iPhone and iPad

How to Set Up Location Alerts in iPhone Reminders

Sandy Writtenhouse Updated 02-07-2020

There’s nothing more convenient than receiving a reminder when you leave from or arrive at a location. You can set alerts to purchase items at the grocery store, run an errand when you leave the office, or tackle a chore when you get home.

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If you use Apple’s Reminders app on your iPhone, setting up location-based alerts is a breeze. Not only that, but you can create these types of alerts in Reminders on Mac and receive them on your iPhone or iPad.

Set Up Location Alerts on iPhone and iPad

Launch the Reminders app, choose an account or folder, and then follow one of these sets of steps to set up your location alert.

Use the Keyboard Toolbar Button:

  1. Tap the plus sign labeled New Reminder or select an existing one.
  2. Enter the reminder, list item, or task.
  3. Tap the Location button in the keyboard toolbar. Here you can pick a quick option like Arriving Home or Getting in Car; or select Custom to choose another location.
  4. If you use the custom option, enter the spot and pick Arriving or Leaving at the bottom.
  5. Tap Done.

Use the Information Icon:

  1. Tap to add a new reminder or select an existing one.
  2. Enter the reminder, list item, or task.
  3. Tap the Information icon (small letter i) next to the item.
  4. Turn on the toggle for Remind me at a location.
  5. Tap Location, select a suggestion or search for a spot, and pick Arriving or Leaving at the bottom.
  6. Tap Details to go back. Here you can add other information like notes, a URL, an image, or priority.
  7. Tap Done.

Tip: You can recycle old alerts that you’ve already completed, which is convenient if you want to reuse the same reminder. Just tap the More button at the top and select Show Completed. Unmark an item and follow the steps above to set the location-based alert.

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Delete a Location Alert on iOS

It’s easy to remove a location alert you’ve set up. Tap the Information icon next to the reminder and turn off the toggle for Remind me at a location.

Set Up Location Alerts on Mac

If you’re hard at work on your Mac, you don’t have to stop and jump onto your iOS device to create a location reminder. You can set up this kind of alert in Reminders on Mac, then receive it on your iPhone or iPad.

Use the Toolbar Button:

  1. In Reminders, head to the account or folder you want to use. Click the plus sign to add a reminder or select an existing one.
  2. Enter the reminder, list item, or task.
  3. Click the Add Location button in the toolbar below your item. Here you can pick a quick option like Getting in Car, Getting Out of Car, your home, or your current location.

Reminders Toolbar Location Button-Mac

Use the Information Icon:

  1. Click to add a reminder or select an existing one.
  2. Enter the reminder, list item, or task.
  3. Click the Information icon (small letter i) next to the item.
  4. Check the box for At a Location.
  5. Click Enter a Location and search for a spot. You’ll see suggestions appear as you type.
  6. Pick Arriving or Leaving below the location.

Reminders Information Icon-Mac

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If you open Reminders on your iPhone or iPad, you’ll see the location you added to the reminder on Mac. This will provide notifications, just like you expect.

Delete a Location Alert on Mac

You can remove a location-based alert just as easily on your Mac as it is on iOS. Either click the X in the location button on the toolbar below the reminder or click the Information icon next to it and uncheck the box for At a Location.

Set Up Location Alerts With Siri

Siri is another super convenient way to set up location-based alerts in Reminders on any of your Apple devices. This is especially handy for those quick location suggestions, like when you leave your current spot or get in your car.

Here are just a few types of commands you can give Siri for location alerts:

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  • “Remind me to buy milk when I leave here.”
  • “Remind me to call Mom when I get home.”
  • “Remind me to email Joe when I arrive at work.”

Siri Location Reminder-Mac

You can try different requests per the location alert you need. As with any other commands, Siri will let you know if your request won’t work for some reason. And remember that you can use Siri to create your shopping lists in Reminders Use Siri and Apple Reminders for the Best Shopping Lists on iPhone Looking for the best iPhone shopping list solution? Check out how Siri makes it easy to create grocery lists on iOS. Read More too.

Use IFTTT for More Options

IFTTT is a service that allows you to use triggers and actions to automate various applications and web services. You can download the IFTTT iOS app and connect core iOS services together including the Reminders app, your iOS location, and more.

IFTTT iOS channels

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As such, you can use the iOS Location channel in IFTTT to trigger actions based on a specific location. It allows for a smaller possible area of effect than what Apple Reminders uses. Plus, you can do more with the feature, like setting up a repeating notification, logging your work hours, or sending a text or email.

IFTTT locations actions

These triggers will repeat until you disable them. So while they might not be great for one-off tasks like remembering to buy bread or pick up a package, they’re more useful if you want to use your location with non-Apple services.

For additional help with IFTTT, check out our ultimate IFTTT guide.

Download: IFTTT (Free)

A Few Considerations With iPhone Location Alerts

Any app that constantly checks your location will drain your battery faster than simply setting an alert to fire at a certain time or date.

If your iPhone struggles to make it through a whole day without charging, or when you’re trying to save battery life, you’ll probably want to limit your use of location-based alerts. For more tips, look at our iPhone battery guide The Big iPhone Battery Guide Everybody worries about their smartphone batteries, so let's dispel a few myths and settle a few scores. Read More .

Also, there’s a chance that you’ll miss an alert due to a poor GPS signal, particularly if you’re not in the alert zone for long. For that reason, if you have any urgent reminders set, you’ll probably want to set time-based alerts as well to make sure that you see them.

Master Reminders With Location Alerts and More

Location-based alerts really are convenient. Whether you’re leaving work, arriving home, or getting in or out of your car, take advantage of this awesome built-in Reminders feature.

For more, take a look at additional ways to master Reminders on your iPhone How to Master the Reminders App on Your iPhone or iPad The Reminders app for iPhone and iPad got a big upgrade with iOS 13. Here's how to master the new features of Apple Reminders. Read More .

Related topics: Geofencing, GPS, IFTTT, iPhone Tips, Location Data, Notification, Organization Software, To-Do List.

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  1. csw
    April 10, 2012 at 12:27 am

    Pocket Lists appears to have same function. http://www.pocketlistsapp.com

    • Bakari Chavau
      April 11, 2012 at 6:02 am

      Thanks for the tip. It looks very similar.

  2. Josh
    April 9, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    I use them all the time, I always forget to do things when i get to places, that I meant to do. These are uber helpful

    • Bakari Chavanu
      April 11, 2012 at 6:03 am

      Thanks for feedback.

  3. dingoe
    April 9, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    What are the system requirements? I have an iPhone 3GS with version 5.1, but I don't see the option "At a location". only On a Day, Priority and Notes.

    • Mike
      April 9, 2012 at 7:34 pm

      I also have a 3GS and I don't see it either. I believe you need at least an iPhone 4.

      • Bakari Chavanu
        April 11, 2012 at 6:04 am

        Mike and dingoe, yes, I do believe you need iPhone 4 or higher, I should have noted that in the article.

    • Claire Bellmonte
      August 9, 2018 at 6:32 am

      I am agree with you!