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Family Locator FAQs

General Information
  1. Family Locator is a simple, secure service that lets you and your family locate each other's phones from your mobile device or computer. You can use Family Locator to:

    • Find phones on an aerial photo or map

    • Monitor when Family Members arrive or leave designated places

    • Receive scheduled location alerts automatically on your phone, by text message or email

    • View your Family Members' location history for the past week

    To learn more about Family Locator features, visit our Family Locator page.

  2. Family Locator helps you stay connected to your family by making it easy to keep track of the location of your Family Members' phones, providing peace of mind.

    With Family Locator, you can share the location of your Family Members' phones, receive notice when a Family Member leaves a designated area, receive driving directions to their location and more.

  3. Family Locator is compatible with all standard monthly plans with an active My Verizon account. We also recommend a data plan for participant phones, because data is used whenever a Family Member is located.

    Note: The Family Locator service must be added to your account with at least one Administrator, and one participant.

    Family Locator isn't available for prepaid or business accounts.

  4. Family Locator costs $9.99/mo. for up to 10 lines on your account.

    Standard messaging rates apply. Data charges may apply for app downloads and locating activity.

  5. The Family Locator app is available for both Android® and iOS devices. Open your device’s app store (Google Play™ or Apple® App StoreS®). If the app appears in the search results, your device is compatible and you can download the app.

    In addition, you can also access Family Locator by signing in to the Family Locator website from a web browser on your computer, tablet or phone.

  6. You can locate any web-capable mobile phone on your family's account with no additional setup required.

    However, you'll get more precise locations and additional features with Android phones, by installing the Family Locator app on the participant's phone (requires Android 4.4 or newer).

    To determine if your phone is compatible with the Family Locator app, open the app store on your phone and search for "Verizon Family Locator". If the app appears in the search results, your phone is compatible.

  7. Yes, Family Locator app is available on Android tablets and iPad®, or by going to the Family Locator website in your tablet's web browser. However, tablets that do not have a cellular connection and a data plan may not be locatable by Family Locator.

  8. In most cases, Family Locator will locate the phone within about 30 seconds. In some cases, it could take up to 2 minutes to locate a phone, depending on its location. For Android phones with the Family Locator app installed, the app will also periodically report the device's location automatically. The last reported location will remain available.

  9. Family Locator location accuracy varies by device. The chart below has details for most devices.

    Device Type
    With Family Locator App Installed on Located Device
    Without Family Locator App Installed
    Android (Android OS 4.4 and newer required)
    • With GPS available (typically requires line of sight to sky):
      50 meters (150 feet) or less
    • Without GPS, but with Wi-Fi enabled and nearby Access Point:
      100 meters (300 feet) or less
    • No GPS or Wi-Fi:
      Approximately 1 mile or less**
    Approximately 1 mile or less**
    iPhone (iOS 9 and newer required) Approximately 1 mile or less* Approximately 1 mile or less**
    Other phone types App not available Approximately 1 mile or less**

    Including but not limited to the following devices:
    • BlackBerry® 9630
    • BlackBerry® Curve™ 8530
    • BlackBerry® Curve™ 9330
    • BlackBerry® Curve™ 9370
    • BlackBerry® Storm™ 9530M
    • BlackBerry® Storm2™ 9550
    • Casio G'zOne Boulder® C711
    • Casio G'zOne Type-S
    • HTC Merge® ADR6325
    • Kyocera K323
    • LG VS700
    • LG VX10
    • LG VX1000
    • LG VX10000
    • LG VX3450L
    • LG VX5400
    • LG VX8300
    • LG VX8350
    • LG VX8550
    • LG VX8600
    • LG VX8610
    • LG VX8700
    • LG VX8800
    • LG VX9100
    • LG VX9900
    • Motorola K1M
    • Motorola L7C
    • Motorola V3M
    • Motorola V9M
    • Motorola VU204
    • Motorola W385
    • Motorola W755
    • Motorola ZN4
    • Nokia 2605 Mirage
    • Nokia 6205
    • Nokia 7705
    • Samsung SCH-I110 Illusion™
    • Samsung SCH-U410
    • Samsung SCH-U430
    • Samsung SCH-U470
    • Samsung SCH-U540
    • Samsung SCH-U550
    • Samsung SCH-U700
    • Samsung SCH-U740
    • Samsung SCH-U900
    • Samsung SCH-U940

    *iOS app is currently available for Family Locator administrators only and doesn't currently provide precise location.
    **Accuracy may be lower in rural areas or where Verizon network coverage is limited.

