How to Use Find My iPhone

So, your iPhone has been lost or stolen. It’s a horrible thought, I know, but at least Apple has a few options to help you try to recover your lost device and/or keep the information on your phone from getting into the wrong hands –with the Find My iPhone app. The app, thankfully, comes preloaded on your phone (I know there’s a bunch of you out there who otherwise wouldn’t download it and then be all “oh noooooo” when you inevitably lose your phone), and while it’s not perfect, it does give you a few helpful options and, at the very least, some hope. Keep reading to learn how to enable it as well as how to use Find My iPhone.

(oh, and quick fyi –Find My iPhone can also be used for iPads and even Macbooks!)

Enable Find My iPhone

Even though the Find My iPhone app comes with your phone, you’ll still need to enable the feature within your settings to get the full benefit of it. So go do that now.

1. Open Settings app.

2. Tap iCloud.

iCloud settings

3. Tap “Find My iPhone.”

find my iphone

4. Toggle the button next to “Find My iPhone” to the green “on” position.

turn on find my iphone

5. Tap “Allow.”

allow find my iphone

Now you’ll be able to not only utilize Find My iPhone from your own app, but from your iCloud as well as anyone else’s iPhone or iPad. Simply log-in to your iCloud account and open the Find My iPhone app there; or use someone else’s phone and input your own info into the Find My iPhone login.

Using Find My iPhone

There are a few different uses for Find My iPhone. Let’s go with the best case senario first  –you’ve simply misplaced your phone and need help finding it. Ok, open Find My iPhone (from iCloud via a computer, or a friend’s phone as previously mentioned). You’ll see a map with the locations of your devices. If you have more than one Apple product, tap “All” to bring up a list of your individual devices.

find my iphone

Tap which device you need to find.

list of devices

You’ll see the exact location of your phone. This is perfect if, say, you left it at a friend’s house the night before. But, if you’ve misplaced it within your apartment, you’ll need to go one step further. Tap “Actions” at the bottom of the screen.
location of devices

Tap “Play Sound” and your phone will emit a noise, helping you to locate it behind the couch or under your pillow or wherever you left it.actions to locate device

Now, let’s move on to a somewhat worse senario –your phone has been lost somewhere out in the great wide world. Maybe it fell out of your purse at a bar, or your pocket in a cab, you’re really not sure. Tap “Lost Mode.” This will lock your phone, preventing any unauthorized access, and turn on tracking (if you were hubristic enough to not enable it in the first place). You can even have your phone display a custom message and a contact number, on the off-chance your device is found by a good samaritan who desperately wants to find the phone’s true owner (I mean, don’t hold your breath, but sure, maybe that’ll happen). This brings us to the, much more likely, worst case senario –your phone has been stolen and you’re worried about all your information stored on the device. Tap “Erase iPhone” and your phone will be remotely wiped. You’ll be out an iPhone, but at least the thief won’t get your identity too.

Have any of you ever successfully used Find My iPhone to recover a lost device?

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