GPS was amazing when it came out. No more mapping out routes on paper or printing directions from Google Maps. Simply turn on your GPS and go. Tap or click here for a Google Maps feature that takes navigation to the next level.
As GPS evolved, we gained a new handy trick. Location sharing. Now we can find directions in a snap and locate friends and family at all times, as long as they’ve shared their location with us. But if you fall out of favor with someone, you might want to turn this feature off. The question is, will they know?
Things could get awkward if contacts get notified that you’ve stopped sharing your location. So let’s answer the question, True or False: Your contacts know when you turn off location sharing.
True or False
The very definition of location sharing is that your information is being shared. You are choosing to share your whereabouts so people can find you whenever they want. However, there may come a time when you want to turn this option off without announcing it publically.
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Thankfully, the answer to whether contacts know if you turned off location sharing isn’t all bad news. When you turn off location sharing on Android or iOS, your contacts won’t be directly notified. But if they decide to go looking for your location, they’ll find out it’s been disabled.
Regardless of whether someone will find out or not, you should never share your location with someone unless you feel entirely comfortable doing so. Here’s how to disable location sharing on both Android and iPhone.
How location sharing works
Location sharing is complex and comes with many options, so you can be selective about who it’s shared with and how it’s shared. For example, you can choose what apps have access to your location and when others can access it. You can choose from options like always having access to your location, only when asked or when using a specific app.
All location sharing requires your permission, so nobody, app or human, can do so without you granting them permission first. Even map and ridesharing applications have to have location sharing enabled before they can access it. You can control all of your location permissions in settings, depending on the phone you are using.
How to stop location sharing on iOS
You can stop location sharing for people, apps, and maps on your iPhone, all reasonably easily if you don’t want this information to be public. But how you do it is different depending on who’s accessing your location.
To stop sharing your location with apps.
- Open Settings on your iPhone.
- Scroll down and tap Privacy.
- Choose Location Services.
- Toggle the slider next to Location Services to the left to disable it.
You’ll have to manually enable Location Services when you need to in the future. But once you manually shut them off, this stops all devices from accessing your location. While no one will be notified that you’ve shut it off, some apps may not work correctly with location services disabled, like the Maps app, as an example.
To stop sharing with a specific person
If you want to stop one specific person from having access to your location, you can do this as well:
- Open the Find My app.
- Tap the People tab.
- Choose the person you no longer want to share your location with.
- Select Stop Sharing My Location.
While they won’t get a notification, they will no longer see you on their list of friends in the Find My app. This will tip them off that you’re no longer sharing location with them.
To stop sharing in the Find My app
- Open Settings.
- Scroll down and select Privacy.
- Tap Location settings.
- Tap Share My Location.
- Slide the toggle next to Share My Location to the left to disable it.
How to stop location sharing on Android
Stoping location sharing on Android works a little differently than with iPhone, but contacts still won’t be notified that you’ve stopped. A couple of notes: Android location sharing may be restricted based on country or age if you are under 18. If you have problems using location services, contact Google directly.
To stop sharing with a particular person
- Open the Google Maps app.
- Tap your profile picture.
- Select Location Sharing.
- Choose the profile photo of the person you no longer want to share your location with.
- Tap Stop.
If you get a new request for locations and don’t want to share it with that particular person, all you have to do is hit deny or block when the request comes up, and your location won’t be shared.
Are you interested in learning more about location services on your phone? Tap or click here to learn more about limiting your phone’s tracking settings.