Find My iPhone Stuck on an Old Location? How to Fix the Issue

by Maggie Mueller Updated On Jan 4, 2024 Published On Jan 4, 2024 Basic iPhone Tips Ideal for Newbies

When it comes to locating lost devices, Find My iPhone is a godsent feature in Apple products. Not only does it help determine your iPhone's whereabouts, but it also lets you know if the phone has charge, is connected to the internet, and so much more.

But what do you do if Find My iPhone is stuck on an old location and its new whereabouts aren't updating? Perhaps you're keeping an eye on the movements of a loved one or child. Seeing the location fail to refresh can cause a sense of panic. But we know how to fix it. In this guide, we will explain how Find My iPhone could give a false location and how you can fix the issue.

Why Is Find My iPhone Stuck on an Old Location

There could be various reasons why your Find My iPhone shows the old location. It might be due to a weak Wi-Fi signal, poor cellular service, incorrect location services or Date & Time settings, or issues with your iPhone itself. Sometimes, your iPhone simply fails to determine your location.

Apple remembers where you usually connect, such as your home Wi-Fi, with your permission. Therefore, when you're at home, it knows your location.

But here's the catch: if you move and bring your Wi-Fi with you, it takes Apple some time to update that information. So, if you connect to a Wi-Fi network that Apple believes it knows, but you've moved, your iPhone might think you're somewhere else. Don't worry; Apple will catch up, but it might take some time.

If your iPhone's Find My location still seems wrong, first look at all the apps which rely on GPS location, such as Weather, Map, etc. When you open them, they should automatically use your location to provide accurate information.

If Maps shows you slightly off your exact location or Weather gives you general area info with Maps showing you nearby, there's no need to worry. Your iPhone's Location Services are likely working well.

If it's only incorrect in Find My iPhone app, the issue likely lies with that specific application.

Update the Find My App and iOS

If your Find My's location is acting up, it could be due to outdated iOS software causing software glitches. To make sure you have the latest updates:

  1. Go to your Settings.
  2. Tap on "General."
  3. Look for "Software Update" at the top to see if your iOS is up to date.

Similarly, if there's been an iOS update, third-party apps might have location issues if you haven't updated them. You might need to go to the App Store and set it to update apps automatically or manually update the Find My app with location problems.

Update iOS

Ensure the Find My App Has Location Permission

Many apps request access to your location services the first time you open them. If you were initially denied permission, the app might not work correctly and could be the reason for the incorrect location on your Find My iPhone.

You can grant permission later by going to Settings and selecting Privacy -> Location Services. There, you'll find a list of apps that requested your location. For instance, if Find My iPhone shows "Never" next to it, it means it lacks permission to access your location.

Tap on the app and ensure it's set to "While Using the App." After that, close Settings, exit the app and reopen it. Now, Find My should be able to use your location information correctly.

Ensure the Find My App Has Location Permission

Close and Reopen the Find My App

Next, try to close the Find My App app by double-clicking your Home button (for iPhones without Face ID) or swiping up from the very bottom to the center of the screen (for iPhones with Face ID). Then, swipe the app up and off the top of the screen. After that, reopen the app and check if it now shows your correct location.

Close and Reopen the Find My App

Check the Time and Date on Your iPhone

Surprisingly enough, another thing that can impact your Find My iPhone app's wrong or old location is your date and time being incorrect. To adjust your date and time settings, navigate to Settings -> General -> Date & Time.

Make sure the "Set Automatically" option has a green indicator next to it. If it doesn't, tap the toggle to enable it. If the automatic setting doesn't resolve the issue with Find My iPhone, you can also manually select your time zone.

Check the Time and Date on Your iPhone

Turn Airplane Mode On and Off

Sometimes, turning your phone on Airplane Mode and turning it back off is the best way to un-freeze a location that's stuck on a previous one. It helps sort out your network connections and so much more. Just scroll down on your screen to show the control panel and click the icon with an Airplane on it. After a few seconds, turn it back off.

Turn Airplane Mode On and Off

Check Your Network Connection

Your iPhone uses information from Wi-Fi, cellular, and Bluetooth to determine your location, rather than solely relying on GPS.

At times, Find My iPhone might display the wrong location if your iPhone is not connected to a strong network. Find My iPhone depends on a connection to collect location information and transmit it to Apple.

Ensure that your iPhone is connected to a cellular or Wi-Fi network. To check if Wi-Fi is causing the location mix-up, switch to another Wi-Fi. Go to Settings -> Wi-Fi and try another Wi-Fi.

Check Your Network Connection

Clear Significant Locations

You can also speed up the Find My location update by making your iPhone forget known locations or taking a break from using them. To do this:

Step 1. Go to Settings -> Privacy & Security -> Location Services.

Clear Significant Locations

Step 2. Then go to System Services -> Significant Locations. Clear the history at the bottom of the page for good measure and turn off the switch next to Significant Locations.

Clear the history

Reset Location Services

Sometimes, the settings on your phone are the biggest reason you cannot get an updated location on Find My iPhone. Resetting location services is a fairly easy task, and when you go ahead with it, chances are your problem will go away as well. Just open Settings and tap General -> Reset -> Reset Location & Privacy.

Reset Location Services

Report the Issue to Apple

If all else fails, report the problem to Apple Support. It's possible that the issue you're facing is one of a kind and hasn't been experienced before. Or maybe your device has a fault in it that the Apple Store can identify and help you with.

In the long run, there aren't many drawbacks to reporting the issue; you might even have a better chance of it being resolved. Just make sure you take proof of ownership of the device so that they don't ask you any unnecessary questions.

To Conclude

That's all there was to fix the issue of Find My iPhone being stuck in an old location, especially when you know your actual location is something different. In many cases, there are settings on your phone that can interfere with location services, and sorting them out can make a big difference. Similarly, you need to be open to updating your device and apps or even force restarting your device if there is a need for it. Good luck!

Maggie Mueller
Meet Maggie Mueller, a seasoned technical writer whose passion for technology is matched only by her commitment to helping others navigate the digital landscape. With an infectious enthusiasm for unraveling the complexities of iOS, Android devices, and software, Maggie is your friendly guide in the world of tech, providing clear, concise, and accurate insights.
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