  10. Yes, if a Family Member's lost phone is turned on and in the Verizon Wireless coverage area, Family Locator can provide the phone's location. In addition, for Android phones with the Family Locator app installed, Family Locator will show the phone's last reported location, even if the phone has lost power or is outside the Verizon Wireless coverage area.

  11. There are several security features in place to protect your Family Locator account:

    • Only authorized family members (set by your Account Owner) are able to locate other Family Members' phones.

    • Family Locator requires users to sign in to My Verizon in order to locate any Family Members' phones in the app.

    • The Account Owner can select which phones can be located by Family Locator, and which Family Members can locate other Family Members' phones. The Administrator can also choose whether to share their own phone location.

    • Only the account administrator can set or change the privacy controls.

    To maintain this security, it's very important that you and your family keep your account information private and don't disclose your My Verizon User ID or password to others.

  12. There are 2 ways to sign up for Family Locator in My Verizon:

    • Family Locator page:
    1. Go to the Family Locator page in My Verizon.

    2. Tap or click Add Now to follow the onscreen instructions to add a Family Locator subscription to your account.

      Note: You and any Family Members you authorize to locate other Family Members must be registered in My Verizon with a My Verizon User ID and password in order to use Family Locator to locate Family Members' phones. Refer to our My Verizon FAQs for more information about signing up and using My Verizon.
    • Products & Apps page:
    1. Go to the Products & Apps page in My Verizon.

    2. Tap or click the Get Products tab at the top of the page.

    3. Scroll to the Family Locator app and tap or click Get it Now.

    4. Follow the onscreen instructions to add a Family Locator subscription to your account

    You've successfully signed up for Family Locator.

Using Family Locator
  1. To set up and start using Family Locator on your phones, follow these 4 easy steps:

    1. Sign up - Sign up for a Family Locator subscription on My Verizon. Go to the Family Locator website, then tap or click Get it Now and follow the sign-up steps.

    2. Make sure location services are enabled on all the devices you want to locate. To turn on location services, go to the Settings app on your device.

    3. Install the Verizon Wireless Family Locator App - Install the app on the Account Owner's phone and on any Android phones you wish to locate (iPhone app for members is coming soon). To get the app, go to the app store on your phone and search for "Verizon Family Locator".

    4. Learn more - Get more details on how to use Family Locator by viewing the Help section under the menu icon.
    5. Note: If you have a phone that is not an Android or iPhone (such as a basic phone), there's no software or apps to install. We'll still be able to locate the phone, but the location will be less precise.

  2. Sign in to Family Locator using your My Verizon User ID and password. Other Family Members don't need a Verizon ID to use Family Locator, unless you want them to locate other Family Members' phones using the Family Locator app.

    If you allow other Family Members to locate Family Members' phones, they'll need a My Verizon User ID. Each Family Member with locate privileges must use their My Verizon ID and password to sign in to the Family Locator app or Family Locator page. If the Family Member hasn't registered for My Verizon yet, they'll need to register for My Verizon, create a User ID and receive a password.

  3. No, only the Family Locator Account administrator can change any Family Locator settings or set whether someone's phone is allowed to locate others or be located.

    Other Family Members can:

    • Locate Family Member phones (if allowed by the administrator)

    • See the names of other Family Members on Family Locator account

  4. Yes, you can designate anyone on the Family Locator account to be the Administrator. There can be only one Administrator at a time.

    To change the Administrator:

    • Go to Manage My Safeguards in My Verizon.

    • Find Family Locator, then select View Details and Edit.

    • Select Add or Remove Members.

    • Change the use roles as desired, then click Save.

  5. No, the phone must be turned on and connected to the Verizon Wireless network to be located. In addition, to obtain a precise location, the Family Locator app must be installed on any Android phones (iPhone app for members is coming soon), and GPS and Wi-Fi must be enabled.

    Note, if the phone enters "doze" or "sleep" mode to conserve battery during inactivity, the device will not provide precise location information.

    , See how to prevent an Android phone from blocking Family Locator during "doze mode.

  6. To obtain a precise location, the Family Locator app must be installed on the Family Member's phone. The app is currently available for Android, and an iPhone app for Family Members is coming soon. In addition, to obtain a precise location the device must be awake (not in "doze mode"), and its GPS and Wi-Fi must be enabled and available (which usually requires that the device has a clear view of the sky).

  7. To trigger an Arrival or Departure Alert, the phone must be powered on and connected to the Verizon network within the Verizon Wireless coverage area, and a precise (GPS or Wi-Fi) location must be available.

