Location sharing in Google Maps is an incredibly useful feature when you are out and about and want to help your contacts find you. And many people rely on real-time location sharing on a daily basis all around the world. Sadly, some of them report that, for no apparent reason, location-sharing is not updating on Google Maps. It seems that location doesn’t change as users move and there are more than a few reasons why this happens.
In case Google Maps location sharing is not working for you, check the steps we listed below.
Table of contents:
- Check the network
- Enable precise location settings
- Check Permissions
- Cancel sharing and try sharing location again
- Disable Battery optimization for Google Maps
- Clear local data from Google Maps
- Reinstall Google Maps
- Disable NFC and Bluetooth and test GPS
Why is a location sharing not updating?
If Google Maps location sharing is not updating, check the network, restart sharing, clear local app data, or reinstall Google Maps.
Additionally, you can try disabling NFC and Bluetooth while using Maps and enabling precise location settings.
Important Note: This is a two-way street. Both parties included should have a stable connection, the latest version of Google Maps, and location services turned On.
1. Check the network
The first thing to do is to check the network. Of course, you can use Google Maps in Offline Mode but you can’t share your location without a stable network connection. Be that Wi-Fi or Mobile data. You need to enable Location Services to get location readings.
So, make sure that you are connected to Wi-Fi or, if on the move, that you have access to 4G/LTE/5G on your device to share your location via Google Maps.
2. Enable precise location settings
The next thing you can try is enabling precise location settings. Google Location Services can use Wi-Fi and Bluetooth readings to improve location accuracy so make sure that both of those options are disabled. This is quite important if you are sharing your location while indoors, GPS readings can be hit or miss. That’s why Wi-Fi scanning and Bluetooth scanning should be enabled.
Here’s how to enable precise location scanning options on your Android:
- Open Settings.
- Select Location and turn on Location Services.
- Tap Improve accuracy.
- Make sure that both Bluetooth Scanning and Wi-Fi Scanning are enabled.
3. Check Permissions
The next thing you should check is permissions. Google Maps require location access to work but background location access is also a thing on recent Android iterations. Users are presented with more options when it comes to certain permissions and, in this case, you’ll need to grant full location access to Google Maps. In this scenario, the “Allow when using the app” won’t cut it if you turn off the screen.
Here’s how to check Google Maps permissions on your Android:
- Open Settings.
- Tap Apps.
- Expand All apps.
- Select Maps from the list of installed apps.
- Tap Permissions.
- Select Location.
- Select Allow all the time.
Additionally, you probably want to calibrate your compass or use the Live View camera to improve accuracy by pointing it at storefronts or signs around you. Follow these steps to calibrate Google Maps and improve location accuracy:
- Open Google Maps during the day.
- Enable Location and tap on the blue dot that represents your current location.
- Tap Calibrate.
- With Live View, point the camera in the direction of some storefronts, landmarks, or signs and follow further instructions. Alternatively, you can choose Compass and follow the on-screen instructions to calibrate the compass.
4. Cancel sharing and try sharing location again
You can also stop location sharing and start the sharing session again. The problem might be related to the current session only and you should be able to fix it by restarting it. Of course, if the issue persists, move to the next step.
Here’s how to restart location sharing in Google Maps:
- In Google Maps, tap on your Account icon at the top right corner and select Location Sharing from the contextual menu.
- At the bottom, you should see the list of contacts that can see your current location.
- Tap Stop.
- Force close Google Maps (from the Recents menu) and open the app again.
- Tap Account > Location sharing and select contacts with whom you want to share your location.
- Tap “Share Location with…” to share your location.
If the location sharing is still not updating in Google Maps, make sure to check the battery optimization. Again, this applies to both included parties.
5. Disable Battery optimization for Google Maps
Battery optimization is a great way for software to limit battery consumption by killing off idle apps that tend to stick in the background. Some OEMs are a tad too extreme with it, but they still offer an option to disable the optimization. Users can change settings and whitelist apps that shouldn’t fall into the battery optimization category.
That way, apps of your choice will stay in the background and, in this particular case with Google Maps, keep sharing location even when the screen is off.
Here’s how to disable Battery optimization for Google Maps on Android:
- Again, open Settings > Apps > All apps > Maps.
- Open Battery Optimization or Battery.
- Make sure that the Allow background activity option is enabled. You can also disable Battery optimization for Google Maps from there.
- Open Optimize battery usage.
- Select All from the drop-down menu on the top.
- Locate Maps on the list.
- Toggle off battery optimization for Google Maps and check for improvements.
6. Clear local data from Google Maps
The next thing you can do is clear local data from Google Maps. That way, you’ll reset the app so it can load again. No worries about your data since everything in Google Maps is online-based. With downloaded Offline maps being an obvious exception. Once you clear data from the app, open it again and try sharing your location.
Here’s how to clear local data from Google Maps on your Android:
- Open Settings.
- Select Apps.
- Expand All Apps.
- Choose Maps from the list of available apps.
- Tap Storage.
- Tap Clear data and confirm when prompted.
- Restart your device, open Google Maps, and check for improvements.
If that doesn’t help and location sharing is still not updating on Google Maps, check the next step.
7. Reinstall Google Maps
As an alternative, you can reinstall Google Maps from Play Store. This will not only clear all local data but also get you the latest version of the app. You can uninstall the app from your Home Screen or navigate to the Play Store and uninstall Google Maps there.
Here’s how to remove and install Google Maps from Play Store:
- Open Play Store.
- Search for Google Maps and expand the app.
- Tap Uninstall.
- Restart your Android and install Google Maps again from Play Store.
We suggest leaving the beta program if you are an early adopter of Google Maps. To leave the beta program, open Play Store > Google Maps and swipe/scroll down. Tap Leave under the Beta tester section. Wait until you are removed from the Beta program and update Google Maps. If there are no updates available, just reinstall the app as explained above.
8. Disable NFC and Bluetooth and test GPS
Finally, if you are still stuck with the problem, we can only recommend disabling NFC and Bluetooth while using location services and trying to share your location again. If that doesn’t help, make sure to check if Google Maps are not down globally. You can also report the problem to the Google Maps support team.
In addition, you can test the GPS coverage on your device. Learn how to do that either with system resources or a third-party app by following the steps we listed, here. Don’t forget that Google Maps is not your only option. Some instant messengers like WhatsApp offer location sharing.
That should do it. Thank you for reading and don’t forget to tell us if these steps were helpful or if you are still stuck with the same problem. You can do that in the comments section below or contact us on Facebook or Twitter. We look forward to hearing from you.
Editor’s note: This article was initially published in November 2021. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.