Find My iPhone Overview Updated February 19, 2020

Find My iPhone

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33 'Find my iPhone' stories

November 2011 - June 2019


Find My iPhone is part of the Find My application that Apple preloads on iPhones, iPads, Apple Watch, and iCloud.com.

What is Find My iPhone?

Find My iPhone allows a user to track their lost iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple Watch. If you lose your iPhone, you can use the Find My app on another device to see its last known location.

In previous versions of iOS, Find My iPhone and Find My Friends were separate applications. Starting in iOS 13, they were combined into a single app that allows you to locate your devices and check the location of your friends and family.

Find My iPhone has become a way to make iOS devices less attractive to steal. Once Find My is enabled on an iPad, iPhone, Mac, or Apple Watch, the device cannot be unlocked without the iCloud password of the original account.

How to enable Find my iPhone

To protect yourself from losing an iPhone, it’s important that you turn on Find My iPhone on your iPhone. You should also turn it on on your iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch as well.

Find My iPhone

On your iPhone, go to Settings > Choose Your Account at the top (where it says Apple ID, iCloud, iTunes & App Store). Go to Find My.

In the top section, make sure it is enabled. You can also enable “Share My Location” in order to also let your family and friends know where you are at. This feature is handy if you have Family Sharing enabled for checking to see the location of your spouse or children. If you have a HomePod, you will want to enable this feature to be able to make personal requests regarding your data.

How to locate a missing iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple Watch

If you have misplaced your iPhone, it’s easy to track it using the Find My application on another device or on iCloud.com. To get started, open the Find My app, go to the Devices tab, and find the device in the list.

Once you locate the device in the list, you can play a sound, get directions to its locations, Mark as Lost, or even erase it. If the device is offline, it’ll receive commands once it comes back online. You should only erase the device if you don’t expect to be able to recover it.

How to disable Find My iPhone

Disabling Find My iPhone should only be done when selling a device or sending it off to be repaired by Apple. Apple requires the service to be disabled before generating a return code.

To disable Find My iPhone, go to Settings > Choose your account > Find My > Turn Off. To turn it off, you will be forced to authenticate the request using your iCloud password.

Again, just to clarify, the only two times you should disable the service is when you are selling a device or at the request of Apple Support prior to sending a device in for repair.

How to bypass Apple’s activation lock

If an iPhone, iPad, Mac, or iPad is locked with an iCloud account, the only way to unlock is it with the password of the account or by getting in contact with Apple. Apple will only unlock the device if you can provide the original proof of purchase that matches the serial number of the device. Apple’s policy is to protect against device theft.

If you don’t remember the password of the account, you can reset it using the email address tied to the account.

Find Missing AirPods

Find my Airpods

The Find My application can also locate AirPods. If you have Find My enabled on your iPhone, it will automatically be enabled on your AirPods as well.

If your AirPods are lost, not in their case, and are somewhere close, you can use the Find My app to locate them. If your AirPods are out of range of your devices, have dead batteries, or are in the case, the Find My app can still help by showing the time and location where they were last connected.

If you can find your AirPods on the map, you can have them play a noise. This  feature can be helpful if you lose a single AirPod in the couch or in the bed. If you can’t find your AirPods, you’ll be able to see their last known location. If your AirPods come back online, you will then be able to make them play a sound.

Find my iPhone Stories June 3, 2019

macOS Catalina adds a new Find My feature, which combines Find My iPhone and Find My Friends.

Finding a lost or stolen Mac works even when the machine is sleeping …

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Find my iPhone Stories April 17, 2019

Apple is working on a new app that’s going to replace the Find My Friends and Find My iPhone apps. With codename “GreenTorch”, the app is currently being tested by engineers at the company.

People familiar with its development shared exclusive details about the project with 9to5Mac, but asked to remain anonymous discussing the company’s plans. The new app will have the same features of the two existing apps, but combined into a single app, which will be available on both iOS and on macOS, as a Marzipan app.

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Find my iPhone Stories March 20, 2019

I’m not sure whether there’s a typical lost iPhone story, but the tale of how I came to leave my iPhone behind on Monday evening, outdoors, several miles from home, is a slightly convoluted one.

I should like to note that no alcohol was involved – only tea …

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Find my iPhone Stories March 6, 2019

If you’ve ever worried about your iPhone, iPad or Mac being stolen, you may be worrying about the wrong thing. Data from device-protection company Prey shows that you are far more likely to misplace a device than to have it stolen.

The company also revealed some of the stranger stories behind the loss of devices …

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Find my iPhone Stories February 14, 2019

How to set up and use Find My iPhone

Do you want to enable the option to play a sound on and locate your iPhone and other Apple devices? Follow along for how to set up and use Find My iPhone with Siri, HomePod, and all of your other Apple devices.

Find my iPhone Stories September 12, 2017

Apple patents easy way to get a lost iPhone back to its owner

Find My iPhone is a great feature to have if you’ve ever realised you’ve misplaced your iPhone. You can not only track the device, but also post a message on the Lock screen asking a finder to contact you …

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