    In addition, if the device has entered "Doze" or "Sleep' mode to conserve battery during periods of inactivity, this will typically prevent Family Locator from communicating with the system. In these scenarios, Family Locator won't be able to obtain a precise location, and Arrival/Departure Alerts may be delayed.

    Family Locator will send the alert as soon as it receives a location indicating that the device is within the area defined in the alert conditions.

  8. Newer versions of Android include a feature called Doze mode, which shuts down certain functions during periods of inactivity to conserve battery power. If an Android phone enters Doze mode, it'll normally block Family Locator, which prevents finding precise locations.

    To prevent an Android phone from blocking Family Locator during Doze mode, turn off the "Optimize battery usage" feature under the Battery setting in the Settings app. To locate this setting on most recent Android phones:

    • Open the Settings app.
    • Select Battery.
    • Tap the Unmonitored apps.
    • Tap Add apps.
    • Select Family Locator.
    • Tap DONE.

  9. To set up automatic scheduled location alerts, select the Alerts tab in the Family Locator app, then select Scheduled Alerts and follow the steps.

    If you have an Android phone with the Family Locator app, you'll receive notification alerts on your phone. Otherwise, you’ll receive a text message. You can also receive alerts via email by entering your email address in the "Additional recipients" field.

  10. To set up Arrival or Departure Alerts, select the Alerts tab in the Family Locator app, then select Arrival/Departure Alerts and follow the steps. If you have an Android phone with the Family Locator app, you'll receive notification alerts on your phone. Otherwise, you will receive a text message. You can also receive alerts via email by entering your email in the "Additional recipients" field.

  11. Yes, you can get directions to your Family Member's phone location in the mobile app, using VZ Navigator® or another map app.

    To get directions, tap on the Family Member's name in Family Locator, then tap the directions icon on the bottom right of the screen.

  12. Participants will get a text message when their phone is added to Family Locator. They'll also get a reminder message each month that their location may be shared with anyone designated by the Account's Administrator.

  13. The exact steps vary by phone, but in general you can enable Location Services on Android phones as follows:

    • Open Settings on your phone.
    • Select the Location setting.
    • Make sure that Location is turned on, and set to "High Accuracy".

    In addition to enabling Location Services on your phone, make sure the app permissions on your phone allow Family Locator to access your location.

  14. If you have previously installed Family Locator on your Family Members' devices, when you update to version 6, you will also need to ensure your other phones are updated as well, to ensure that they're fully compatible.

    To check the Family Locator app version, launch the app and select About from the menu icon. If you need to update, go to Google Play™ Store and search for Verizon Family Locator. Select Update. Be sure to launch the app after the new version is downloaded.

  15. In most cases, Family Locator can still provide a location even if Location Services is turned off, but the location may not be as precise. Some Android devices allow you to set up a restricted user profile to prevent them from changing the settings. Consult your device’s User Guide for more information.

  16. Yes, both of these services can be set up on the same account.

    Family Locator can't manage or track a phone during Time Restrictions set by Verizon Smart Family. Learn more about Time Restrictions in the Controls section of our Verizon FamilyBase How to Use Guide.

  17. If you upgrade to a new phone, you’ll need to install the Family Locator app on the new phone. You can send a text message to the phone with a link to download the Family Locator app. To send the app, follow these steps:

    • In Family Locator, tap Modify Member Profiles in the menu.
    • Select the Family Member in the list.
    • At the bottom of the screen, tap Resend the app.

    If you add a new line to your account, you’ll need to register the new line in My Verizon and set up Family Locator on the phone.

  18. Family Locator is designed to use within the Verizon Wireless coverage area. If the Family Locator app is installed on the phone, locations may still be able to be obtained outside the Verizon Wireless coverage area, but this isn't guaranteed.

  19. Yes, you can remove Family Locator from your account online:

    1. Go to the Verizon Family Safeguards & Controls page in My Verizon.
    2. Scroll to the Family Locator section, then click View Details & Edit.
    3. Tap or click Add or Remove Members.
    4. Tap or click Continue.
    5. Uncheck the boxes next to the lines from which you want Family Locator removed, then tap or click Update.
    6. Tap or click OK to confirm the update.

    You've successfully unsubscribed to Family Locator.

  20. Android is a trademark of Google, Inc. Use of this trademark is subject to Google Permissions. © 2017 Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC. Samsung and Illusion are all trademarks of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. © 2017 BlackBerry. All rights reserved. BlackBerry® and related trademarks, names and logos are the property of BlackBerry Limited and are registered and/or used in the US and countries around the world. iOS is a trademark or registered trademark of Cisco in the US and other countries and is used under license.

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