It is always recommended to share our location with a family member or a friend we trust in order to ensure safety and make sure that in case of any mishaps someone is aware of our whereabouts. However, at times this may turn into a privacy breach. What if you do not want them to know where you are going? It might be to a private meeting or to a private party. In this article, we will talk about how to stop sharing location without them knowing.
We all have experienced this situation once in our life where we have lied to our parents and gone to a party instead of a group study, right? Well, even though it is not recommended, we all have been there and done that. Let us get into it right away and understand how to stop sharing location without them knowing.
What is location sharing?
To understand how location sharing works, we need to understand a very important concept called GPS. GPS stands for Global Positioning System and as the name suggests, it is a system owned by the United States government for positioning or locating anything. It is the same system that is used for navigation purposes as well. Also, It is an extremely accurate, satellite-based, and globally available free service for the users. It is amongst one of the most efficient utilities ever designed as it works round the clock in all weathers and serves millions of users every day. There are multiple satellites launched by the US Space Force which revolve around the earth twice a day and transmit unique signals. These signals are received by GPS receivers which then compute your exact location coordinates and send them to your device to be shared.
How to stop sharing location without them knowing
Well, now that we understand a little about the backend functioning of the location computation system or GPS. We can move on to understand how we can bypass it.
Can we somehow hide from these satellites? The answer is no, we can not really hide from them. However, there are a few ways we can bypass it. In simple terms, the incoming and outgoing signals help in positioning so if we can block that then we can achieve our goal. There are several ways we can go about it. Let’s get into it at once!
Turn on Airplane Mode
The easiest way to stop sharing your location is to enable Airplane mode. It completely disconnects your phone from the cellular network and hence, does not allow anyone to see your location. Also, It is important to note that enabling airplane mode will block internet usage and also not let you send or receive any calls or messages. It is very interesting to know that Airplane mode does not stop the GPS system’s working and any device can still be tracked. GPS is a receive-only signal so even if the receiver cell phone is in airplane mode, the signals get sent to it. We will not dig deep into this in this article. It is sufficient to note that airplane mode cuts off the device connection from the cellular network hence disabling other people from seeing your location.
Steps to enable Airplane mode:
- Go to “Settings” and click on Airplane mode
- Alternatively, you can also just swipe up on your phone to open the control panel.
- Find the “Airplane mode” option and click on it. As the name suggests, the icon looks like an airplane.
- Once it is enabled successfully, you will not be able to see the network bars on the top of the screen.
Turn off the “Share My Location” feature
This is another feature that comes in-built into your mobile device. It is very easy to use and does not send any notification to your contacts when you enable or disable it. However, it is only available on the iOS 8 version or above. Once this option is turned off, the location services will stop updating your location.
You may follow the simple steps given below to turn off location services:
- Unlock your device and go to “Settings”
- Scroll down to find the “Privacy” option and click on it
- Find the “Location Services” option and hit it
- Toggle the “Share My Location” option to off state.
Upon disabling location services, you must be extra cautious with your device because tracking it would be difficult.
Use another device
For this method, you require at least two devices, it could be an iPhone and an iPad or it could just be 2 iPhones as well. Let us assume that you are at home currently and your friend invites you to their place. But, you tell them that you are sick and later go out to get ice cream. You want to do that without your friend being able to know that you are outside. How do we do that? Is it possible to show my home location to them even when I am outside? The answer is yes it is quite possible provided you have 2 devices and you are willing to leave one of them at home.
You can set your location to the device at home and go outside with the other one. Just another thing to make sure is to log in to both the devices with the same Apple ID. For the sake of understanding, let us assume you own an iPhone and an iPad and you want to leave the iPad at home and go to the ice cream parlor with just your iPhone.
Follow the below steps to achieve this:
- Unlock your iPhone and launch the “Settings” app
- Go to your profile and turn on the Share My Location option.
