Tech Tip: When Apple Maps Marks Your Spot

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Q. I thought Apple Maps on my iPhone was supposed to automatically show me where I parked my car, but I don’t think it’s working. Am I not doing something I should? Location Services was on.

A. Apple added the parked-car marker to its Maps app with iOS 10, but you need an iPhone 6 or later for the feature to work. You also need to pair your iPhone to the car’s dashboard audio system over a Bluetooth connection or have a vehicle equipped with Apple’s CarPlay software. The app does not mark parking spots you use regularly, like the one in your garage or your space at the office lot.


After Apple Maps has marked your car’s location, you can get directions back to it by tapping the Parked Car item in your search list. Credit The New York Times

If you have met all the requirements so far, go to the iPhone’s home screen, open the Settings and tap Privacy. When Locations Services is enabled, scroll to the bottom of the screen and tap System Services. In the System Services screen, make sure Frequent Locations is on. Tap your way back to the main Settings screen and select Maps this time. At the bottom of the Maps screen, make sure the button next to Show Parked Location is on.

Once you have done all that, the iPhone should sense when your car stops moving and you break the Bluetooth connection with the dashboard. Once you do, the app automatically records the current location and provides directions back to that spot later when you tap the parked-car icon.

Google recently updated its Google Maps app for Android and iOS with an improved parking-spot tool. You do not need to have the phone connected to the car with Bluetooth, but can just tap to mark your spot when you get out of the vehicle. The Google app for Android also shows the parked location of your car if you have Driving set as your transportation choice for commuting, and Microsoft’s Windows Maps app for its own phones includes a parking-location reminder.

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