How to set up Emergency Sharing on a Google Pixel device

Google Pixel devices have a very important feature for those who want to keep emergency contacts aware of their safety. Jack Wallen shows you how to use Emergency Sharing.

Image: CNET

During these turbulent times, you never know when something could happen to you, your loved ones, or your employees. They could fall ill or get caught up in social unrest. Regardless of the why, you should know the how of checking in with those who might be responsible for your well being or who simply might care that you’re safe.

Google has taken steps to include features in Android for this very purpose. One such feature, only available on the Google Pixel line of smartphones, is called Emergency Sharing, which allows you to set up emergency contacts and then share your real-time location with them. When you share that location, it will keep those contacts updated for 24 hours, or until you stop sharing.

I want to show you how to set this up. 

SEE: Cheat sheet: Google Pixel 4 (TechRepublic download)

What you’ll need

As you’ve probably surmised, you’ll need a Google Pixel phone to make this work. Other OEM devices have similar features, but none are as easy to use (or reliable) as what the Pixel smartphone offers.

How to define your emergency contacts

The first thing you must do is define your emergency contacts. To do this, open the Personal Safety app and then, from the main window, tap the gear icon in the upper-left corner (Figure A).

Figure A


The Personal Safety app main window.

In the resulting window, tap Emergency Contacts (Figure B).

Figure B


The Personal Safety app Settings window on a Google Pixel 4.

In the Emergency Contacts window, if you haven’t already defined those contacts, tap Add Contact, and select the contact you want to add (Figure C).

Figure C


Adding emergency contacts on a Google Pixel 4.

How to use Emergency Sharing

Now that you have your emergency contacts defined, you can start using the Emergency Sharing feature. To do this, open the Personal Safety app again (or just back out of the Settings window) and tap Emergency Sharing at the bottom-right (Figure D).

Figure D


The Emergency sharing button in the Personal Safety app.

In the Emergency Sharing window, type a location where you will be and tap Share (Figure E).

Figure E


Starting the Emergency Sharing service.

This will automatically share out your location with your emergency contacts. Once the service starts, your contacts will be alerted. You can then stop the service by tapping Stop at the top-right (Figure F).

Figure F


Stopping the Emergency Sharing service with a single tap.

After tapping Stop, you can add an optional reason for stopping the service which will be sent to your emergency contacts (Figure G).

Figure G


Adding a reason for stopping the Emergency Sharing service.

And that’s all there is to using the Emergency Sharing feature in the Google Pixel line of smartphones. This is a very important feature for anyone who might feel the need to keep their emergency contacts apprised of your safety. 

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