Here’s how to find your lost or stolen iPhone.
The second you realize your iPhone is missing — or even scarier, stolen — can be panic-inducing. In a moment, you quickly realize how much personal information is stored on your phone, and the problem gets even worse as you realize your means to talk to the outside world is also gone. Not to mention, replacing a lost iPhone can be an expensive endeavor.
There are steps you can take to help reduce the risk of permanently losing a phone, and using Apple’s Find My service is the key to securing and recovering your precious iPhone.
1.Set a pass code
Some people view using Face ID or Touch ID as an unnecessary step when using an iPhone. Those people are wrong. Setting a passcode and using your face or fingerprint to protect all of the information on your phone is a vital part of keeping your personal information secure. Just think of all the information on your phone: banking apps, private conversations, the location of your home and office, contacts, emails, photos… the list goes on.
Do you really want a random stranger going through all of that?
Secure your device by opening Settings > Face ID (or Touch ID) & Passcode and follow the prompts. Scanning your finger or letting Face ID do its magic is a minor inconvenience. And after a few days, the extra step will become part of your routine and you won’t even notice.
2.Make sure Find My iPhone is enabled
After setting a passcode, double-check that Find My is turned on. It should be enabled by default, and you’d have to go out of your way to disable it, but it’s always a good idea to double-check right now.
On your iPhone, open the Settings app and tap on your name at the top of the screen. Next, tap Find My > Find My iPhone. Make sure that the switch next to Find My iPhone is on, and while you’re there, make sure the switches next to Find My network and Send Last Location are on as well.
3.Take advantage of Family Sharing
Apple’s Family Sharing service not only saves you money by letting your entire family install a paid app on multiple devices, but it also integrates with the Find My. With Family Sharing set up, you can view the location of all the devices linked to a family member’s Apple ID. Meaning, you can ask a family member to immediately begin looking for your lost iPhone once you realize it’s missing.
4.Create good habits
The best way to keep your phone secure, especially when you’re traveling or in unfamiliar areas, is to keep a close eye on it and never relax. Be cautious. Overly cautious, even. Don’t keep your phone out in the open where someone can grab it and run off. In the event you do lose your phone, don’t panic! Take a deep breath and remember to use Find My iPhone.
5.Recover your lost iPhone: The Find My app is key
Every single iOS device has Apple’s Find My service, formerly Find My iPhone, built into its system settings. The app is connected to and managed by your Apple ID. The moment you realize you’ve lost your phone, the first thing you should do is visit icloud.com/find on a computer, open the Find My app on another Apple device you own or have a member of your Family Sharing group use the Find My app on one of their Apple devices. Alternatively, you can use the Find My app on another Apple device by signing in with your Apple ID.
6.Can’t find your phone? Turn on Lost Mode
If you play a sound on your iPhone and still can’t find it, turn on Lost Mode. If you already have a passcode to lock your device (you do, right?), that will be required to unlock your device and turn off Lost Mode. If you don’t have one set, you’ll have to create one. You’ll also be asked to enter a phone number and a message that will be displayed on the lock screen asking whoever has your device to get it back to you.
When enabled, Lost Mode will lock the device, prevent notifications and messages from showing up on your lock screen, and continue tracking the phone’s location. The phone will still ring for incoming phone and FaceTime calls. This should help you track down the phone if it’s nearby. Or maybe you’ll be lucky and the person who has the phone will answer it to help get it back to you.