If we turn the clocks back to a decade ago, it would have been hard to imagine that one could send their whereabouts to closed ones and keep them updated all the time. However, thanks to tech giants like Google and Apple, it’s now possible to share your real-time location with anyone you want.
Of course, if you own an iPhone, there are dedicated features like “Find My” and “Send Last Location” to do this task. However, if you are an Android user, Google Maps location sharing is the best way to send your location updates to friends and family members. Although, you can also use Google Maps location sharing on an iOS device as well.
So, today, we are going to explain the step-by-step process to use Google location sharing on your Android/iOS device and send your real-time whereabouts to others.
Before starting with the process, let’s first discuss the essential guidelines you must adhere to while using the location sharing feature in Google Maps.
- You cannot share your location using Google Maps in a country/region that doesn’t allow location sharing.
- To use the location sharing feature, you must meet Google’s age requirements. Young children are not allowed to use the location sharing feature. However, their parents can control the location sharing of their device through the Family Link app. The app lets parents control the location settings of their child’s device. It means they have complete control over who can see their child’s current location.
- You cannot access the location sharing feature on a G-suite account. It is imperative to have a personal Google account to share your location through Google Maps.
- The “location services” must be enabled on your Android device before you use the Google Maps location sharing feature.
- The device must be connected to a WiFi or cellular data as Google can only send your location updates when it’s connected to the Internet.
In this method, the person with whom you want to share your current location must have a Google account and should be present in your Gmail contact list.
Follow these steps to share location on Android when the other person has a Google account.
Step 1 - Open Google Maps and tap on the “Account Circle” (icon with your name) in the top right corner.
Step 2 - In the menu, select the location sharing tab.
Step 3 - Now, if you have never used this feature in the past, Google will ask you to set up location sharing on your account. Tap on the “Get Started” button.
Step 4 - Once you click on the “Get Started” button, Google will ask you for you how long do you want to share your location. You can either share your location for a specific time period (one hour, two hours, three hours, etc.) or for an indefinite time period. If you choose the latter, your location will be shared with the selected people until you manually turn-off location sharing.
Step 5 - Select the contacts from your list with whom you want to share your location.
The moment you select the contacts, your real-time location will be shared with them. They’ll be able to see your location through the Google Maps app on their device itself.
What if the person you want to share your location with doesn’t have a Google account? Fortunately, there’s still a way to tell them your whereabouts using Google Maps Location sharing. Follow these steps to send your current location to people who don’t have a Google account.
Step 1 - Open Google Maps on your Android device and tap on the “Account Circle” in the top right corner.
Step 2 - Click on location sharing and tap on the “Copy to Clipboard” button.
Step 3 - The link will be copied to your clipboard. You can send this link to anyone and people will be able to see your location for 72 hours using the link.
Step 4 - You can also share your location with people through third-party messengers like Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger. To do so, tap on any of the third-part messaging apps and select the contact you want to share your location with.
That’s how you can use Google Maps location sharing with people who don’t have an active Google account.
In addition to sending your location updates to other people, you can also using Google Maps to ask for your friends’ location whereabouts. This is an extremely useful feature, especially when you want to keep a track of a friend/family member about where they are.
Follow these steps to request someone’s current location and see it on Google Maps.
Step 1 - Open Google Maps on your device and tap on the “Account Circle”.
Step 2 - Select Location sharing from the menu.
Step 3 - If the person has shared their location with you in the past, you’ll be able to request their location. To do so, tap on the person’s name and tap the “Request” button.
Once you request someone’s location, the person will receive an e-mail address. They can either choose to share their location with you or ignore your request or even block you permanently.
When the person agrees to share their location, you can directly see it on Google Maps. Here’s how you can see someone’s location when they’ve shared it with you.
Step 1 - Open Google Maps and click on the “Account Circle”
Step 2 - Select “Location Sharing” from the menu and tap the contact’s name who has shared their location.
Step 3 - If you are still unable to see the person’s location, tap on the Refresh button. That’s it, their location will now start to pop-up on your screen. You can also start Google Maps navigation on your device to find directions to their location.
While Google Maps Location sharing is an excellent feature in terms of staying in touch with people you care about, there are some instances where you don’t want others to know your whereabouts. In this case, you can also turn-off Google location sharing and enjoy complete privacy without someone knowing where you are.
There are two ways to hide Google Location sharing. You can either stop sharing your location, and no one will be able to see your real-time location, or you can hide it from specific people.
Let’s discuss each of these methods in detail.
5.1 How to stop sharing Google location
The easiest way to restrict everyone from seeing your current location is to turn off “location services” on your device.
Step 1 - Go to “Settings” on your Android device.
Step 2 - Scroll down and tap on the “Location” button.
Step 3 - Toggle the switch to turn off location sharing on your device. You can enable this feature anytime you want to start sharing your location again.
5.2 How to hide location from specific people
Follow these steps if you only want to restrict a few people from seeing your current location.
Step 1 - Open Google Maps and select “Account Circle”.
Step 2 - Tap on “Location Sharing”.
Step 3 - Click on the “Remove” button next to the person’s name with whom you want to stop sharing your location.
There’s no doubt that Google Maps Location sharing is a really useful and easy-to-use feature. Using the feature, you can always know where your friends and family members are. It doesn’t matter if your cousin is visiting you for the first time in the city or your kid is going to the high school for the first time, Google location sharing will always keep you updated about the whereabouts of people you care about