- On your iPad, tap on the “Find My” app
- Click on the “Me” option and select “Choose this device as my location”
Since the Apple ID is the same, it is treated as one entity. We chose our iPad’s location to be shared for this Apple ID. These 2 devices are considered the same under one ID and this way your iPhone’s location will not be shared. And the best part is you can do this discretely as there is no notification sent on changing any of the settings.
Stop sharing location on Find My App
This in-built utility gives you an option to share your location with a specific set of people. You have the freedom to edit this list of people anytime with a few simple clicks. You can add or remove anyone in a Giffy without them knowing.
Let’s follow the simple steps to do so:
- Unlock your device and go to the “Find My” application.
- Click on the “Me” option
- Toggle “Share my location” off.
The above-mentioned method will stop location sharing for everybody. However, if you want to stop sharing your location with a specific person you may just remove them from your list of people on the Find My app. You can do so by following the below steps:
- Open the Find My app and click on “People”
- Once you see the list of people you are sharing your location with, you can select the people you would like to remove from that list.
- Click on “Stop sharing my location”
This way you can specifically stop the location share for a certain person. This is a safer way comparatively as if not A, person B would be aware of your whereabouts.
Use GPS Spoofer to set up a virtual location
All the methods that we have discussed so far involve playing around with in-built features only. Whereas, this method involves another utility that does not come pre-installed in the device. It helps you fake your current location and pretend like you are somewhere else. One of the most famous popular applications for GPS spoofing is iToolab AnyGo. This can be used while playing games like Pokémon go which involve a lot of movement from one place to another. Below are the steps for the same:
- Download and Install iToolab AnyGo on your laptop or computer.
- Connect your iPhone to the computer and launch the application.
- Click on the “Start” button
- The app will identify your current location and load a map of it on the screen
- Click on the “Teleport” icon and select an available virtual location you want to be at.
- Once the app picks up the correct location, hit “Go” and you will be good to go.
With great technology, comes greater risk. GPS spoofing is a relatively safe option but it still poses some cybersecurity risks. If a malicious entity or a hacker gets access to your device, they can spoof the location to bypass certain security features and give you a hard time. There is nothing to worry about but it is very important to be careful.
Hide your location via iMessage
iMessage is again an in-built feature that allows users to send messages and communicate. When a user sends a message, they share their location as well automatically. This comes as a default setting. It is very useful in most cases but can even cause problems when someone does not want to share their location with the person they are sending the message. To overcome this, iMessage comes with the feature to hide sharing the location automatically with the message. Let’s find out how with the below steps:
- Unlock your phone and launch the iMessage application.
- You will see a list of conversations you have had with multiple people on the screen.
- Click on the chat of the user from whom you want to hide your location.
- On top of the screen, click on the I button for info.
- Click on the “Stop sharing location” option.
This will stop sharing your location with only that person when you send them a text via iMessage. However, other methods will not be changed with this, which means they would still be able to see your location via other ways discussed above. This again is a relatively safe option for disabling location sharing as it is an in-built feature and stops location with just the people we select and not everyone. This method does not trigger any message or notification to the user we disable location sharing.
Read Also: Voicemail unavailable iPhone
In this article, we have understood how location sharing works technically, we got an overall idea of the GPS system and how to stop sharing locations without them knowing. These services are incorporated in devices only to ensure the safety and security of its user and therefore, it is highly recommended to keep them enabled at all times. It is in fact a double-edged sword where on one side it keeps us safe and on the other, it intrudes into our privacy at times. So it is up to the user’s discretion to enable or disable it wisely. We also discussed the security risks each of the methods mentioned above might expose a user to. It is important to note that there is no need to worry but just to be careful and aware.
Yes, they are absolutely safe. They come in-built into your device and cause no harm. You just need to be careful to not share your location with strangers.
Absolutely yes, as long as the phone is not switched off or location services are not disabled you or the police can track your device.
The answer is yes, Location services do contribute to faster battery depletion but its advantages overpower this fact.
No, GPS spoofing is not illegal but fake GPS can be detected and authorities can take strict action on it if it was done with malicious intent.
Yes, it is very easy to enable all the options discussed above. Most of the time you have to follow the same steps and just turn the location sharing option to the other side.