Find My iPhone Accuracy – If you’ve lost your iPhone and you are trying to locate it using either the Find My iPhone application on another iPhone or logging in to the web via iCloud you may have noticed that sometimes the accuracy of your iPhone’s location can change.  You may also notice that sometimes there is a big green circle around your iPhone’s location.

What does the green circle represent in Find My iPhone

Find my iPhone – Large Green Circle

The green circle around the location of Find My Iphone

So what does it mean when there is a large green circle around the iPhone’s location?

Essentially it means that the iPhone’s location is approximate.  The larger the green circle the more approximate it is.  In the example above this iPhone was inside our office.  It’s a six story office complex and the phone was placed in an office without any direct line of sight to a window.  The image with the large green circle around it was taken after we turned off Wifi on the device.

Why does it make a difference if Wifi is turned off?

Find my iPhone makes use of the inbuilt GPS and your Wifi when determining the location.  What happens when Wifi is turned off is that it is only relying on one piece of information instead of two to locate the device.  When you’re inside a building or there is any sort of interference, Wifi helps quite a great deal in pinpointing your iPhones location.

Conclusion

The accuracy of Find my iPhone will depend on a number of factors including interference, the GPS signal and whether Wifi is turned on.  The size of the green circle around your phone’s location will give you an indication as to how accurate that information is.  It’s also important to note that if your phone is sleeping, Wifi may be disabled which will probably mean you will see a green circle more often than not.