Have you ever tried to share your location on your iPhone only to see the frustrating “Share Location Unavailable” error message? This common issue prevents you from letting friends and family see where you are on apps like Find My, Messages, and more.
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Don’t worry – in most cases, this problem can be easily fixed with a few quick troubleshooting steps. This comprehensive guide will walk you through all the potential causes and solutions to get location sharing working again on your iPhone.
Being able to share your real-time location with others is one of the most useful features on the iPhone. Whether you want to temporarily share your location with a friend or allow family members to continuously view your whereabouts, location sharing enables greater connectivity.
However, the “Share Location Unavailable” error essentially disables this great feature on your device. When you attempt to share your location, you’ll see a message stating “Share Location Unavailable” or “Location Unavailable.”
This frustrating glitch can occur on any iPhone model and version of iOS. In this article, we’ll explore the various causes of the “Share Location Unavailable” problem and provide step-by-step instructions to get location sharing functioning properly again.
Why Does “Share Location Unavailable” Happen?
Before we get into the solutions, let’s discuss some of the common triggers for the “Share Location Unavailable” error:
- Disabled Location Services – If Location Services are turned off on your device, you won’t be able to share your location. You’ll need to enable Location Services in Settings.
- Disabled Share My Location – Even if Location Services are on, the Share My Location setting may be turned off, preventing sharing.
- Airplane Mode – With Airplane Mode activated, all location features will be unavailable. Airplane Mode disconnects you from cellular and wireless signals.
- Incorrect Date & Time – If your iPhone’s date and time settings are inaccurate, it can mess up location-based services.
- Poor Cellular Connection – Without a strong cellular or WiFi signal, your iPhone can’t retrieve your precise location to share.
- Outdated iOS Version – Make sure your iPhone is updated to the latest iOS version for optimal performance.
- Third-Party App Issues – Problems with individual apps’ location permissions can prevent sharing just within those apps.
- Apple Server Issues – Rare outages with Apple’s servers can temporarily disrupt location services.
Now that we know what causes the “Share Location Unavailable” error, let’s go through the steps to fix it!
10 Solutions to Fix “Share Location Unavailable”
Follow these troubleshooting tips in order until location sharing starts working again:
1. Check Location Services Settings
The first thing to check is whether Location Services are enabled on your iPhone. Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services and make sure the switch at the top is in the ON position and turned green.
Additionally, toggle on the Share My Location setting here. This allows apps to access your location data for sharing purposes.
2. Turn Off Airplane Mode
When Airplane Mode is activated, it suspends all wireless connections, preventing access to location data.
Open Control Center and make sure the Airplane Mode icon is toggled off and not highlighted blue. This will re-enable WiFi/cellular connections.
3. Update iOS Software
Having the latest iOS version installed ensures maximum performance and compatibility with location services.
Go to Settings > General > Software Update to download and install any available updates for your iPhone. This can resolve bugs affecting location sharing.
4. Reset Network Settings
Resetting your network settings clears out any problematic network configurations that may be interfering with location services.
Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings. This will wipe all WiFi networks and other custom networking settings.
5. Toggle Airplane Mode
Quickly toggling Airplane Mode on and then off again acts as a reboot of the network hardware inside your iPhone.
Swipe down from the top right to open Control Center and tap the Airplane Mode icon to turn it on. Wait 10 seconds, then tap it again to turn Airplane Mode off.
6. Force Quit Apps
Apps that use your location like Find My and Messages can sometimes get stuck. Force quitting them provides a fresh start.
Double click the Home button and swipe up on any problem apps to force close them. Then launch the apps again to see if location sharing works.
7. Restart Your iPhone
If you’re still seeing the “Share Location Unavailable” error, restarting your iPhone essentially acts as a power cycle that can flush out any lingering glitches.
Hold down the Side/Power button until the “slide to power off” prompt appears. Slide to turn off. Wait 30 seconds, then press the Side button again to restart your iPhone.
8. Reset All Settings
For persistent cases, resetting all settings will clear out any problematic customizations while keeping your data intact.
Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset All Settings. Enter your passcode if prompted. This will restore various settings to their factory default.
9. Update Apps
Make sure any apps you want to use for location sharing are updated to their latest versions. Outdated apps may suffer from bugs or incompatibilities.
Check the App Store for any available updates and install them. Then try sharing your location within the apps again.
10. Contact Apple Support
If you still can’t resolve the issue after trying all the steps, your last resort is to contact Apple Support. They can troubleshoot further and escalate a technical issue if needed.
You can call Apple Support or chat with them online to troubleshoot the “Share Location Unavailable” problem on your iPhone.
With any luck, one of these solutions should have successfully resolved the “Share Location Unavailable” error for you. Location sharing is an invaluable iPhone feature for staying in touch with friends and family, so make sure to keep these troubleshooting steps in mind.
Following this guide, you can quickly identify and address the cause of the location sharing failure. Just enabling a disabled setting or toggling Airplane Mode is all it takes most of the time.
While frustrating, this common error is largely preventable when you know which settings to check or hardware resets to perform. Hopefully you now feel empowered to get your iPhone’s location sharing working again anytime it goes on the fritz.
Summary of Solutions
|Check Location Services Settings||Enable Location Services and Share My Location|
|Turn Off Airplane Mode||Re-enables wireless connections|
|Update iOS Software||Install latest iOS version|
|Reset Network Settings||Clears any problematic network settings|
|Toggle Airplane Mode||Reboots network hardware|
|Force Quit Apps||Restarts any stuck apps|
|Restart iPhone||Power cycles the device|
|Reset All Settings||Restores settings to default|
|Update Apps||Gets latest app versions|
|Contact Apple Support||Get additional troubleshooting help|