The following is all pertaining to IOS (14): (and assume locations services are turned on)

If you go to settings -> privacy -> location services -> Find My there are three options:

  1. Never
  2. Ask next time
  3. While using the App.

There is no "Always" option (some apps, such as google maps, have an "Always" option).

Doesn't this mean that the "Find My" app can't share my real-time location with people when the app is closed (say, if I am checking my email)? Or does the app have a way around this?

Perhaps sharing my location with someone give the app location access while I am sharing my location, even if the app is closed? If so, shouldn't that be noted somewhere?

  • Are you perhaps confusing or confused by the app checking in with servers to look at other devices from other servers knowing where your phone is? What’s the thing you’re trying to do?
    – bmike
    Commented Dec 11, 2020 at 20:37

1 Answer 1


Sharing your location with other people and locating a lost device always works, even when the app is not open, providing other toggles are enabled.

  • The ‘Find My’ app location services access is separate to the system service that shares your location to other people in the background.
  • The toggle for the background sharing of your location to friends you have shared your location with is near the top of Location Services settings, called ‘Share My Location’.
  • The toggle for the background sharing of your location when looking for your own lost device is at the bottom of Location Services, under System Services, labelled ‘Find My iPhone’.
  • Does the 'Find My' always have locations services access? Or is it only granted access when sharing my location/locating a lost device etc.
    – majmun
    Commented Dec 11, 2020 at 20:11
  • 1
    @majmun I've edited my answer to mention the ‘lost device’ part of Find My, which is a third toggle. Your location is only accessed when something requests it, such as a friend or yourself locating a lost device — it's not constantly broadcasting your location.
    – grg
    Commented Dec 11, 2020 at 20:27

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