How to Locate a lost or stolen iPhone with Find my iPhone feature
In case you want to track down an iPhone that has been stolen or lost, Apple has the perfect free tool to help you track it down. And if it is impossible for you to get the device back, then you can prevent anybody from accessing your personal data.
All of this is possible with the Find my iPhone feature, which as a part of iCloud, uses the GPS of the iPhone and the internet connection to track down the location of an iPhone, and if the situation requires, take certain action to protect the data stored on it. If you ever find yourself in a dire situation where you desperately need to find your iPhone, then bellow you will find all the necessary info.
- Active iCloud account.
- Enabled Find my iPhone feature on your device before it got lost or stolen (it is imperative). It is impossible to enable it after the device is gone.
- A computer or another device with internet access.
How to find or erase an iPhone’s data with Find my iPhone
It is required that the Find my iPhone feature is enabled on the device you wish to find. If this is the case, then go to this website to https://www.icloud.com/.
Alternatively, you can use the Find My iPhone app which can be installed on any other iOS device to Locate lost or stolen iPhones. But in this article we will explain how to track down your iPhone with the web-based tool. But do not worry; there is not much of a difference between the two methods.
- Open iCloud and login to the account which you have used when you have set the Find my iPhone feature. It is most likely your Apple ID or iTunes account
- Under the web based tools which are offered by iCloud, locate and click on Find my iPhone. This feature will immediately try to locate all the devices on which you have this feature enabled. An on screen message will be available, showing the progress.
- In case you have more than one device which is set up with Find my iPhone, then press on All devices and choose the one you wish to locate
- In case Find my iPhone locates your device, then it will zoom in on the map and it will pinpoint the exact location with a green dot. Once this happens, you can freely zoom in our out of the map; view it via satellite, in standard mode or in hybrid models similar to Google Maps. After your device is found a new window will appear in the right corner of your browser. It will show you how much battery your iPhone has remaining along with several other options.
- The first option is Play Sound, which plays a loud sound when used. This can be quite useful if you think that the device you’ve lost is nearby or if you suspect someone close has it but is denying it.
- The 2nd option is Lost Mode. With this option you can remotely lock down the device’s screen and set a passcode to protect it from unauthorized use.
Right after you click on the Lost Mode button, just enter the passcode you want to use. In case there is already a passcode set on the device, that particular code will be used. In addition to this, you can also enter a phone number where the person who has the device can contact you (it is optional feature; sometimes you might not want to share this information, like in case where the device has been stolen). Also there is an option to write a message which will be displayed on the iPhone’s screen..
- If you believe that the chances of getting your phone back are slim, then there is the option to permanently delete all the data. If you want to do this, just click on the Erase button. A warning message will be shown. Click the box that says you understand what you are doing and click Erase. Once you do, all the data on the device will be permanently erased, preventing anyone from accessing it.
If you get the iPhone back later, you may try to restore your data from a backup.
- If you believe that the iPhone is on the move, click the green dot which represents the phone and then click the rounded arrow in the pop-up window. This will update the location of the device using the latest GPS data.
What if the iPhone is Offline?
There is a chance that your device might not show up on the map even if the Find my iPhone feature is enabled. There are several reasons for this:
- The iPhone is switched off or is out of battery.
- The iPhone has no internet connection.
- The iPhone has its Location service disabled.
If you cannot use the Find my iPhone service at the moment, then you have some alternative options to Track your iPhone:
- Check the Notify me when found box. Find my iPhone will notify you when your iPhone connects to the Internet.
- You can use any of the three options—Play Sound—Lost Mode or Erase and use whichever you want so the next time your device connects to the internet, that particular option will activate.
- Select Remove from Account if you have sold the device or gave up from trying to find it and you no longer want to show on the list of your devices under Find my iPhone.