How to fix location unavailable error iPhone

One of the most common issues with iOS devices is the unavailability or inaccuracy of the location.  This comes with significant inconveniences, especially in situations where you need to use the location feature. For instance, while using the Find My Friends application.

We’ll be looking at the different causes of this problem and their relevant solutions. Keep reading to find out.

Why is the iPhone location not available?

First, you must know that your iPhone and other iOS devices use your WiFi, GPS, and cellular data to determine your location. So, most iPhone issues will center around these three areas. It could be:

  • Either the GPS, WiFi, or cellular data is off.
  • Location services are off.
  • The date and time are wrong on the device.
  • The settings are off.
  • The person you want to connect with isn’t signed in to Find My Friends.

The solutions to location is unavailable error on iPhone

First, before you get to the complex solutions, you should try the following tips:

1. Ensure the location services are ON

For iPhone 6 and above, go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services.

For iPhone 5 and below, go to Settings > Location Services.

  • Turn the location services OFF and ON to see if there’s any change.
  • Toggle ON the location-based suggestions and alerts. Go to Settings > Privacy > Location services > System Services then scroll to the bottom.
  • Check for any enabled restrictions and disable them. Especially for different applications.
  • Turn on both WiFi and cellular data.
  • Sign out of your Apple ID.
  • Reset location and privacy settings.
  • For the Find My Friends app, remove your friends then add them again. Or, try and uninstall and reinstall the app.

Correct the date and time

You need to make sure the date, time, and time zone are correct on your phone. Go to Settings > General > Date & Time, and toggle the “Set Automatically” button ON.

For improved GPS performance, try and stay clear from walls, tall buildings, and other obstructions that may interfere with your device’s access to GPS satellites.

Restart your iPhone

Rebooting your device helps to refresh the system thus solving different software-related problems.

  • For iPhone 6s or previous versions, and iPads with home buttons, press the home and power buttons simultaneously until the Apple logo appears on the screen.
  • For iPhone 7 or 7 plus, press both the side and volume down button at the same time for a minimum of 10 seconds. Stop when you see the Apple logo.
  • For iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X series, and iPad with no home button: Press and release the volume up button fast. Next, press and release the volume down button quickly. Lastly, press and hold the side button until the Apple logo appears on the screen.
  • For iPhone 11, press and hold the power and volume down button at the same time until the power off slider appears on the screen. Draw the “power off” slider to the right to power off the device. Wait until the screen is totally blank before you power ON the iPhone by pressing the power key on the right.

Reset all the device’s settings

Go to settings, select General > Reset > Reset all settings.

This will remove changes and personalization that you made to your settings which might be affecting location availability. More so, the network settings.

Turn ON background app refresh for WiFi and Cellular

If you toggle ON background app refresh to use both cellular and WiFi, it could help solve performance issues of third-party apps—including location unavailability.

Keep the WiFi ON even if there’s no network to connect to and you’re using cellular data. It helps to update the location services, thus limiting bug issues that could lead to location unavailability problems.

Reset your iPhone

If none of the solutions above work, try and reset your iOS device to factory settings. This could help resolve unknown issues that might cause the location not found an error in your iPhone.

Make sure you’ve backed up your data and other vital information to iCloud or iTunes before you reset since it leads to loss of settings and data.


The location feature is extremely important in iOS devices. Its malfunction could be stressful when you need it. Fortunately, with these solutions, it shouldn’t take long to fix your location unavailability and inaccuracy on iPhone. The trick is to try each one of them until the problem is fully resolved.

Feel free to share other tips that might help fix the location unavailable error on iPhone. The more solutions are available the better. After all, the problem could be a combination of different system issues that need more than one solution to fix.