keep tabs on their kids. Location sharing is useful for making sure everyone is safe and where they're supposed to be.
  • Locating a lost device: You can even use location sharing to find a lost device. For example, your friend can pull up your lost phone's location and see you left it at the restaurant you went to earlier.

How to Share Your Location on iPhone

Whatever your reason for sharing your location, iPhone makes it easy. You can share your location in a few different ways and select how long you want to share it. For example, you can use Share My Location on iPhones for an hour, until the end of the day or indefinitely. Before trying any of these methods, you'll need to know how to turn on location services on iPhones:

  1. Go to the Settings app.
  2. Tap Privacy.
  3. Toggle Location Services on.

Here's how to send your location on iPhone from different apps:

  • Find My: Head to the People tab and tap the blue plus sign in the corner. From the pop-up menu, select Share My Location and tap the person you want to share with. Tap Send and select how long you want to share your location. If you want to stop sharing, go back to the People tab, choose who you want to stop sharing with and tap Stop Sharing My Location. You can also turn off sharing for everyone.
  • Messages: Open your messaging app and select the conversation with the person you want to send your location to. Tap their profile picture or initials at the top of the page and hit Send My Current Location to send them a static “snapshot” of where you are. Tap Share My Location to share it continuously for as long as you choose.
  • Contacts: This process is like the one for iMessage. Open the contact of the person you want to share with, tap Share My Location and select the timeframe.
  • Apple Maps: You have two options to share your location in Apple Maps. The first is to scroll down in the menu to Share My Location at the bottom. A menu will pop up, and you can choose the app you want to send your location through, such as Messages or your email. You can also tap the little blue dot that shows your location on the map. Hit the Share button and select your preferred app from there.

How to Share Your Location on Android

You generally can't share your location on Android with the built-in software. You need a third-party app like Google Maps, WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. We'll go over how to use these apps next. Most Androids can still activate emergency location sharing with SOS features.

Google Maps

Facebook Messenger


How to Share Your Location With Other Apps

How to Share Your Location With Other Apps

Many apps that you likely already have on your phone can help you share your location on iPhone or Android devices. If you have an Android, you'll need one of them to share your location. Whichever app you use, make sure you only download it from your device's official app store. These include the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.

Google Maps

Google Maps will share your name, photo and location. It may also include your battery life, where you've been recently and how you're traveling.

To share your location from Google Maps, follow these steps:

  1. Select your profile picture or initials in the top corner of the screen.
  2. Sign in if you haven't already.
  3. Tap Location sharing, then Share location.
  4. Choose how long to share your location and the person you want to share with. If you haven't already, you might be prompted to share your contacts with the app.
  5. On iPhone, you can also tap More Options to get a link you can copy or send directly to another app. On Android, you can get the link by tapping Copy to clipboard.

If you share your location to a Gmail account, you can share with them indefinitely. If not, the “Until you turn this off” option will only last 24 hours. Want to stop sharing your location with someone? Simply click their profile picture in the Location Sharing tab and select Stop.

Another handy Google Maps feature is sharing your estimated time of arrival (ETA). Simply set your destination and start navigating as usual. Then, tap More and select Share trip progress. Tap the person's profile and hit Share to share your location and ETA, and stop sharing your location when you arrive.

Facebook Messenger

To share your location with Facebook Messenger, follow these steps:

  1. Open the app and select the conversation with the person or group you want to share your location with.
  2. Tap either the arrow icon or the icon with four dots.
  3. Tap Location.
  4. If it asks, grant Messenger location privileges.
  5. From the map, you can share your location continuously by tapping Share Live Location on the blue bar. It will stop sharing in an hour and will show a countdown clock. You can also share a static location by tapping the red pin at the top right. Then, search for a place to share or drag and drop the pin somewhere on the map.


Here's how to share your location with WhatsApp:

  1. Open the app and select the Chats tab.
  2. Select the group or person you want to share your location with.
  3. If you're on an iPhone, touch the plus icon in the bottom corner. If you're on an Android, tap the paperclip icon in the bottom right.
  4. Tap Location.
  5. Select Send Your Current Location to share your location from one point. You can also tap Share Live Location to share continuously anywhere from 15 minutes to 8 hours.

What Is Emergency SOS on iPhone?

iPhone users also get the option of setting up a feature called Emergency SOS. If you find yourself in a dangerous situation, you can trigger Emergency SOS by holding down the side button and a volume button or by rapidly tapping the side button five times. iPhone 7 and earlier models only have the option of pressing the button five times.

