4/3/2021 18 Comments
If you have you been confused about why Apple sometimes shows that your device is in some other location, you are not alone. This article was first published December 2016, and is one of iTandCoffee's 'most read' articles.
In particular, the message you receive says that 'Your Apple ID is being used to sign in to a device near ...' and shows a location that may not be your current location. More recently, the location has shown 'near Melbourne'. It used to show 'near St Kilda Road' (which I am not).
iTandCoffee gets asked about this one on a very regular basis.
When I originally wrote this article, it was my own Mum who was confused by it. Her Messages was failing to complete activation because she kept was choosing the 'Don't Allow' when shown a message on her iPad - a message indicating that someone was attempting to access her account 'near St Kilda Rd'.
This was confusing, given she lived in Clayton - so she she though it best to go with 'Don't Allow' every time it popped up.
Why do I get a message that shows a sign-in has been requested at some other location?
When you attempt to sign in with an Apple ID that has something called 'two factor authentication' enabled, this results in a message appearing on your other Apple device/s.
This is designed to alert you if your Apple account is being accessed by someone you don't know, on a device that you have not authorised. (Believe me, it is a good thing - even if it is a little confusing!)
Should I choose Allow?
If you have just signed in to iCloud, iTunes, iMessage or Facetime by entering your Apple ID and password (or just your password, if your Apple ID was already filled in), and almost immediately get a message on another device about someone in your city trying to access your account, you can be pretty confident it is you who have generated this message.
Definitely choose the 'Allow' option to continue the authentication and sign-in process. If you don't, then you will not be able to use the account or service that your device was trying to access.
What do I do with the numeric code that appears when I choose 'Allow'
Once you choose 'Allow', that same device will then give you a numeric code that will then need to be entered on the other device (ie the device on which you originally attempted the sign-in), to complete the sign-in process on that device.
(The numeric code is just a one-off code that does not need to be saved away.)
But why is the location shown different to my own location?
The reason your other device shows some strange location in the pop-up message is that the location shown is not actually your device's location. It is an approximation of the address of your device's 'IP Address'. The IP address of your device is what allows it to access the internet, and is allocated by your Network Provider when you connect to their network.
This is explained further by this Apple Support Communities web page, an extract of which is shown below.
"What if I don't recognize the location shown in my sign in notification?"
So don't stress if the authentication message always shows a strange location - unless you didn't just attempt to sign in to your Apple ID.
What's on at iTandCoffee ?
Join us for a short, fun 'topic of the day' classes known as PTT sessions (Personal Training for your Technology fitness!) - these are run on a regular basis. Or join any of our other classes shown below to learn so much about your technology.
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