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Get Location-Based Alerts for Friends and Family on iPhone

Closeup of a man's hands holding an iPhone 11.
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With Apple’s built-in Find My app on iPhone and iPad, you can not only track your friends and devices, but also get notifications when tracked people or items arrive at or leave a set location. Here’s how.

Why Would You Want to Do This?

You may already be using Find My as a convenient way to track friends or family. For this to work, the other party must explicitly share their location with you. Once you’ve done this, notifications can be used to detect when they’re near a particular location (like home) or when they leave somewhere (like work).

Locate People with Find My

For example, you might want notifications that let you know that your partner has left work and is on the way home, so you can start cooking. You can even set up alerts to notify you when someone is not at a particular location during hours that you specify. The subject of these notifications will receive an alert outlining what you have set up, as a privacy measure.

You can also set this up to work in reverse so that your device notifies a contact that you have left or arrived at a location, either once or every time. This could be useful in letting a contact know you are near their workplace or residence, so they can invite you in if it’s convenient.

Notify Contact When I Leave

Items are a little simpler. Apple already enables item tracking for AirPods that notifies you if you leave your earphones behind (except at your “Home” location). You can set up similar alerts for devices like a MacBook or iPad. The same is true for any AirTags you happen to have.

RELATED: Which AirPods Should You Buy?

Set Up Notifications in Find My

To set up notifications, launch Find My and select from People, Devices, or Items at the bottom of the screen.

People, Devices and Items tabs in Find My

Tap on the person or item you want to set up notifications for, then beneath the “Notifications” area tap the “Add” button.

Add Notification in Find My

If it’s a person, you’ll get to choose between receiving a notification yourself or sending a notification to your contact. Set up the location and the nature of the alert, then choose the frequency and tap “Add” to set up the alert. Tap “Continue” to confirm that your contact will be notified that you have set this up:

Notify Contact about Alert

The process is a little simpler for devices and items. Tap on the item and choose “Notify When Left Behind” to set up alerts.

Notify When MacBook Pro Left Behind

Toggle “Notify When Left Behind” on and make sure you exclude any locations you regularly leave this item. This may include your workplace or school or anywhere you routinely leave your laptop on purpose.

Enable "When Left Behind" to get Notifications

Hit “Done” to finish.

Do More With AirTags

AirTags are useful for keeping track of items like bags and wallets (but don’t track people and pets). You can also use them to trigger automations as you would with other NFC-enabled devices.

Wondering what to do with a spare AirTag you haven’t used yet? Check out some more ideas for putting AirTags to use, as well as our recommendations for AirTag accessories.

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