This will start a countdown and an alert. If you don't cancel it, your iPhone will call emergency services at the end of this countdown. After the call, the iPhone can send your current location to your emergency contacts. They'll also receive an update if your location changes.

The Emergency SOS settings menu lets you adjust some settings. You can choose the trigger method or turn the automatic-call feature off entirely. You'll still be able to call using the Emergency SOS slider, which shows up when you hold the side and volume buttons to power down the phone.

To set up Emergency SOS, head to your Health app and tap your profile picture. Click Medical ID, Edit and Emergency Contacts. You can also start from Settings and tap Emergency SOS. You'll find a link to Edit Emergency Contacts in Health. Once there, just tap the plus icon to add someone to the list.

What Is Emergency Sharing on Android?

Emergency sharing is a little trickier on Android. Some manufacturers treat it differently. Check out the next sections if you have a Samsung or Google phone. The general process for other Androids looks something like this:

  • Share your location with emergency services: Go to Settings and tap Location. Turn on the toggle for Emergency Location Services. This will send your location to emergency services when you call or text an emergency number.
  • Share your location with emergency contacts: Go to Settings and tap on About phone. Tap Emergency information and Add emergency contacts.

it might differ depending on your device. If you quickly press the power button three times, SOS sends an alert to your emergency contacts. 

SOS on Samsung Phones

Most Samsung devices use a similar feature to iPhones. Again, it might differ depending on your device. If you quickly press the power button three times, SOS sends an alert to your emergency contacts. This message can include your location, a short audio recording and pictures. Your location updates every 30 minutes for up to 24 hours or until you stop the alert.

Follow these steps to set up SOS messaging on most Samsung devices:

  • Open up your Settings app, tap Safety & emergency and hit Send SOS messages.
  • Toggle the switch at the top of the screen. Read the information it shows and tap Continue.
  • It will tell you what kind of permissions the phone needs, then you can tap Start.
  • Select Create contact or Select from contacts.
  • Create or select the emergency contact you want to use. You can add more than one contact, too.
  • Tap Back, and make adjustments as needed. You can change how many times the button needs to be pressed or if you want to attach images or audio to the message.

Keep in mind that you can also activate emergency mode on most Samsung devices. This mode disables many apps and functions that pull a lot of power. It makes your battery last much longer. You can still send messages, access your contacts and make emergency calls.

Emergency SOS on Google Pixel Phones

Google Pixels have a Personal Safety app with a lot of options for setting up safety features. You'll need Android 10 or higher to use it. You cannot be on airplane mode or using Battery Saver.

To activate Emergency SOS, press the power button five times or more. This will start a five-second countdown before the phone takes emergency actions like sharing your location with emergency services and contacts and recording video.

Before you can use it, you'll need to:

  • Update your emergency information: Go to the Settings tab of your Personal Safety app. Tap on Medical information and Emergency contacts. Add your details.
  • Turn on Emergency Location Services (ELS): ELS is available in some regions. It lets emergency personnel access your location when you call an emergency number. From Settings, tap Location. This option might be underneath a Security & location button. Next, tap Location services — the button might say Emergency Location Service or Google Emergency Location Service. Toggle the option on or off.

Turn on Emergency SOS with these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app and tap Safety & emergency.
  2. Tap Emergency SOS and toggle on Use Emergency SOS. You can turn on Play countdown alarm if you want a loud sound to play when Emergency SOS starts.
  3. Select which emergency actions you want Emergency SOS to trigger. It can call your local emergency number, such as 911 in the United States. It can also update your emergency contacts with your location and emergency videos.

Google has some other useful safety features, including assisted emergency calls, car crash detection and earthquake notifications. Be sure to read up on these so you know how to use them.

Use Your Phone for Safety and Convenience

The next time you buy a new phone, consider its location services and make the most of your used device.

Use Your Phone for Safety and Convenience

Whether you want to use it in emergencies or to simply make things easier, location sharing is a great tool. But it won't do you any good if you don't set it up or if your phone is too outdated to support the feature. If your phone is a bit out of date or you just want more location options, it may be time for a switch.

The next time you buy a new phone, consider its location services and make the most of your used device. Bring your unwanted phone to an ecoATM, and you might be able to earn cash for it. If not, you can do your part for the planet by keeping it out of the landfill. We make it easy with ecoATM kiosks available throughout the United States. We'll assess your device, and if we can offer cash, we will. Either way, we can take it off your hands for responsible recycling or reuse.

To see what your phone is worth, price your device online or find a kiosk near you!