Google’s Find My Device Shows “Location is unavailable”

Published by Nyau Wai Hoe - Updated on

Most of us have experienced the sinking feeling that accompanies the realization that we can’t find our smartphone. It could be lurking under a cushion, left at a cafe, or worse, stolen. For Android users, Google’s Find My Device offers a way to track down and manage lost phones remotely. But what happens when you’re met with the error message: “Location is unavailable“?

Let’s look into the reasons behind this message and some troubleshooting steps to get your device back on the map.

Google Find My Device Location is unavailable

What does “Location is unavailable” mean in Find My Device?

Google’s Find My Device is a service that allows you to remotely locate your Android devices, such as phones, tablets, and even watches. The service uses the device’s built-in GPS and other location sources like Wi-Fi and cell towers to pinpoint its location. When the message “Location is unavailable” pops up, it means the service can’t access or determine the device’s location.

Google Find My Device Android

Also see: Share Files from Android to PC or Vice Versa Wirelessly

Why does this happen?

1. Location services disabled

The most common reason for this message is that the device’s location services are turned off. For the Find My Device service to work, your device must have its location settings enabled.

How to Check and Enable:

  • On your Android device, go to the home screen.
  • Swipe down from the top to access the notification shade.
  • Click on the “Settings” gear icon.
  • Scroll down and click on “Location”.
  • Ensure the toggle is switched to “On”.

Enable Location on Android devices

2. No internet connection

Find My Device requires an active internet connection to communicate the device’s location. If the device isn’t connected to Wi-Fi or cellular data, its location won’t be updated.

What to do: If you believe your device might be in a location with weak signal strength, try calling or sending an SMS. Sometimes, this can jumpstart a brief connection to send location data.

3. Battery is dead

If the device’s battery has died, Find My Device won’t be able to contact it.

What to do: Remember the last location you had the device. While you can’t locate it now, it will display the last known location when it was still powered on.

Find My Device Last seen days ago

4. Device is turned off

Whether intentionally or due to an exhausted battery, a turned-off device can’t share its location.

What to do: Be patient. If someone powers it on and it connects to a network, its location will update.

Android phone turned off battery dead

5. Logged out of Google account

For the Find My Device feature to work, the device needs to be logged into a Google account. If someone logs it out, location services won’t work.

What to do: If you suspect unauthorized access, consider changing your Google account password to prevent further intrusion.

Find My Device Location is unavailable

Troubleshooting steps

If your device shows “Location is unavailable”, here are some steps to potentially remedy the situation:

  1. Refresh the page or restart the app: Sometimes, it’s a simple glitch. If you’re using the Find My Device website, refresh the page or restart the app.Restart Find My Device Android
  2. Check if the device is online: A device that’s offline won’t send location data. Wait and check again after some time.
  3. Ensure ‘Find My Device’ is enabled: Go to “Settings” > “Security” > “Find My Device” on another Android device and make sure it’s turned on.
  4. Check Google Play devices library: Visit and ensure your device is listed under “Devices” to allow Google to find and erase it.Google Library Android Devices List

Alternative tracking apps

While Google’s Find My Device is the default for many Android users, there are alternative tracking apps available that offer different features or can work in conjunction with Google’s service:

  1. Cerberus: Offers features like taking photos of the thief, recording audio, and more.
  2. Life360 – Family Locator, GPS Tracker: Not just for lost devices, it helps families and friends stay connected by sharing their location with each other.
  3. Lookout: Offers device tracking as well as security and antivirus features.

It can be advantageous to have an alternative app installed as a backup or for additional functionality.


While it can be frustrating to see “Location is unavailable” when trying to find your device, understanding the potential causes can aid in the recovery process. Remember to always have your location services enabled, keep your device charged, and routinely check that you’re logged into your Google account.

Your Android device is more than just a phone; it’s a hub for personal data, memories, and more. Keeping it safe and knowing how to track it down is paramount.

Nyau Wai Hoe
Nyau Wai Hoe is the Founder and Chief Editor of With a degree in software engineering and over 12 years of experience in the tech support industry, Nyau has established himself as an expert in the field, with a primary focus on the Microsoft Windows operating system. As a tech enthusiast, he loves exploring new technologies and leveraging them to solve real-life problems.

Share via
Copy link