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iCloud: Troubleshooting Find My Friends

Symptoms

With iCloud and iOS 5 or later, Find My Friends allows you to easily locate your friends and family from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. If these features do not work as expected, use the troubleshooting steps below.

Resolution

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General issues

  • Make sure that you have the latest version of the Find My Friends app installed on your iOS device. If the app is up to date, try the steps for troubleshooting apps purchased from the App Store.
  • Make sure there aren't any current issues listed in System Status affecting Find My Friends.
  • Make sure the issue you're seeing isn't already covered in the Help menu. Find My Friends Help is available within the Find My Friends app.
    • Find My Friends 3.0 or later:
      • On an iPhone or iPod touch, tap Me, then tap Help.
      • On an iPad, tap the List button, tap Me, tap Info, then tap Help.
    • Find My Friends 2.1.1 or earlier: Tap the Me tab, tap Account, then tap Find My Friends Help.
  • If you're signed in to Find My Friends on multiple devices (such as an iPhone and an iPad), confirm which of your devices is displayed to your followers:
    • Find My Friends 3.0 or later:
      • On an iPhone or iPod touch, tap Me, then tap your active device under Share My Location From. This choice appears only when you're currently signed in to Find My Friends on multiple devices.
      • On an iPad, tap the List button, tap Me, tap Info, then tap your active device under Share My Location From. This choice appears only when you're currently signed in to Find My Friends on multiple devices.
    • Find My Friends 2.1.1 or earlier: Tap the Me tab, tap Account, then choose your active device. This choice appears only when you're currently signed in to Find My Friends on multiple devices.
  • Quit and restart the Find My Friends app on your iOS device. Wait a minute before reopening the Find My Friends app.
  • If you don't have a passcode set on your iOS device, you will be prompted to enter your iCloud password every time you open Find My Friends and after 15 minutes of inactivity. You can set a passcode using Settings > General > Passcode Lock > Turn Passcode On to avoid having to enter your iCloud login information.
  • You can choose which email address to use when sending requests to friends:
    • Find My Friends 3.0 or later:
      • On an iPhone or iPod touch, tap Me, then tap Send As.
      • On an iPad, tap the List button, tap Me, tap Info, then tap Send As.
    • Find My Friends 2.1.1 or earlier: Tap the Me tab, tap Account, tap Notifications, then tap Send As.

 

Issue with forcing the app to close

Forcing the Find My Friends app to close on a device using iOS 7 or later may disable the ability of Find My Friends to detect proximity to a geographic location (geofencing). Geofence alerts from Find My Friends will not be delivered to friends who follow the owner of that device, and the owner's device no longer appears on the follower's device. To resolve this issue, reopen the Find My Friends app on the owner's device.

Note: Force the Find My Friends app to close only if it becomes unresponsive. Find My Friends can send your current location to friends even when the application is in the background. It has been optimized to avoid draining your battery.

 

Issues with location

"No location available" label for friends

This can occur if:

  • The date on the device being located is incorrect. This can be changed in Settings > General > Date & Time.
  • The device being located:
    • Is turned off
    • Is not connected to a data network (cellular or Wi-Fi)
    • Has Hide My Location (Hide from Followers in version 2.1.1 or earlier) turned on in the Find My Friends app
    • Has Location Services turned off altogether in Settings > Privacy > Location Services or has Location Services turned off specifically for Find My Friends in Settings > Privacy > Location Services > Find Friends
  • Your friend is currently not signed in to the Find My Friends app on the device being located.
  • The device being located is currently in a country where Apple does not offer this feature. This feature may not be available in all countries due to technical limitations or local law.

Location is old or inaccurate

This can occur if:

  • The device being located was previously located and has not yet provided an updated location to iCloud. Wait a few minutes and try again.
  • You are currently signed in to Find My Friends on more than one device. You can set which of your devices is displayed to your followers:
    • Find My Friends 3.0 or later:
      • On an iPhone or iPod touch, tap Me, then tap your active device under Share My Location From. This choice only appears when you're currently signed in to Find My Friends on multiple devices.
      • On an iPad, tap the List button, tap Me, tap Info, then tap your active device under Share My Location From. This choice only appears when you're currently signed in to Find My Friends on multiple devices.
    • Find My Friends 2.1.1 or earlier: Tap the Me tab, tap Account, then choose your active device. This choice only appears when you're currently signed in to Find My Friends on multiple devices.

Note: A device's previous location will be available for 2 hours, after which it is deleted, and "Location Not available" appears.

Location circle is too large to be useful

This can occur if:

  • The device being located is still determining a more accurate location. Wait a few minutes and try again.
  • The device being located is unable to provide a more accurate location. This can happen if the device is indoors with no known Wi-Fi base station around.

Location label is not accurate

If you have set a label for a particular location you frequently visit, such has Home or Work, the label will display only if the location of your device is accurate enough. If your location accuracy is too broad to be narrowed down to the same location as the one used when you set your label, the label may not show.

 

Issues with location requests

You are not receiving requests from others to follow your location

If you're certain someone has sent you a location request using Find My Friends, and you do not receive the notification:

  • Make sure that you're signed in to the Find My Friends iOS app with the Apple ID your friend is trying to follow. If that was not the case, check the inbox of the email address your friend used, and see if there is any location request email from your friend. If so, tap View Request in that message to accept or decline their request in Find My Friends.
  • Make sure that the option to Allow Friend Requests is turned on:
    • Find My Friends 3.0 or later:
      • On an iPhone or iPod touch, tap Me, then check Allow Friend Requests under Invitations
      • On an iPad, tap the List button, tap Me, tap Info, then check Allow Friend Requests.
    • Find My Friends 2.1.1 or earlier: Tap the Me tab, tap Account, then check Allow Friend Requests under Notifications.
  • Make sure that you're within the limits to accept follow requests. If you have reached a limit, you may not be able to accept more friends until you remove one.

Your requests to follow others are not received

  • Make sure that you're sending your request to the Apple ID your friend is using to sign in to the Find My Friends iOS app.
  • Make sure that you're within the limits to send follow requests to others. If you have reached a limit, you may not be able to send a location request to more friends until you remove one.

Note: If you accept a request from a friend that you’re not following, a follow request is sent to your friend automatically (Find My Friends 3.0 or later).

 

Issues with Temporary Sharing

iMessage not enabled for "Your Apple ID" alert

Find My Friends uses iMessage to communicate with members of a Temporary sharing group. This message can appear if you do not have iMessage enabled for the Apple ID you're using with Find My Friends. To ensure iMessage is set up properly, follow these steps:

  1. Tap Settings > Messages.
  2. Verify that iMessage is turned on.
  3. Tap Receive At.
  4. Verify that you're signed in using the Apple ID you use to sign in to Find My Friends.

If you're on an iPhone, you may also want to set up your Caller ID to be your Apple ID in order to reply to the iMessage conversations from your friends using your Apple ID email address instead of your phone number.

If you're having trouble setting up Temporary Sharing

Make sure that you're within the limits of how many Temporary Sharing groups you can have at a time. If you're above this limit, you may not be able to accept or create additional Temporary groups until you quit or delete an existing Temporary group.

Additional Information

Learn about multitasking in iOS 7.

Last Modified: Dec 11, 2013
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  • Last Modified: Dec 11, 2013
  • Article: TS4008
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