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How to find out a person's location by cell phone

We can do many things with our cell phone, including finding a person's location . The reasons can be several: to know if a family member is safe, to check where a child is going, to know if a friend is arriving at a certain place or just out of curiosity (hello snoopers on duty).

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Of course, there are tools that do this job in a “dirty” way, without the other person knowing. But that is not the case here. Here are eight ways to find a person on their cell phone using official (and legal) means, without violating the user's privacy.

Ask the person directly for the location

This one is rather obvious, but perhaps the best way to know a person's exact location is to contact them directly. It can be via message app, email, SMS, phone call or social networks. The answer may not come right away, but at least you'll be sure to avoid embarrassing situations.

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Google Maps

Google Maps ( Android | iOS | Web ) is one of many apps focused exclusively on geolocation of places and people. Therefore, anyone who wants to can share their current location with other users, either via Gmail or via a shareable link via WhatsApp , Twitter and other social networks.

Live location sharing has a minimum duration of 15 minutes, but you can leave the feature enabled for as long as you like. Just don't forget to disable it manually.

Google Maps: Users can share real-time location via mobile phone (Screenshot: Caio Carvalho)

Search (iPhone)

Search is Apple's app for finding friends and family, as long as they've chosen to share their respective locations. It is also possible to send your current position to other acquaintances. Just go to the “People” tab, and everyone who has shared the location will be visible in that section.

Exclusively for iPhone users, Busca has replaced the Busca Minhas Amigos app, which was offered separately on the App Store. Apple Watch owners can still use Find People to share their location with other people who own the watch.

Search is Apple's app for finding people with an iPhone (Screenshot: Caio Carvalho)

Find My Device (Android)

On the Android side there is Find My Device , to help you locate a lost Android, with the possibility of locking the device until you recover it or permanently deleting all the data on it. The platform has a mobile app as well as a website that can be accessed in web browsers.

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The tool can find your cell phone if you have mistakenly left the device with someone, or have suffered a theft or robbery. The app allows you to monitor your smartphone's movement in real time in buildings, malls, airports or outdoors. However, it is worth mentioning that the exact location of the device may take a few minutes to appear.

Google has website and application to find Android smartphones (Screenshot: Caio Carvalho)


Anyone who uses WhatsApp ( Android | iOS | Web ) can follow the location of a contact live. In this situation, the other person needs to share their location on their own. The feature is supported for both individual chats and WhatsApp groups, which means that more than one person can share the location in a single conversation.

When someone shares their location, you will receive a link that opens a map showing the exact point where that person is. The other user can also define how long you will be able to view the journey, which varies from fifteen minutes to eight hours.

WhatsApp: feature allows you to send real-time location to other people (Screenshot: Caio Carvalho)

Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger ( Android | iOS | Web ) also has a feature to find a person's location from their mobile phone. However, it also requires the user to open the conversation and manually choose the “Location” option on the arrow button to start sharing.The functionality is activated for up to 60 minutes, or until the person stops sending the live information.

Facebook Messenger has option to share location for up to 60 minutes (Screenshot: Caio Carvalho)

Uber and 99

The Uber ( Android | iOS ) and 99 ( Android | iOS ) running apps offer an option to share your location in real time, either with the driver or with people you know. If a friend or family member wants to send you the route of the trip, just open the route and select the button to share the trip status or to add trusted contacts along the way.

99 and Uber have feature to add trusted contacts and share location (Screenshot: Caio Carvalho)

Family Link

Parents and guardians who want to track the location of their young children can use Family Link ( Android | iOS ), a Google app that displays a map with their children's live position. In this case, it is not a violation of privacy, but a security tool for parents, who can know where the little ones are.

You can also view the distance between the other user's cell phone and your current location. Thus, Google Maps itself traces routes to the location where the child is at the moment. Remembering that Family Link only allows users with a maximum of 13 years of age to be added as dependents.

Family Link: Google app shows real-time location of children's cell phones (Screenshot: Caio Carvalho)

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