How to prevent your kids from sharing their location from their iPhone

In this tutorial, we will show you how to use Screen Time on your child’s iPhone or iPad to turn off location sharing via iMessage and Find My. We will also guide you on how to restrict location access for third-party apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, and Snapchat to ensure your child’s location can’t be shared over these apps.

Block location sharing

iOS has unassuming little switches in Messages and Find My (earlier Find My Friends) for permitting friends and family to see your current geographical location or receive continually updated location as you move about with an iPhone in your pocket.

It’s a really great feature for power users but also a privacy nightmare for parents. You don’t want your kids to walk around with a probe in their pocket, no?

Responsible parents will weigh the pros and cons of location sharing and restrict the feature so that kids cannot share their location with a stranger, intentionally or not.

Restrict location sharing on your child’s iPhone or iPad

1) Open the Settings app on your child’s device and go to Screen Time. You can also follow these steps on your iPhone and select your child’s name if you use Family Sharing.

2) Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions and make sure it’s enabled on the next screen.

3) Now, tap Location Services and enter the Screen Time passcode.

Location Services in Content and Privacy Restrictions on iPhone

4) From here, select the app whose location sharing you want to restrict. For instance, if your kid uses WhatsApp, select it from the list and set Allow Location Access to Never. After that, return to the previous screen and do this for all apps that you think can be used to intentionally or accidentally disclose your child’s location. This can include apps like Facebook Messenger, Find My, and Messages.

Allow WhatsApp to never access location on iPhone

5) Once you’re done, pick Don’t Allow Changes for Location Services. Disallowing changes locks the current settings for location sharing. It will ensure your child can’t go back to Location Settings and permit these apps to access location.

Do not allow changes to Location Services on iPhone

Note: You can also entirely disable Location Services from this screen, but that would mean location access is also blocked for things like weather, Uber, etc. So, you can choose not to be so restrictive.

6) You’re all set. Location services for chat apps have been successfully blocked. However, you can go back to the Content & Privacy Restrictions screen, tap Share My Location, and pick Don’t Allow to restrict location sharing from Find My and Messages.

Do not allow sharing location on iPhone

Conveniently enough, disallowing changes grays out the Share My Location option in Find My, meaning your junior won’t be permitted to add new people to share their location with.

Share My Location grayed out in Find My app on iPhone

It’s also disallowed in Messages, and if your child goes to Location Services settings, everything here is grayed out and unchangeable because of Screen Time Restrictions.

Location Services grayed out in iPhone Messages and Settings

In other words, from now on, adjusting Location Services will be impossible without the Screen Time passcode. Make sure you don’t share it with your child. As a bonus, locking down Location Services settings will prevent newly installed apps on this device from using its geographical location.

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