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Find My Friends Location Not Available on iPhone? Don’t Panic! Here’s How to Fix it Fast

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Have you ever opened the Find My Friends app on your iPhone only to see the dreaded “Location Not Available” message where your friend’s location should be? This can be frustrating when you’re trying to meet up or check in on someone. But don’t worry, there are several troubleshooting steps you can take to get Find My Friends working properly again. This article will cover the common causes of the location not found vs location not available error and provide fixes to help you find your friends fast.

What is the Difference Between “No Location Found” and “Location Not Available”?

Before diving into fixes, it helps to understand the difference between the “no location found” and “location not available” errors in Find My Friends:

“No Location Found”

This means that the app is unable to determine the location of a friend or family member for some reason. Some potential causes are they have location services disabled, their phone is turned off, or they are in an area with no reception.

“Location Not Available”

This error typically appears when your friend or family member has enabled location sharing but the app is unable to update or display their current location. The FMF servers likely cannot retrieve their location due to connection issues.

So in summary, “no location found” relates to issues on the user’s end while “location not available” is generally a problem with Find My Friends’ servers retrieving updated location data. With this distinction in mind, let’s move onto the fixes!

Checking Location Services Settings

One of the first things to check when you get the Find My Friends error is your Location Services settings. If Location Services are disabled on your device, Find My Friends won’t be able to determine and share your location.

Here’s how to check Location Services on iPhone:

  • Open Settings > Privacy > Location Services
  • Check that Location Services is on and set to Always
  • Scroll down and ensure Find My Friends is enabled under Location Services

It’s also a good idea to check if Location Sharing is enabled in Find My Friends for the contacts whose location is not available. They may have turned off location sharing which would prevent you from viewing their location.

To check Location Sharing Settings:

  • Open the Find My Friends app
  • Select your friend’s profile
  • Ensure Location Sharing is toggled on

If Location Sharing is off, ask your friend to enable it or share their location in Find My Friends again.

Checking Permissions

Along with Location Services, Find My Friends requires certain permissions to function properly. Check that Find My Friends has permission to access location data and Bluetooth.

To verify Permissions on iPhone:

  • Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services
  • Scroll down and ensure Find My Friends is enabled
  • Also toggle Bluetooth on if disabled

Disabling and re-enabling Location Services permissions for Find My Friends after verifying these settings can often fix location issues.

Restarting Your iPhone 

One quick troubleshooting step is to restart your iPhone. Restarting will clear any cached location data and allow Find My Friends to re-establish a connection for sharing updated locations after the reboot.

To Restart an iPhone 8 or Later:

  • Press and quickly release the Volume Up button
  • Press and quickly release the Volume Down button
  • Then, press and hold the Side button until you see the Apple logo

For earlier iPhone models, press and hold the Sleep/Wake button instead until the slider appears to power off. Then turn your phone back on.

After restarting your iPhone, reopen Find My Friends and check if your friends’ locations are displaying properly.

Updating the Find My Friends App

An outdated version of the Find My Friends app could also be the culprit. Make sure you are running the latest version of Find My Friends with bug fixes and performance improvements.

On an iPhone, You Can Update Apps By:

  • Opening the App Store
  • Tapping your profile icon in the top right
  • Pulling down to refresh and checking for any available updates
  • Updating Find My Friends if an update is available

Alternatively, you can enable automatic updates by going to Settings > App Store and toggling on App Updates. This will keep all your apps up to date.

Resetting Network Settings

Issues with your cellular or WiFi network connection could prevent Find My Friends from updating locations. If other basic troubleshooting hasn’t helped, try resetting your network settings on the iPhone.

Go to Settings > General > Reset and tap Reset Network Settings. This will reset all network connections and settings so Find My Friends can reestablish a connection.

Checking Service Status

Sometimes the issue is not on your end but rather with Apple’s Find My Friends servers. Apple has a Find My Friends service status page you can check for any current outages:

https://www.apple.com/support/systemstatus/

If Find My Friends shows degraded performance or is down for maintenance, that is likely the reason you can’t view friend locations. Check back for updates on when the issue is resolved.

Contacting Apple Support

If you still cannot pinpoint the cause of the “location not available” error, it’s a good idea to contact Apple support. An Apple support advisor can run diagnostics, check server status, and suggest any other potential solutions.

You can contact Apple support via phone, chat, Twitter, get support on the Apple Support app, or schedule an appointment at an Apple store for in-person help. Make sure to explain exactly when the error occurs and what troubleshooting you’ve tried already when contacting support.

Using a Third-Party App

As a last resort, consider using a third-party app for location monitoring and sharing. Apps like Life360, Glympse, and Footprints offer similar friend/family tracking features.

While Apple’s Find My Friends has seamless iOS integration, switching to another app may resolve persistent location issues if they continue after trying all other fixes. Before installing a new app, be sure to check reviews and do research to ensure it is secure and protects your privacy.

Review Key Takeaways

  • Check Location Services and permissions are enabled for Find My Friends
  • Verify Location Sharing is turned on for the contacts missing locations
  • Restart your iPhone and update Find My Friends app
  • Reset Network Settings to refresh connections
  • Contact Apple Support if issues persist after troubleshooting.

With a few quick troubleshooting steps, you should be able to resolve the Find My Friends “Location Not Available” error. Don’t panic if you can’t find your family and friends at first. Just work through these fixes, and the app should be reliably locating your contacts again in no time. Share your location and stay connected!

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