Why is Find My iPhone not working? Or perhaps the Find My Friends function is giving you trouble? Whether you’re having issues viewing the location of your Apple device or friend, we’ll show you how to check, troubleshoot, and properly enable the needed settings.
- First Steps for Troubleshooting Find My Not Working
- Settings to Check When Find My Is Not Working
First Steps for Troubleshooting Find My Not Working
Why won’t Find My iPhone work? Because there is a bevy of solutions for troubleshooting the Find My app, this article will focus on fixes targeted towards those who have already set up Find My for their devices but have found that their Find My location is unavailable or no longer updating. For more Find My troubleshooting advice, be sure to sign up for our free Tip of the Day newsletter. Now, read on to learn how to resolve the most common issues with Find My not working.
Check Your Internet Connection
Find My requires the device to have an internet connection to report its current location. If your device is out of range of Wi-Fi or cellular networks or Airplane Mode is enabled, you’ll see the device’s last known location for 24 hours. You can go somewhere with a cellular signal, connect to Wi-Fi, or disable Airplane Mode to get Find My working again. To check if Airplane Mode is enabled:
- Open the Settings app.
- Tap the toggle next to Airplane Mode to turn it off if it is enabled. (The toggle will be gray and to the left when disabled.)
After turning off Airplane Mode, it will take a few seconds for your device to reconnect to the network. Once it does, Find My should start reporting your location correctly.
Related: How to Find Lost iPhone: Dead, Offline, Turned Off, or Otherwise
Check Your Battery Levels
Not to state the obvious, but it is important to note that if your device is out of power, Find My can no longer track the current location of the device. If Find My iPhone is not updating its location, the battery might be out or low, which means you will need to charge your device to get it working again. The good news is that if you follow the instructions in the section below to confirm Find My is enabled, your device will be set to send a last location update when the battery is critically low (so Find My will show the last location of your device before it dies).
Update Your Device
Find My Friends not working? This is an often overlooked solution and one we’ve had people report that resolved their location-tracking issues when using Find My for friends. If you or your friends are having trouble viewing one another’s location, check to make sure you have both updated to the latest software version. New software versions will often resolve bugs and glitches from previous releases, and a simple update might just resolve your Find My struggles.
Sign In with the Same Apple ID
This fix is for those who are having issues finding devices, not finding friends. When you log into Find My, whether you are using a different iPhone to find your phone or you log into iCloud on a computer, you have to use the Apple ID associated with the missing device. This is because Apple tracks devices by Apple ID, and if you’re using another device to find your iPhone, you might have accidentally switched or logged in with a different Apple ID without knowing it. So if you’re on your laptop checking the location of your iPhone, check to make sure you are signed into the same Apple ID that your missing device uses.
Settings to Check When Find My Is Not Working
There are a few different settings that could affect whether or not Find My is unavailable or prevent you from seeing the most up-to-date location data for your device. Below are the most critical settings that you should check to ensure Find My is working properly.
Make Sure iCloud & Find My Are Enabled
Is Find My iPhone not sharing location? It shouldn’t happen, but sometimes your device settings are reset in updates. This could also happen if you were tinkering in your Settings app trying to resolve an issue and accidentally tapped something you didn’t intend to. In either case, a couple of features must be properly enabled for Find My to work. If Find My is not working, you’ll want to check this:
- Open the Settings app, and tap your name.
- If the iCloud button says Off, tap to set up iCloud. If there’s a number of gigabytes or terabytes listed here, then your iCloud is enabled.
- Tap Find My.
- Tap Find My iPhone.
- Make sure Find My iPhone, Find My network, and Send Last Location are all enabled to allow Find My access to your location even when your iPhone is offline (and to send a final location update when your device battery is critically low).
Once you have checked these settings, check if Find My is now available. If the problem persists, continue on with these fixes.
Turn On Location Services
Why is Find My iPhone not working? The answer could be as simple as your location not being displayed correctly in relation to where your devices, friends, and items are. If you’re having trouble getting accurate directions to your devices or friends, you might have switched off Location Tracking. Follow the steps below to adjust your Location Services settings:
- Open the Settings app, and tap Privacy & Security.
- Tap Location Services.
- Tap Find My.
- Select either While Using the App or Ask Next Time Or When I Share.
- Tap the toggle next to Precise Location. The toggle will be green and to the right when enabled.
Make Sure Date & Time Are Accurate
This might seem strange, but the date set on your device can affect accurate tracking. Apple’s servers expect devices connecting to them to have the correct date and time, and it can cause problems if they don’t. If you have a recent OS version, your device should prevent you from switching to manual date/time updates for the reason we’ve just discussed. However, if you have an older version and have accidentally (or intentionally) switched to manually setting the time and date, here’s how to reverse that:
- Tap the Settings app, and tap General.
- Tap Date & Time.
- If it is not already on, tap to enable the Set Automatically toggle. The toggle will be green and to the right when enabled.
Check Find My’s Apple System Status
If you have checked all of the settings listed above and you’re still having trouble with Find My, there’s a chance that the problem isn’t you at all; it’s Apple. Check Apple’s System Status page to see if Find My is experiencing any problems.
Hopefully, the above solutions were able to help answer the question of why Find My is not working. If not, we recommend reaching out to Apple Support or visiting a local Apple Store for further assistance. Next, learn how to combat the infamous iPhone pink screen of death.