My iPhone Location Is Wrong! Here’s The Fix.

Funny things can happen when your iPhone location is wrong. Your iPhone may display the wrong time. Your alarms might not work. Find My iPhone may not work correctly.

It’s a real head scratcher, but it does happen. There could be a few different reasons why your iPhone location is wrong, and there are definitely ways to fix this. Read on to find out why your iPhone thinks it’s somewhere else and what steps you can take to fix a wrong iPhone location.

First Things First: Check The App

If your iPhone location is wrong, check the app that’s showing you this information. If your location is only wrong in one app, then it’s most likely a problem with that specific application.

Look at your location in another app, like Maps or Weather. Both should automatically use your current location to give you information when you open them.

Don’t worry too much if Maps shows you as being within a few hundred feet of where you really are. If Weather shows you information for the general area and Maps has you nearby, your iPhone Location Services are probably just fine.

1. Close And Reopen The App

However, if the app thinks you’re in Timbuktu (and you’re not), that you need to worry about. If a single app is having problems, try closing it and restarting it.

To close apps, double-click your Home button (iPhones without Face ID) or swipe up from the very bottom to the center of the screen (iPhones with Face ID). Then, close the app by swiping it up and off the top of the screen. Reopen the app that had the wrong location and see if it thinks you’re in the right place.

close app store on iphone

2. Make Sure You Gave The App Permission To Use Your Location

Most apps that use your location ask if they can have access to Location Services the first time you open them. If you said no, then the app doesn’t have permission to use location information from your iPhone and may not work properly as a result. This may be why your iPhone is showing the wrong location.

You can give an app permission to use your Location Services even after you say no. Open Settings and tap Privacy -> Location Services. Here you’ll see a list of the apps that have asked to use your location. For example, if Find My iPhone says Never next to it, it doesn’t have permission to see your location information.

Tap on the app and make sure it’s set to While Using the App. Then close Settings, close the app, and reopen it. Now, it should be able to use your location information.

allow app to access your location while using it

3. Check For An App Update

If your iPhone location is still wrong, but only in one app, there may be a problem with the app’s software. Odds are that the group who made the app is already aware of the problem, and an update is on the way to fix it.

You can check for an app update by opening App Store, then tapping your Account Icon in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. Scroll down to see a list of available app updates. Tap Update to the right of an app to update it.

check for updates to apps

4. Report The Problem

You can take things a step further and reach out to the app developer directly through the App Store. While this feature isn’t available for every app, it doesn’t hurt to check. Open App Store, tap the Search tab, then type in the name of the app getting your location wrong.

Scroll down to the Ratings & Reviews section, then tap See All. Tap App Support to go to the support page of the group that made the app. Look for an option to send a message or report a problem.

get app support in iphone app store

When Good Location Services Go Bad

If your iPhone location is wrong in more than one app, there could be a problem with your iPhone’s Location Services. The iPhone uses something called an assisted Global Positioning System (GPS) to track your location.

GPS is a system of satellites orbiting the earth that bounce signals to and from your iPhone. If the satellite is in the right position and can pick up your iPhone’s signal, your iPhone can use that information to know where you are.

However, satellite GPS isn’t perfect and can take several minutes to work. That’s why iPhones also use your cellular network connection, Wi-Fi connection, and Bluetooth connection to help pinpoint where you are.

5. Is Wi-Fi To Blame?

Using information from your Wi-Fi, cellular network, and Bluetooth connections allows your iPhone to pinpoint your location a lot faster than just using GPS satellite info. To speed it up even more, Apple also stores information about where you typically connect.

For example, if you always use your Wi-Fi network at home, Apple will (with your permission) keep track of that location. So when you’re on Wi-Fi at home, it automatically knows approximately where you are.

That sounds great, right? Right! But if you move and take your Wi-Fi router with you, then it might take Apple some time to update the saved information that tells them where that network is. This means, if you connect to a Wi-Fi network Apple thinks it knows the location of, your iPhone could think you are somewhere else entirely. Eventually, Apple will update the location information, but it may take a while.

To find out if your Wi-Fi connection is causing the incorrect iPhone location, turn off Wi-Fi. Go to Settings -> Wi-Fi and tapping the green toggle next to Wi-Fi to turn it off.

turn off wifi on iphone

You can also help try to speed up the Location Services update by asking your iPhone to forget known locations
or simply stop using known locations for a little while. To do that, go to Settings and tap Privacy -> Location Services -> System Services -> Significant Locations. Tap the green toggle next to Significant Locations to turn it off. I also suggest you go down to the history portion of the page and tap Clear History.

turn off iphone significant locations

You may have to wait a day or so for your iPhone to send its most recent location to Apple. If your iPhone location is wrong after that, there are still a few things you can try! Take heart and read on.

5. Resetting Location Services

The software that runs your iPhone is complicated. It’s possible that a setting has changed and needs to be corrected before you can also fix your incorrect iPhone location. Thankfully, you can reset all of your Location Services settings. Just open Settings and tap General -> Reset -> Reset Location & Privacy.

reset location and privacy settings on iphone

You’ll need to enter your iPhone passcode to reset your Location Services. This will change your location and privacy settings back to the way they were when you first got your iPhone. Do this, and then try using an app like Maps or Weather again.

6. Backup and Restore From iTunes Or Finder

If your iPhone location is still wrong even after you reset Location Services, try doing a backup and restoring your iPhone from iTunes. To do that:

  1. Plug your iPhone into your computer using a USB cable.
  2. Open iTunes (PCs and Macs running macOS 10.14 or older) or Finder (Macs running macOS 10.15 or newer).
  3. Select your iPhone when it syncs to iTunes or Finder.
  4. Choose Restore Backup. Choose a backup from before the trouble started with your location. Finish the restore, and check your iPhone. It should show you being in the right location now.

