Have you lost your iPhone? Not sure how to find it or clear the data before it falls into the hands of a bad actor? Apple’s Find My iPhone feature is easy to use and useful in case you lose your iPhone. It allows you to see the location of your lost or stolen iPhone, play a sound on the phone to help you find it or alert others nearby, mark the iPhone as lost to remotely lock it to protect data and all delete data on it. iPhone if necessary.
To enable all of the above functions, you must first activate Find My on your iPhone.
How to enable Find My iPhone
- Open Settings.
- Click on the Apple ID menu. This is the first tab you’ll see on the Settings screen, right below the search bar.
- Click on Find My option. This should be the third option after iCloud and Media & Purchases.
- Click on Find My iPhone option. Toggle on the options for Find My iPhone, Find My network (to locate your iPhone even if it’s offline), and Send Last Location (automatically sends location of your iPhone to Apple when the battery is critically low).
Once done, you are ready to find your iPhone in case you lose it. Log in to icloud.com/find to find the location of your lost iPhone or to erase data.
How to view lost iPhone on a map
- In the link above, as soon as you sign in with your Apple ID and password through a browser, it should automatically start locating your iPhone.
- In a few seconds, your iPhone’s location should appear on a map on the screen.
- If the device is in an unfamiliar area, readers are advised not to attempt to restore their iPhone themselves, but to contact the police, who can request the serial number or IMEI code of their device. Here’s how to find the serial number of your device.
How to play a sound on your lost iPhone
- Once your phone is located, you will see All Devices at the top of the map. Click here.
- From the drop-down menu, select your lost iPhone model (your assigned phone name should appear here).
- Now a floating box should appear in the top right corner of the screen. This should show a photo of your iPhone, phone name, battery remaining, etc.
- Click the Play Sound button. This will make your iPhone vibrate and beep which will gradually get louder whether your phone is in silent mode or not. This feature is especially useful if you’ve lost your iPhone in a nearby room or location and can’t see where it’s stored. You can follow the beep and find it. You must unlock your phone to stop the sound.
How to mark your iPhone as lost
- In the floating window, click the Lost Mode button.
- You will be asked to enter an optional phone number where you can be reached. This number will be displayed on your lost iPhone. You will also be asked to enter a custom message that will also be displayed on your iPhone. Keep in mind that these steps are optional. Lost Mode automatically locks your iPhone with a passcode to ensure that all data on it is kept safe.
- Click on Done.
How to erase data on your lost iPhone
- In the floating window, click the Erase iPhone button.
- A pop-up message asks for your confirmation. Keep in mind that allowing this will delete all content and settings from your iPhone. An erased iPhone cannot be tracked or located.
- Click on Delete.