Find My iPhone was first released in June 2010 initially for the iPhone. Now, Find My iPhone allows you to track the location of your device, be it an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, in case it gets lost or stolen. This is a great benefit because when you locate your device using Find My iPhone, the device makes noise until it is found and will show you were it is located using Apple Maps. Recently, the police used Find My iPhone to track and save a woman’s life. However, Find My iPhone did require the device to be turned on and connected to the internet in order for it to work completely. New with iOS 8, you have the option to automatically send the location of the device to Apple when the battery is critically low. In this how-to I will discuss how to set up Find My iPhone, and how to use Find My iPhone.
Before we start discussing Find My iPhone, let’s have a brief discussion on the importance of having and knowing your Apple ID. Your Apple ID is used for your iCloud account. You will need to know what account you are using in order to use Find My iPhone. There are times when the Apple ID that is used for iCloud is being shared with your family members and some people will turn off everything to avoid getting family members data. You are able to change the iCloud account on the device so you each have your own account, and then you can properly set up Family Sharing, which would allow your family to have individual accounts with Apple and still share all of your purchases together. Also with the Apple ID that is being used for iCloud, you want it to be a valid, active email address because Apple will send you an email notifying you about the status of your device; be it was found, or put in lost mode. If the email address being used for iCloud, is not a valid, active email address you are able to change the email address associated with your Apple ID.
Now we are ready to discuss how to set up Find My iPhone.
To set up Find My iPhone first open up the Settings app and scroll down until you see iCloud. Tap on it and scroll down until you see Find My iPhone.
Then you are going to tap on Find My iPhone and make sure that Send Last Location is turned on, because by default it is turned off. When Send Last Location is turned on, the device will automatically send the location of it to Apple when the battery is critically low. This location will be available for 24 hours for you to see.
Now that we have Find My iPhone set up, let’s discuss how to use it in case the device gets lost or stolen. There are two different methods to go about doing this. The first method involves using the computer, and the second method involves using the Find My iPhone app on a different iOS device.
On the computer, open up your web browser and go to icloud.com and login with your Apple ID.
Then click on the Find My iPhone icon. It will then prompt you to reenter your Apple ID password.
Up at the top in center in green click on All Devices. It will list all of the devices you have associated with Find My iPhone.
From the list, select on the device name that you are looking for. This will then zoom in on the map and show you were the device is located. This will then give you three different options: Play Sound, Lost Mode, Erase Device. These options will also appear when using the Find My iPhone app and I will discuss what they mean after discussing how to use the Find My iPhone app.
On the iOS device, open up the Find My iPhone app and sign in with your Apple ID and password.
Tap on the device you want to find. You can do so by tapping on the icon of the device on the map, or by pressing on the green arrow in the upper left hand corner to see a list of all of the devices.
Down at the the bottom you have a couple of different options. Tapping on the green car in the lower left hand corner will open up the Maps app and give you driving or walking directions to your device. If you prefer to use a different GPS app, you have the option to do so.
Pressing on Actions in green down at the bottom in center gives you options to Play Sound, Lost Mode or Erase Device.
Pressing on the green i in the circle in the lower right hand corner, will allow you to change the style of the map: Standard, Hybrid and Satellite.
Play Sound will play an audible sound, even if the device is on vibrate or silent. This sound will keep going until the device is found. This is a great option if you lose your device in your house. Lost Mode allows you to track where the device has been over the last 24 hours. It allows you to lock your device and set up a message to display a contact number. This would prevent the person who finds your device to access any of the data on your device as well as allowing the person who finds it to call you. Erase will allow you to remotely delete everything on the device. This is a good idea in case you think you will never be able to access that device again and highly doubt it will get back to you, or you don’t want someone else accessing your data.
Now that you have Find My iPhone set up, I hope you find it useful to be able to track the location of your devices in case it gets lost or stolen. Let us know if you have used Find My iPhone and were successful in finding your devices.