Could Find My iPhone Be Wrong?

One of my favorite things about the iPhone is the Find My iPhone feature. Not only is this handy when you lose your iPhone around the house and need to find it, but it’s also a great way to keep tabs on the whereabouts of family members. (Check out our article about tracking your children’s iPhones for some handy tips on using Find My iPhone.)

But, you may ask yourself, could Find My iPhone be wrong? Actually, it can. For Find My iPhone to work, an iPhone has to be turned on and able to send location information to Apple.

Find My iPhone can only track the same Apple ID on 100 different devices at once. If you are on a business plan or share your Apple ID with your extended family, you may have hit the total number of iPhones that can share a Find My iPhone account.

For most of us, that isn’t going to be the problem. It’s much more likely that the iPhone either isn’t online, making you unable to locate it, or the time and date on your iPhone are wrong.

To fix your date and time, go to Settings -> General -> Date & Time. Set Automatically should have a green spot next to it. If it doesn’t, then tap the toggle to turn it on. You can also manually choose your time zone if the Set Automatically option doesn’t fix your Find My iPhone.

set iphone date and time settings automatically

Find My iPhone Needs A Connection To Work

Sometimes, Find My iPhone has a wrong location because it isn’t connected to a network. Find My iPhone needs a connection to collect location information and send it to Apple. Make sure the iPhone is on a cellular network or at least a Wi-Fi network. If the network connection is to blame, you can turn Airplane Mode on and back off again to try to reset it.

Location Services Are Powerful Things

It’s easy to forget how much we rely on the Location Services on our iPhones every day. When my iPhone location is wrong, it can really be annoying.

Hopefully, one of these tricks got your iPhone back in order, and you can use Maps, Weather, and Find My iPhone again without trouble. Do you have a favorite app that uses your location? Let us know in the comments below! We’d love to hear from you.

About Author

I'm Valerie Lauer, a writer, editor and tech enthusiast. I believe in channeling my technical support powers for the greater good, creating helpful how-tos and making life with your smartphone easier.

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Mary
3 months ago

any suggestions? apple GPS is sending people to other addresses right through our private property. How can I correct this? I don’t have an iphone.

Liam Shotwell
3 months ago
Reply to  Mary

I would contact Apple if I were you. If this is specifically an Apple Maps issue, they need to be aware that they are routing through your property and you might have a case.

in trouble
11 months ago

My iphone11 pro max is destroying my marriage, it’s showing that I’m at different homes across the street when my wife isn’t home. She checks, looks at the FIND MY app and it’s showing me everywhere but home. Can someone please help me!!

Nat
10 months ago
Reply to  in trouble

This has happened to me as well I checked my husband’s location and it told me that he was in another suburb at 3.08 in the morning it’s killing me it said phone updating at the time can this app be wrong any advice ?

Karli
8 months ago
Reply to  in trouble

time for a new phone, both of you. Or factory reset them. Something has malfunctioned if you are truly being honest. If it’s causing that much trouble than you both need to upgrade, or if the trust has demolished than you’re gonna have to dig deeper. She must have underlying issues with trust. There are many apps for tracking devices, and many devices that do the same. But if she’s worth it, you’ll happily do so.

Dan
1 year ago

Safari on my iPhone is driving me crazy. It keeps “placing” me in Denver, Kansas City, Nashville, etc., depending on Lord-knows-what. Meanwhile, the iPhone GPS places me and my device within a few yards (sometimes a couple feet!) of my actual location in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The app is set to use my location “while using.” Updating my iOS to the latest version didn’t make this problem go away, either. Then I did a bit more research and found this from whatismybrowser.com: “[S]ome ISPs route all their traffic to a fairly central location before it reaches the public internet. As… Read more »

Zac
1 year ago

My location services show me living in a city an hour away. I have never lived there or have been there in over 5 years. It shows my device is Being used in that city as well as where I live now. That makes me worry that someone else is using my Apple ID without my knowledge on a different phone.

Anonymous
3 years ago

I live in Southern Oregon and also have a home in the Portland area. My iphone says I’m in the Portland location and not in southern oregon. Then my ipad, which has been in southern oregon for the last year is “located” in Portland. Seems to have noting to do with the internet connection. What gives Apple, please fix this.

Anonymous
3 years ago

anyone figure this out? its showing i left work 1 hr early …its causing marital problems… also mine said i was at a hotel for 30 minutes LOL and I WASNT

Anonymous
4 years ago

i had my phone show a location several times for an extended period of time. i dont even know what is there. it’s frustrating. someday when i want to keep track of my child i dont want to hand out an ass beating when he’s telling the truth about where he is but his phone says he somewhere else…like 8 blocks from where he says.

Anonymous
4 years ago

Before the recent eclipse, we parked and set up at 4429’31” N 12111’41” W (Oregon). Enjoyed the display, lots of ooos and aaahs. iPhone pictures taken before the eclipe showed that lat/long.

Pictures taken 35 minutes later, at the same site recorded at 4431’50” N 12110’56” W, nearly a mile away in a farmers field…. five pictures each from before and after are in Photos…. with different lat/long.

Can’t think of an explanation for teh difference.

Anonymous
4 years ago

I am so frustrated when I do a search on my iphone and it ALWAYS says I am in San DIego. It gets me so annoyed. I have no clue why it does this!!!!

Anonymous
4 years ago

Why would my location note I left my location 3 hours before I did? But note my correct location once I arrive home. Essentially have me missing fir 3 hours

Anonymous
4 years ago

The image on the *right, you are writing from the middle of the woods. 🙂