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How to Hide iPhone Location from Find My Friends & iMessage

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With Find My and iMessage location sharing it’s easy to feel like you’re constantly being watched by friends or family members who can pop in and see where you are. This is how to hide your iPhone location from Find My Friends or the iMessage location tracking on your iPhone.

While we are all spending more time at home, perhaps you are heading to the park, running to the store, or simply driving into the country to scream-sing a favorite song until the world makes sense again. When you do this, you may not want anyone to know that you’ve left home.

You can simply just stop sharing your location with friends or family, but in some cases, that’s not what you really want to do. You may just want to go off the grid for a bit, or you may need to hide your location for another reason without stopping sharing your iPhone location.

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Read: How to Fake iPhone Location

When you stop sharing your iPhone location with someone, they will see this change as a message in the iMessage app, and another message when you re-share with them — so turning off and on sharing isn’t a great way to hide your location, or at least not to hide that you are hiding the location.

Using this method does not hide your location from a cell phone provider, from a government agency with a warrant or other methods of tracking you, it simply hides the iPhone location from people you are sharing with.

Instead, you will want to rely on either turning your phone off or sharing from another device that you own. This guide is updated to work with iOS 13 and up with methods and directions for 2020.

How to Hide Your Location from Find My Friends & iMessage

How you can hide your iPhone location from Find My Friends and iMessage

There are a few ways you can hide your iPhone location from your friends or family without them knowing that you did this. Keep in mind if you own a cellular Apple Watch, it can track your location even if you leave the iPhone at home.

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Fastest Way to Hide Your iPhone Location

The fastest way to hide your location is to turn Airplane mode on by opening Control Center and tapping the Airplane logo.

This will disable cellular connections and WiFi, which will stop someone from seeing your location. The iPhone may show the last known location, so do this before you head off.

Unfortunately, this method means you cannot make calls, and if you turn WiFi on to browse the Internet it may end up showing a rough location.

This method is best used if you just need to unplug in a park without someone tracking you down, as long as you know that you will not be reachable by phone.

How to Share Location From Another Device

The best way to hide your location from the Find My app and iMessage tracking is to simply share from another iOS device that is in a stationary location. With this method, it can also make it look like you are in another place.

If you have an iPad that is at home or at work, you can share it from that location. When someone checks, they will still see a location, but it will not be at your specific location. Instead, it will show where your iPad is. Even if the iPad doesn’t have GPS it can still share a location using WiFi. It’s not as precise, but it’s surprisingly close.

iphone screenshot to hide location

This is how to hide your iPhone location by sharing from another device.

To share your location from another device;

  1. On the other device Open Settings
  2. Tap on your name at the top.
  3. Tap on Find My.
  4. Tap on Use This iPhone as My Location.

You may need to tap on Use This iPad as My Location. You can share from a spare iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad. If you are on iOS 13 or newer, you need to use the second device to change the location.

When you are done, switch the location back to your iPhone. Using this method, there is no alert that you’ve changed and there is no gap in your location history.

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How to Stop Sharing Your iPhone Location

If you want to hide your location from Find My Friends and iMessage without using another device or turning off location sharing with someone you can turn it completely off.

With this option, you become invisible to friends and family, and they do not get any kind of alert that you stopped sharing a location.

This is how to turn off location sharing on your iPhone.

To stop sharing your location from your iPhone;

  1. Open Settings
  2. Tap on your name at the top.
  3. Tap on Find My.
  4. Tap the toggle next to Share My Location to off.

When you are done, reverse these directions and you can start sharing your location again.

Keep in mind that making these changes will only hide your location from friends and from iMessage, it will not hide your location from law enforcement.

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Answer Calls on the Apple Watch

Answer Calls on the Apple Watch

You can answer a call on your Apple Watch using it as a small Bluetooth speakerphone. You only want to use this for shorter calls because the audio quality isn't as good as when you are talking on speakerphone on your iPhone. 

The Apple Watch only allows you to answer your calls on Speakerphone, so you won't want to use this all the time. It is very handy when you are working on a project or busy with your hands. Definitely be conscious of where you are taking calls. If you wouldn't talk on speakerphone, you shouldn't talk on your Apple Watch.

If you buy the new Apple Watch with LTE, you can even make calls on the Apple Watch without your iPhone nearby. This requires adding the watch to your plan for $10 a month. You cannot answer a FaceTime video call on the Apple Watch. 

Last update on 2020-07-05. This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read our disclosure policy for more details. Images via Amazon API

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Emily

    12/04/2018 at 6:54 pm

    Is there anyway for the notification not to show in iMessages?

  2. Adam

    01/14/2019 at 8:36 pm

    I wish

  3. Bob

    01/25/2019 at 10:14 am

    This information is either wrong or is now out of date. The option does not appear on my phone where it is described. The bottom of the list has “look me up” and “mail”, and there is no option between them.

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