How To Fake Your Location on Find My Friends
Find My Friends is a location-sharing app available for Android and iPhone. The Find My Friends platform lets any group of people share locations with one another, so that you can see if your friends are on the way to the movie theater, or check to find out if your spouse has left the house yet. The app works very simply. Anyone in your contact list who installs the app on their phone becomes able to share their location with you, and vice-versa. When you both turn on location sharing, you appear on the interactive map at your current location. Find My Friends tracks your location and updates the map when you move, using your smartphone’s GPS capability.
The Find My Friends app offers several different functions to help you coordinate your group of friends. You can share locations between friends on your contacts list or by entering email addresses, phone numbers, or using AirDrop. You can toggle the location feature for yourself on and off within the app using a simple switch. Find My Friends supports location-based alerts which lets you automatically notify your friends when you arrive at a destination, leave a location, or get home safe. The alerts are customizable and configurable. Find My Friends has a built-in chat client to let you communicate quickly with your friends.
The free version of Find My Friends is full-featured and will get done most everything you need to do, but there are also in-app purchases for higher levels of service.
So what do you do if you don’t want to be tracked by Find My Friends? Well, it’s pretty simple – you just turn location tracking off for your phone within the app, or uninstall the app if you want a more permanent solution. Easy and straightforward. However, there are times when you might need to have Find My Friends running and telling other users where you are – but maybe you would like it to give them an incorrect location for your smartphone. Well, there’s good news – that can be done too.
Use a Burner Phone
The easiest and most straightforward way to provide false information to Find My Friends without it looking like you’re being sneaky is to use a burner phone. A burner phone is just a secondary smartphone (usually cheap) that you use only for, shall we say, less than legitimate transactions. Install Find My Friends on your burner phone under the same account as you are using for your primary phone, and then log out of Find My Friends on your primary. Then just leave the burner phone in whatever location you want to appear to be visiting, and go about your business.
Using a burner phone does have some drawbacks. Find My Friends does have a built-in chat feature, and that means if people try to contact you on the app, they’ll be talking to your unattended burner phone, sitting on a desktop at your office. That could cause people to become suspicious. In addition, keeping track of which phone is which and making sure you have the right phone and that everything is set up properly can also be exhausting. Despite these drawbacks, using a burner phone is an easy way to fool Find My Friends.
iPhone – Spoof Find My Friends Using FMFNotifier
If you have an older iPhone, one that has been jailbroken, then you can use FMFNotifier, a standalone app for iPhones that lets you spoof your location within the Find My Friends app. Just download the latest version from the web and install it. FMFNotifier has a number of interesting features. For example, it notifies you when someone is pinging your location. This gives you the opportunity to use a fake location or your real one depending on your needs. You can choose any location and even configure presets to send with a tap of an icon.
iPhone – Spoof Find My Friends with iTools
Newer iPhones can no longer be jailbroken, so if you have a late-model iPhone, you can’t run FMFNotifier. The iOS operating system is very secure and locked down, and doesn’t allow you to play games with GPS location the way you can on an Android. However, there is still a way to spoof your GPS location on the iPhone, although it is more difficult and less flexible.
Unfortunately there is not a free tool for this functionality, but there is a commercial program called iTools which will allow you to spoof your Find My Friends location data. iTools has features besides GPS spoofing, but that’s the only feature we’ll talk about today. You can get a free trial of iTools to see if it will work for you, but after that a single-user license costs $30.95. You run iTools on a Windows PC or a desktop Mac, and then connect your iPhone to that computer using a cable (like you would do if you were connecting to iTunes). So your iPhone will have to stay with the host computer to make this work.
Once you have iTools installed, follow these steps to set up GPS spoofing on your iPhone.
- Click the Toolbox icon on the iTools panel.
- Click the Virtual Location button on the Toolbox panel.
- Enter the location you want to spoof your location to in the text box and click “Move Here”.
- Go to Bumble on your phone and do whatever you wish to do in your “new” location.
- To end the GPS spoofing, select “Stop Simulation” in iTools.
Android – Spoof Find My Friends with Fake GPS Location
GPS works by translating signals from a network of satellites in high Earth orbit. Pretty much all modern smartphones have GPS enabled, and this lets your phone know where you are to within a few feet – plenty accurate enough for apps like Find My Friends. Because Android smartphones are so easy to configure, it’s trivial to tell your Android phone to get its GPS location data, not from the satellite network, but from another app running on the phone. Here’s how to do it,
Getting this working takes several steps.
You will need to download the Fake GPS Location app from the Play Store. You can use other GPS-faking apps, but this one works and is reliable and free. Once you’ve installed the Fake GPS Location app, leave it.
Next, you need to enable developer settings on your Android phone. Developer settings is a menu option on Android phones that tells the phone you are running experimental software or hardware. It basically changes some security settings so that you can run programs like the Fake GPS Location app that trick the operating system. These instructions are specific to an Android phone running Android 8.1 (Oreo) but should work for any Android phone with minor changes.
Here’s how to turn developer settings on.
- Open the Settings menu on your phone.
- Tap System.
- Tap About Phone.
- Tap Software Info.
- Tap Build Number 7 times quickly.
- Enter your phone’s lock code when prompted.
You now have access to the Developer Mode settings page under Settings->System->Developer Options.
Toggle Developer on if it didn’t turn itself on automatically and you’re ready to go.
The next step is to install the Fake GPS Location app from the Google Play store if you haven’t already.
Now you need to tell your phone to use the Fake GPS Location app as its GPS device.
- Open Settings.
- Tap on System.
- Tap on Developer Options.
- Scroll down to “Select mock location app” and tap on it.
- Select the Fake GPS app.
And presto, you’v got it installed.
Changing the location for Find My Friends is now trivially simple. Just open the Fake GPS Location app and move the map to wherever you want to “be”. Hit the Play button, and your phone now believes you to be wherever you have navigated to on the map.
It’s easy to check this – open Find My Friends and see where your icon is located on the map. You should be where Fake GPS Location thinks you are.
Want more information about using GPS to your advantage?
We’ve got an overview that shows you how GPS works on Android phones.
GPS readouts can be a little daunting – here’s a handy guide to interpreting GPS coordinates.
Here’s our tutorial on finding your GPS information using an iPhone.
If you’re a Pokemon Go player, you may want to read our walkthrough on changing your GPS location for Pokemon Go.
We’ve got a good review of how to change your GPS location settings in Bumble.