Find My iPhone allows you to remotely track your lost or stolen Apple device anywhere in the world, you can check through your Computer in iCloud. In practice, for older models, the phone needs to be actively connected to a data network or Wi-Fi, while newer devices also have another ace up their sleeves.
Not only does Find My iPhone allow you to locate or search for a lost device, it also allows you, in extreme cases, to perform a complete reset of the device remotely. If you have important personal or business information on your phone, and you don’t want it to fall into the hands of malicious people, you might as well decide for this approach, as a last resort.
We have created this guide precisely to help users understand the importance of this function on Apple devices, as well as explaining in detail all the accessory features that can be accessed from within the app and service.
How Find My iPhone works
The idea behind this function is very simple: to allow you to find a lost, or worse, stolen Apple device. For example, how many times has it happened to you not to remember where you left a technological object: it can happen above all with tablets and PCs, but also with the smartphone, if for example we forget it at school or at a friend’s house.
In the worst case scenario, an attacker could have come into possession of your device: luckily for us, Find My iPhone has a complete set of options for trying to track down a lost iPhone.
Starting with iOS 13, iPadOS 13 and macOS Catalina 10.15, the Find My iPhone and Find My Friends app changes its name and becomes Where is it:
You can use Find My on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac or watch to find your friends, family or a lost device
You can easily share the location of your device with others, who in turn can share the location with you
With active location services, you can always locate a lost or stolen device in the Where is app
Remotely you can activate the activation lock, so that no one else can use your devices in case of theft or loss
We can then find a friend’s iPhone or even ours through the new Where is app, and all without anyone knowing the location of the lost device.
How to set up iCloud Lost Mode
Through iCloud and Find iPhone, with options that also apply to other Apple devices, it is possible not only to lock our lost iPhone, but also to display a personalized message on the lock screen, for example to enter an address to send our iPhone or a phone number to contact. To enable it:
Connect to iCloud.com
Click on Find iPhone
From the top menu find your device
A tab will appear at the top right with the option to activate Lost Mode
In the most extreme cases, it is also possible to initialize the iPhone, or protect our data by formatting the internal memory of our smartphone. An extreme option that must be used with caution, as we will no longer be able to locate our smartphone, which will become a real brick, unless it is returned to the rightful owner.
To remove the Lost Mode, we will have to carry out the same procedure and click on the option Stop Lost Mode.
Does this function work if the phone is turned off?
Thanks to the new Where is app, Apple users can track a device even if in offline mode, that is, turned off or not connected to a data network or WiFi. This is possible by activating a function within the Settings menu that allows the Cupertino company’s devices, via a secure Bluetooth beacon, to be detected by other Apple products.
If, for example, there are other products near the iPhone, such as iPad, iPod Touch and Mac, even if not owned by us, the phone will continue to transmit a secure signal that only we can know, which will indicate the approximate location of the lost device or worse, stolen. The signal is secure, encrypted and anonymous, and has been designed for very minimal battery use.
To activate the offline find functionality we will have to:
Go to the Settings menu
Click on Apple ID with our picture and username at the top
Click on the Where is tab
Go to Find My iPhone
From the toggle, activate the Enable offline search and Send last position option
How to turn off iCloud Find My iPhone
To disable Find My iPhone from smartphone:
Let’s go to Settings
We click on our Apple ID icloud
Let’s go to the Where is service
Click on Find my iPhone
Let’s disable the toggle