Apple considers privacy and security two of its core values and has detailed resources on how to protect your devices, accounts and personal safety. Follow along for a look at the recommended steps to control who can see your iPhone location, including how to make sure no one can track you.
Apple has a 20-page support guide called “Device and data access when personal security is at risk”. Whether you’re concerned about personal safety or it’s just time for a privacy and security check, the steps below will help.
Let’s take a look at how to control who can see your iPhone location, how to adjust location settings, and more.
Who can see your iPhone location? How to make sure no one can track you
Update summer 2022: With iOS 16, Apple has an additional privacy feature called Safety Check that immediately stops sharing your iPhone location, read all about it in our full coverage.
Here’s what Apple recommends:
Disable Location Services Completely
- To disable all possible location services and tracking (temporarily or permanently), go to Settings > Privacy (Privacy and Security in iOS 16)
- Tap Location Services on the top
- Switch the Turn of next to Location Services, confirm by choosing Turn off
- Please note that some services may not work if Location Services is turned off
- Apple emphasizes when disabling this switch that “Location services will be disabled for all apps, but your personal location services will be restored temporarily if you use Find My iPhone to enable Lost Mode.”
Which apps can see your iPhone location?
- In the same Settings section (Settings > Privacy > Location Services) look further down
- Remember you need the main switch for Location Services to be turned on
- You will see a list of apps (Apple and third-party apps)
- Tap one to manage individual location services
- You will be given the option to allow location access ‘Never’, ‘Ask next time’, ‘While using the app’ or ‘Always’
- Additionally, you can disable “Precise location” if you want to give an app location permission, but don’t want to be specific
If you see the location services icons in your iPhone’s status bar, or in the settings we went through above, here’s what they mean:
Manage location services with Find My
- In Settings > Privacy > Location Services tap Share my location
- You can now disable the button next to “Share My Location”, which will prevent the family and friends you see below from seeing where you are
- You can also manage how Find My iPhone works by tapping find my iphone
Who can see your iPhone location with Find My?
- Go to the Find my app
- Tap a person from the list below
- Swipe to the bottom of the info card
- To elect Stop sharing my location
- Alternatively, you can do the same from Settings > Privacy > Location Services > Share my location > Family friends
Who can see your iPhone location in third-party apps?
- If you share your location with others in third-party apps, it won’t show up in your main iOS settings
- Go back to Settings > Privacy > Location Services to see which apps have location access
- If you’re not sure if an app has access, you can set them all back to “Ask next time” or “Never”
- Common third-party apps that have location access to your iPhone include Google Maps, Facebook, Instagram, other social media apps, Uber/Lyft, other travel, fitness, shopping apps (note that even the unsuspecting apps can have or request location access)
Continue to protect your Apple devices
Plus, you can read Apple’s full 20-page guide to device and data privacy here.
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