Did you know that 97% of Americans have cell phones? Being digitally connected is absolutely necessary in today's world.
We may be moving into the digital age, but there is still something gut-wrenching about misplacing your iPhone. Cell phones have become extensions of our identity, and losing them can have consequences far beyond the emotional.
We rely on our phones to pay our bills, work, and connect with the world. Luckily, you can use the how to find my iPhone function to save you if you can't find your phone.
Whether you misplace your iPhone or it gets stolen, you can take both preventative and reactive measures to get it back. Depending on how long you've had your iPhone and how well you back up your data, your options for recovery can vary. We’ll answer all your questions about how to find a lost iPhone and more, so make sure to read along.
Call Your iPhone
The first moment you realize your phone is missing you should start simple, and immediately call it. This can prevent you from leaving it somewhere or from it straying farther away.
Hopefully, it’s not on silent mode and you can quickly locate it. Sometimes you can try to use your phone's mobile carrier to override the ringer settings and sound an alert.
The "Find My iPhone" App
The "Find My iPhone" app is the best and most successful way to locate your devices if they become lost or stolen. You can track almost any Apple device including your AirPods.
You will need the latest version of IOS and have to log into the same Apple ID as your phone. You can try to use the device of a family member or any other iPhone. Simply open the app and sign in with your Apple ID and password to see a map of where your iPhone is.
Here is a list of how to find your lost or stolen iPhone from one of these devices using the Find My app:
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If you sign into the same Apple ID you can use this to find your phone as well. Find My app on iPad is in your Utilities section. Select Devices to see if your phone is online. If not, your iPad can tell you the last known location of your iPhone.
You can play a noise, delete the information on your phone and mark it as lost all from your iPod. Soon iPods are not going to be available for purchase, but you can still track your phone from older models.
While you can do it multiple different ways on a Mac, the easiest is using the Find My app still. Open up the Find My app from the doc finder on your Macbook. Then select the Devices tab.
You should then be able to see all of your devices or shared devices and their locations. You can choose to play a sound or get directions to your phone from this menu.
Like the Mac, find the app in the app library and click on your iPhone. The iPad has the features to view location, play a sound, mark lost, and notify when it is being left behind or found. You can even customize tracking notifications.
The Apple Watch is a bit more limited. Though it can still view device locations, mark lost, and notify you when someone finds it. Simply press the dial on the side of your watch and it will take you to your app library.
The Apple Watch has a different app look for its Find My features. With a green computer and iPhone on the logo, Apple Watches should be able to tell you the last time it located your device. It can even tell you its battery percentage.
Make sure to select “show family devices” and “show precise locations” to have the best opportunity to find your phone if it cannot be located. Find My iPhone has the ability to lock, locate, or erase your iPhone and all of its accessories.
You cannot erase or reactivate any device without using your password. Even if your phone isn't connected to Wifi or a cellular device you should still be able to locate it.
iPhones You Can Track While Shut-off
When this feature is enabled, Apple can locate your device for up to 24 hours after it loses its cellular signal. This is great if someone is trying to steal it or the device has lost its battery charge.
Your iPhone is trackable up to 24 hours after the phone is turned off. When the phone’s battery life hits critically low levels its location will be sent to Apple. This is called Send Last Location and you should make sure this is toggled on.
- • iPhone 13
- • iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max
- • iPhone 13 Mini
- • iPhone 12
- • iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max
- • iPhone 11
- • iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max
Enable “Find My Network”
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Open your settings and go to the Apple ID at the top. Then click “Find My” which will lead you to “Find My iPhone”. Make sure you toggle on the “Find My Network” because this can save you when you need to locate the device.
If someone turns your phone off, you can still find the last location regardless if it's offline or powered down.
Using "Find My Friends"
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If you have the ‘Find My Friends’ app installed on your iPhone, you can use it to track down your lost device. Simply open the app off of a shared device and see a list of all the devices that are connected to your account. You can open up Maps once you find the device and you should be able to get directions straight to the device.
