How to Share Your Location in Messages for iOS 8

Satellite map with location markers

One of the great features that are heavily underused in iOS 8 is the ability to easily share your location. Whether you want to share it for a period of time with someone or just let them know where you are right now, it’s easy to do in iOS 8.

There are a few steps required to share your location each way, but if you follow the steps below you’ll be able to show friends and family where you are and quit worrying about trying to give directions. Just share and you’re done.

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Share Your Location for a Period of Time

If you always want your significant other to know where you are so they don’t have to call and ask, or if you’re planning on meeting up with friends on vacation and you all want to know where the others are all the time, iOS 8 makes it simple.

This option works best for extended periods of time when you want a specific person to know where you are. For example, you’re in a new city for the day with a friend and you want them to be able to find you when it’s time for lunch.

To share your location for a period of time, open a text thread in the Messages app on your iPhone and tap the Details button in the upper right corner. From here, tap on Share My Location and choose if you want your location shared for an hour, the day, or forever.

Location sharing options on iPhone screen

If you don’t have location services turned on, you’ll be prompted to turn them on before continuing.

Once you select a timeframe for sharing, the person you’ve shared with will see your location when he or she hits the Details button in the message thread. On your side, you’ll see a countdown next to Share My Location letting you know when the sharing is due to expire.

Screen showing location being shared on iPhone

If you’d like to stop sharing your location, just tap the Stop Sharing My Location link and it will immediately stop.

Stop Sharing My Location option on iPhone

While this is great for long-term, up-to-the-minute sharing, what if you just want to send someone your location right now so they can find you? Better yet, what if you find an amazing restaurant and want to tell your friend where it is, but aren’t familiar with the directions? Messages in iOS 8 has you covered there, too.

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Share Your Location One Time

So you’re at a coffee shop that your friend would love, but you’re not sure of the address or honestly even the name. Instead of bothering the staff to find it out, why not just send your friend a message with a map of where you are?

Messages in iOS 8 allows you to send a message that shares your location at one point in time so that the recipient will see where you were when you sent the message – but the sharing won’t continue after that, protecting your privacy.

To share your location on a one-off basis, open up a text message thread that includes the person or people you want to share with. Tap the Details button in the upper right corner, then tap on Send My Current Location.

Selecting Send My Current Location option on iPhone

The recipients will get a small map as a message, and if they’re also on iOS 8 they can tap on the map and even get directions to the location.

Map showing user's location in Messages conversation screen

Once you send this it can’t be revoked, so make sure you’re sharing with someone whom you really want to have your location. As mentioned above, all you have to do is leave that location and it won’t be valid any longer, as it only takes a snapshot of where you are.

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