Location settings for Google's Find My Device app

Updated by Marina

Give Location permission for the Nearby device

This step is crucial if you want to see your device's location on the map.

For some phones, this step will be requests on your first time setting up a device on the Google's Find My app. For other phones, you might need to enable it manually.

Below there are a couple of places where you can search and give the app the location permission. Exact steps and names may vary on your phone.

Search for the Google's Find My Device app on the app list
  1. Go to your phone settings and search for "Location".
  2. Tap on "App permissions"
  3. Search for the "Find My Device" app on the list of apps. Tap to open it.
  4. If not selected yet, choose: "Allow only while using the app"


Tap and hold to open app settings

To quickly access the app settings:

  1. Tap and hold for 2 to 3secs on the Google's Find My Device icon.
  2. Tap on the (ℹ️) icon or 'App info'.
  3. On the Permission section, tap on Location.
  4. If not selected yet, choose: "Allow only while using the app"

Improve GPS location accuracy

Next, check if location accuracy is set on your phone, to make sure you get a better location positioning indoors:

  1. Go to phone settings.
  2. Search for "Location services'.
  3. Enable "Wi-Fi scanning" and "Bluetooth scanning".

Keep Bluetooth ON

In order to connect and sync your device's location when it's near you, we suggest keeping your phone Bluetooth ON. In case you forget your item behind, the last know location should be the last place it was still connected to you.

Set your Find My Device network settings

To ensure the best experience location your items, shared items and contribute to Google's Find My network. We recommend setting your location settings to 'with network in all areas'.

On your phone settings:

  1. Search for "Find My Device"
  2. Tap to select Find My Device and enable "Use Find My Device" toggle.
  3. Tap on "Find your offline devices. That should open different options for your Find My Network Settings.
  4. Review and select one of the options. We recommend setting your location settings to 'with network in all areas'. That will improve the ability to locate yours and other items within the Google's Find My Device network.

Shared devices

If you are sharing your device with someone, please ensure that their phone's Find My Device network settings are also set to "with network in all areas' and that Bluetooth is enabled. This will improve location updates when the device is with them. If you can, also ask for you relatives and friends to switch it too.

Can’t access location

If you cannot access your device's location and see the message "Sync recent location

  1. Remove your item from the Find My Device app. Tap on your device > Click on the engine icon > On the bottom of the page tap on "Remove from Find My Device.
  2. Factory reset your item. Check the steps on the How to reset a Clip, Card and Tag?.
  3. Reconnect the accessory to your Android device.
  4. Go back to Find My Device 
  5. Reload your device list.

For further steps, also check Google's Support page article here.

How will my device update its location when is not near me?

Google's Find My Device network uses crowdsourced device-location data to update your device's location when it is not near you but close to other Android users.

The ability of your device to update its location outside of your phone's Bluetooth range depends on the presence of other Android users. In high-density areas, such as airports or shopping malls, your item's location should update more frequently than in a suburban neighborhood.

Google is actively working to roll out enhancements to how the Find My Device network operates that will improve the speed and ability of locating lost items over the coming weeks. Devices are continuing to join the new Find My Device network, and the network will continue to grow, which will also help improve lost device findability. Google encourages Bluetooth tag owners to change their Find My Device network setting to “With network in all areas” to help improve the network’s ability to find their lost items in lower-traffic areas.

A commitment to safety

Google’s Find My Device prioritizes your safety with multi-layered protections, which may occasionally affect Bluetooth tracker finding. In order for your device to have the ability to locate lost devices in low-traffic areas without ‘aggregation by default’, set your Find My Device network setting to “with network in all areas”.

Find My Device network efficacy will continue to improve as users are enrolled in the network and opt-in to the "with network in all areas" setting. As the new Find My Device network continues to grow, Google will be continually enhancing it to balance the user experience with a commitment to safety.

For more details on how the Google's network work, check this article: https://security.googleblog.com/2024/04/find-my-device-network-security-privacy-protections.html

How did we do?