Remember that you have to allow your family and friends permission to use this feature. You can do this by adding people on the Find My app, or by selecting “Share My Location” in their assigned contact. You can unshare your location at any time for privacy purposes.
Searching Around the House
If you think you may have lost your iPhone around the house, be sure to check all the usual places first. This includes under the couch cushions, in between the car seats, and in your jacket pockets. You never know where it could turn up.
A good tip is to retrace your steps. If you went to the supermarket in the morning, you may want to go back and see if someone found it. It could be likely that someone found the device and turned it into the front desk, or the lost and found area. It’s worth it to go and check before you have to buy a new phone.
The Airtag is great because it is used to find any important belongings to you. It can view location, find nearby, play a sound, and mark as lost. If your Airtag is attached to your iPhone you can search for the signal on the Find My Network tab to be able to locate the missing phone.
With how easy it is to misplace your stuff, you should feel secure. There are great options for AirPods cases that you can use to keep near your phone, wallet, or other important possessions. Buy yours now to make sure you have your belongings protected.
Sometimes you can’t find another Apple device or there aren’t any friends around. That’s okay because you can use iCloud to find your phone. From iCloud, you can control your settings and all of the apps on your phone.
Log onto iCloud.com with your Apple ID and password. You will see a few different apps pop up and from there you can click “Find My Phone”.
Asking for Help
If you’ve tried all of the above and still can’t find your iPhone, it may be time to ask for some help from friends. When multiple people are looking, you can cover more area and become more likely to find the missing device.
Still Asking How To Find My iPhone?
When phones cost thousands of dollars, that is a gadget you don’t want to lose. If you’ve never had “Find My” on don’t start to feel out of luck or give up trying.
There are still other options you can explore. If you are unable to locate your phone, try these other possible solutions:
Check iCloud Activity
Checking iCloud to see if your device is still connected to your account can be helpful to see if you lost it or if someone is messing with it. You will be able to see activity on apps off of your iPhone and whether it is being used or not.
This can be done from any other Apple device, such as an iPad or a Mac. Unfortunately, you can’t turn on “Find My” unless you have your phone back, this can still help you make a plan of what to do next.
Check Your Recent Activity
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If you have no location found and still can’t locate your iPhone, you might want to check your activity to see if someone has been using your service. Most people have Google accounts hooked up to their iPhones.
You can see what was searched, apps that were used, and videos or songs that were watched. Here is a quick list of how to do this:
- 1. Open the Gmail app or web-supported version
- 2. At the top select “Data & Privacy”
- 3. On the “History Settings” select “My Activity”
- 4. You can now browse through all of your activities which are organized by date and time and search through all of your history from past dates
Image credit: The Geek Herald
You can wake Siri up off another device and prompt it to “Find My iPhone”. The device needs to be connected to the same Apple ID to work.
If Siri is able to locate the device, she will respond with “I found the device. Would you like me to play a sound?”. A noise will play from the device until you find it or it times out.
If you have “Hey Siri” activated and you misplaced your phone this can be a handy way to find it as well. While it may seem silly walking around saying “Hey Siri”, it will be worth the embarrassment if your phone responds back to you.
To find “Hey Siri”, go to the settings section on your phone. Scroll down until you see “Accessibility”. Then at the bottom, you will find Siri and the settings to make your phone have a spoken reply.
Mark Your Phone Lost
You can do this from any of the devices listed above. Simply go into the information settings on the device and mark it lost.
Marking your lost phone will disable Apple Pay on your missing device. This can protect you if someone stole your phone or if it’s found. You can even display a custom message on the device or add your contact information.
Play a Sound
Image credit: Apple ToolBox
From the listed devices above, you can play a sound so that your iPhone can be tracked. Click on “Devices” and find the phone or item you are looking for. If you see a blue circle around the device that means the phone is in the approximate area.
Then click on the “info” button and from there you can play a noise to see if you can hear the missing device or notify you when it's found or connected to the internet.
