Some say the best thing to do when you get lost is to stay put. Fortunately, the iPhone does exactly that when you lose it. Unfortunately, it doesn’t know how to politely ask passersby for help or how to send smoke signals (in fact, if someone did see it, they would most likely steal it). In order to locate your iPhone the next time you misplace it, you’ll want to use the Find My iPhone program.
Preparing Your iPhone
Tap the Settings app on your Home Screen. Before you can use the location services to track your iPhone, you need to enable it in your iPhone’s settings. Find My iPhone requires iOS 5 or later, and Lost Mode requires iOS 6 or later.
Tap the iCloud option. You may be asked to sign in with your Apple ID. If you don’t have an Apple ID, you will need to create one before you can access Find My iPhone. An Apple ID is a free account.
Switch on Find My iPhone. In the iCloud section, there will be a switch labeled Find My iPhone. Slide it so that it displays ON. Your phone will ask you if you want to allow this. Tap Allow to enable it.
Turn on the passcode. You can set your iPhone to lock when the screen is turned off, requiring a 4-digit passcode in order to access the phone. To set the passcode, Return to the Settings menu and select General. In the General menu, select Passcode Lock. Enter the passcode that you would like and confirm.
You will be required to enter this passcode to unlock the screen. This will prevent strangers from accessing your data if you lose your phone.
Finding Your iPhone
Open the iCloud website. You can access the iCloud website from any internet browser. You will need to log in with your Apple ID and password. Once you are logged in to iCloud, you will be presented with several options.
Open Find My iPhone. The icon looks like a radar image. You will be asked to enter your Apple ID password again. This will open a map interface. The map will load once a device has been located.
Alternatively, you can go directly to the Find My iPhone site by visiting icloud.com/find. You will still be required to log in with your Apple ID and password.
Pull up a list of your iDevices. Click the Devices button in the top-left corner to open a list of all the devices that you have registered with Find My iPhone. Select the device that you want to find to open the options. A green dot next to a device indicates that the device is online. A gray dot indicates that it is offline.
Find my iPhone will display your device’s last known location for 24 hours.
Play a sound on the lost device. If the map indicates that the device is nearby, you can have the device play a loud sound by clicking the Play Sound button in the devices Options window.
Turn on Lost Mode. If your device is truly lost, you can start the Lost Mode process by clicking the button in the device’s Options window. You will be asked to create a passcode if your device does not have one configured already. If you do have a passcode, Lost Mode will activate it even if it’s not set to yet. For example, if you have the passcode set to turn on after 1 hour of inactivity, and you set your phone as Lost after 30 minutes, the device will lock itself.
You can add a contact phone number. This should be a number where you can be reached. It will be displayed on your phone’s screen. There will be a button to press on the screen that will automatically call the number that you set.
You can also add a personalized message that will be displayed with the phone number.
Turn off Lost Mode. Once you’ve found your device, you can disable Lost Mode by either entering the passcode on the phone, or by clicking Stop Lost Mode in the Find My iPhone website.
Erase your iPhone. If you believe that your phone is stolen or lost for good, you can remotely erase all of the data on your iPhone by clicking the Erase iPhone button in the device Options menu.
Erasing data is permanent, so only use this option as a last resort.
Using this option will disable GPS tracking of your phone.
Use another iOS device. You can perform the same steps above using the Find My iPhone app on another iOS device, such as an iPad or another iPhone. You will need to enter your Apple ID and password.
The app functions exactly the same as the Find My iPhone website.
Regardless of your volume level, the Play Sound feature will emit a noise at full blast.
This will not work if your iPhone is turned off.
Do not forget your iPhone passcode!
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