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Google Maps location sharing issues: how to fix

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Google Maps location sharing allows your friends, relatives to know your exact location. Despite the fact that in most cases this function works smoothly and accurately, on some devices there are problems are observed.

Basically, this error is inherent in mobile devices Android (Samsung Galaxy S21 - S22 and older models), as well as on the iPhone 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and later.

So, let's figure out how to make your location available so that you don't get any errors on your device or on the phone you're sharing the location from.

Table of Contents

Part 1. Google Maps location sharing says person is offline

Typically, this error occurs if the user has changed devices or disabled their Google account. Users report that on one mobile device the user sees the location of another, while on the second user's screen the message: person is offline.

The first way to fix the error:

  1. Log in to your Google account on your device.
  2. Go to Activity controls.
  3. Under Location history > Devices on this account, activate the mobile device in the list by moving the slider to the right.

Second way:

  1. Go to Activity controls.
  2. Remove the device you are not using from the list.
  3. Activate the new mobile device that you are currently using to locate.
  4. Disable device sharing and re-enable it.

The third way:

  1. Open Google Maps on the phone that provides the location.
  2. Tap the profile image in the top right corner on the screen.
  3. From the menu, navigate to the location sharing settings.
  4. A message appears at the top of the screen stating that its location is not being shared.
  5. Tap on the Fix button.

Part 2. How accurate is Google Maps location sharing?

The accuracy of location calculation is about 20 - 25 meters. In addition, the correctness of the location sharing depends on the specific location of the user at that moment.

For example, indoors, communication with GPS satellites may be unstable, which will affect the accuracy of positioning. In open terrain, as a rule, the accuracy of coordinates is the already mentioned 20 meters.

If you use Wi-Fi or mobile data on Android or iOS, Google Maps can improve the accuracy of geolocation measurement.

Part 3. How to know if someone stopped sharing location Google Maps

As soon as the user stops sharing location on Android or iOS, a notification appears on the screen. However, the user's nickname will still be available on the screen, and you will still see their status when you resume location tracking.

To activate the sharing location function again, tap the Share location with... button in Google Maps.

To remove a user from the list, tap the button with three horizontal dots and use the Remove from list command. This user will no longer be able to follow your movements.

Part 4. Google Maps location sharing not updating: a fix

1. Turn off Power mode on your phone

If you use Power mode on your phone, some of Google's background services will be unloaded. Accordingly, location determination may not work steadily and fully.

Solution.

You can easily fix the Google Maps error by putting your phone into default power mode. Note that your phone's battery will drain faster.

Instructions for Android:

  1. Open the quick settings panel.
  2. Hold down the Power mode button with your finger.
  3. Select the High performance mode. Open or restart the Google Maps app.

For iPhone:

  1. Go to the Battery settings.
  2. Change the battery mode by turning off the Lower Power Mode.

2. Restarting the phone

Probably, there was an unexplained failure of Google Maps app or the phone lost connection with the satellite. This error is common for both iOS and Android.

Solution.

The easiest way to fix "Google Maps Location Sharing Not Updating" error is to reboot your phone.

3. Clearing the cache on mobile phone

If Google Maps cache occupies too much space, the app will not work correctly.

Solution.

You can fix the error by clearing the cache. It's a safe action that won't take long.

Instructions for Android:

  1. Go to Home Settings > Apps > search for Google Maps.
  2. Go to storage & cache and click on Clear application data.
  3. Restart the Google Maps app and check if the "Location Sharing Not Updating" error appears.

Instructions for iOS:

  1. From the Google Maps settings, find the About, terms & privacy section.
  2. Use the Clear application data option to clear the cache.
  3. Restart the app.

We also advise to clear system cache.

Enable / disable Location service

The Location service must be manually enabled on your iPhone with iOS 11, 12, or 13. In some cases, iOS apps (for example, iOS Maps) use the wi-fi network to determine your location, providing inaccurate information.

How to fix

Make sure that the GPS connection on iPhone is enabled. How to do this:

  1. Go to Settings
  1. Tap the Privacy button

3. Tap Location Services option.

4. Disable Location Services by tapping the Disable button.

  1. Wait for half a minute to a minute and then move the slider to the On position.

The method is quite simple, but it works on older versions of iOS (14, 12), where you sometimes see a similar service signing off and need rebooting it in the way described.

Make sure that offline mode on iOS is turned off

Similar to the above method, try to use the "Airplane" mode. If you forget to deactivate it, all wireless connections, mobile network and GPS will be unavailable. Most likely, a notification will appear on the screen informing that "location service unavailable." or “user is offline”

How to fix

You can disable offline mode on your iPhone the next way:

  1. Go to Settings.
  1. Enable Airplane mode by moving the slider to the right.
  1. Wait 20 seconds to 1 minute and re-enable the option.

This solution is also applicable in many other situations, not only in case of location services failure on Google Maps.

Ilia is a professional writer. He has expert knowledge in GPS and cartography with 15 years of experience. Additionally, Ilia has extensive experience in data recovery on PC and mobile. He started his career as a journalist by reviewing PC and mobile apps. His current responsibilities are to keep track of users' questions on MGT and answer them.