Report to Law Enforcement
Make sure to report your missing phone to the local law enforcement agency. This is the non-emergency number. This allows you to dispute any charges made on your phone, unauthorized calls, or other bills.
It's common for law enforcement to request the serial number of the stolen device in case it is found. If your phone is missing it can be hard to find this. You can look at the device box or receipt in most cases to find the serial number.
If you do find your phone using one of these steps, make sure not to confront the thief. You can put yourself in a dangerous situation and it’s best to get help from law enforcement professionals. Getting hurt or in a confrontation certainly won’t get your phone back.
File a Claim With Apple
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If you have AppleCare+ insurance or your phone was not paid off in full you should file a theft and loss claim. Most of the time missing phones are covered and you can get a new iPhone replacement.
You don’t want to continue paying monthly installments on a phone that you don’t have anymore. Sometimes, you can get out of your plan if you can prove your phone was stolen.
Connect With Your Carrier
If your device is actively set up on a cellular plan, you should call and ask your carrier to disable your account. This will prevent unwanted calls, texts, charges, and data use. You can also file a claim with your carrier to see if you can cease payments or make other arrangements depending on the service.
Remove Your Device
You’ll want to make sure that you remove the device from your account so that it can’t access your Apple ID or any of your settings. This is easy to do off a web browser.
Visit appleid.apple.com to get your lost phone off of the list of trusted devices on your account. Make sure if you do have AppleCare you don’t take it off until your claim gets approved by Apple.
Ways to Protect Your Phone
Everyone is human and it can be too easy to drop your phone or forget it on the top of your car. The best way to protect your phone is by practicing good habits. Here is a list of all the ways you can keep your phone safe and prevent an accident:
1. Protective Phone Case
If you want to protect your phone, this is important. Phones are so expensive and fragile that you don’t want to have to replace them often.
In case you lose it somewhere dangerous you want to make sure it's protected by a good case so you have time to find it. Look at some of our options for phone cases.
2. Create a Passcode
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Using a pin, passcode, or password to protect your phone is absolutely necessary. Face ID is a great option for iPhones because it is almost impossible to get into.
Anyone can find your phone or steal it and make unwanted charges to your accounts. A passcode is one of the easiest ways to prevent this from happening and in keeping your accounts secure.
3. Keep Your Data Backed Up
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When disaster strikes you want to have yourself covered. Backing up your accounts to the cloud will save all of your important information. It will also make restoring your phone easier.
To do this, go into your iPhone settings. Click the account name at the top. Next, find “iCloud” and scroll down to “iCloud Backup”. Make sure that this is toggled on.
You can see the last time your phone backed up. This is also where you can make future backups.
What To Do If You Can’t Find Your Phone
If you have exhausted all your efforts and still can’t find your phone, there are some more options. You may not be able to have your exact phone back but you can get what you need to feel like you are covered and live life again.
Update Your Information
If your phone gets into the wrong hands you want to make sure to change all of your account passwords. Important things like financials, emails, and social media can be easily hacked if you don’t make your accounts secure.
Purchase a New Phone
It’s almost impossible to live today without cell phones. You can find a new phone anywhere and getting an upgrade can be fun when you have dealt with trying to find your old phone. The latest iPhone models have so many color options, storage abilities, and functions.
Backup Your Phone
Once you get your new phone you should upload your data from iCloud. Set up Wifi to the new device. Then select “Restore from iCloud backup”. This will download all of your contacts, photos, messages, and more.
You will have to redownload and sign into all of the apps on your previous iPhone. Make sure to keep your phone connected to wifi and power while doing the backup.
Protect Your iPhone Today
You'll be wondering where your phone is immediately after you realize you lose it. Whether the phone is missing on your watch or a friend tells you its location is unknown, it's worth taking some time to prepare for an organized search. While having an iPhone locator installed on your phone can make recovery the easiest, these other options should help you out.If you have asked yourself "How to Find my iPhone" more than once, you might want to look into getting some more protection for your phone. Check out some of our great phone cases to make sure your technology is protected today.