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

by Maggie Mueller Updated On Jun 13, 2024 Published On Jan 4, 2024 Basic iPhone Tips Ideal for Newbies

When it comes to locating lost devices, Find My iPhone is a godsend feature in Apple products. It not only helps determine your iPhone's whereabouts, but also lets you know if the phone has charge, is connected to the internet, and 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. In this guide, we will explain why Find My iPhone might give a false location and how you can fix the issue.

Why Is Find My iPhone Stuck on Old Location

There are various reasons why Find My iPhone might show an old location. These include:

  • Weak Wi-Fi signal
  • Poor cellular service
  • Incorrect location services
  • Incorrect Date & Time settings
  • 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.

However, if you move and bring your Wi-Fi with you, it takes Apple some time to update that information. 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. Apple will catch up, but it might take some time.

Improve Your Environmental Conditions

Environmental elements such as tall buildings, dense forests, and weather conditions like heavy rain can also cause weak Wi-Fi and GPS signals, leading to Find My iPhone being stuck on an old location. If you're in an area with poor GPS or network signal, try moving to a place with better reception to improve the Wi-Fi and GPS signal.

Update iOS and the Find My App

If your Find My location is still not updating correctly, it could be due to outdated iOS software causing glitches. To ensure 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 manually update the Find My app to resolve any 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 initially denied permission, the app might not work correctly, which could be why Find My iPhone shows an incorrect location.

To grant permission later:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Select Privacy.
  3. Tap Location Services.
  4. Find Find My iPhone in the list of apps.
  5. If it shows "Never" next to it, tap on the app and set it to While Using the App.

After this, close Settings, exit the Find My app, and reopen it. The app should now use your location information correctly.

Ensure the Find My App Has Location Permission

Close and Reopen the Find My App

Try closing and reopening the Find My app:

  1. Double-click the Home button (for iPhones without Face ID) or swipe up from the bottom to the center of the screen (for iPhones with Face ID).
  2. Swipe the app up and off the top of the screen.
  3. 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

An incorrect date and time can affect your Find My iPhone app's location accuracy. To adjust your settings:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Date & Time.
  4. Make sure the Set Automatically option is enabled (green indicator). If it's not, tap the toggle to enable it.

If the automatic setting doesn't resolve the issue, you can also manually select your time zone.

Check the Time and Date on Your iPhone

Turn Airplane Mode On and Off

Turning Airplane Mode on and off can help reset your network connections and fix a stuck location:

  1. Swipe down to show the control panel.
  2. Tap the Airplane icon.
  3. 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. If your iPhone is not connected to a strong network, Find My iPhone might display the wrong location.

Ensure your iPhone is connected to a cellular or Wi-Fi network. To troubleshoot Wi-Fi issues:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap Wi-Fi.
  3. Switch to another Wi-Fi network if available.

By following these steps, you can ensure that Find My iPhone uses accurate location information and updates correctly.

Check Your Network Connection

Clear Significant Locations

To speed up the Find My location update, you can make your iPhone forget known locations. Here's how:

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

Clear Significant Locations

Step 2: Navigate to System Services -> Significant Locations. Clear the history at the bottom of the page and turn off the switch next to Significant Locations.

Clear the history

Reset Location Services

Sometimes, resetting location services can resolve issues with updating your location on Find My iPhone:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap General -> Reset -> Reset Location & Privacy.

Reset Location Services

Report the Issue to Apple

If the issue persists after trying the above steps, it's advisable to report it to Apple Support. They can provide assistance and identify any potential device faults that may be causing the problem. Ensure you have proof of ownership when contacting Apple Support.

To Conclude

These steps should help resolve the issue of Find My iPhone showing an incorrect or old location. Often, adjusting settings and ensuring your device is updated can make a significant difference in location accuracy. Stay open to updating your device and apps, and consider force restarting your iPhone if necessary. 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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