Nothing compares to the panic of patting your pockets and finding your phone missing, so it’s better to know how to find a lost iPhone than to regret not knowing how to when you do. There are many safety measures that Apple Inc. has put into place for those of us who are prone to misplacing things. These measures revolve around the Find My iCloud and app services that help you locate your lost devices as well as take precautions in case they do not actually find their way back to you. Let’s review how to track an iPhone or use the Find My iPhone app to get it back to you.

How to Find a Lost iPhone Using the “Find My” Feature

How to Find a Lost iPhone

There are a couple of different methods to remember when it comes to learning how to find a lost iPhone. The first step, before you lose the phone, is to have all your details registered and ensure you’ve turned on the Find My feature on your phone. Having it active is a precautionary measure in case you lose your iPhone, but it also acts as a way to track your various Apple accessories and Airtagged belongings. 

You can even track your Apple-using family members if they approve the location-sharing feature. Your Find My iPhone’s last location should also be visible to any family members you have shared your location with. Check their Find My app to see if your device’s location is visible to them.

How to Install and Use Find My iPhone

To activate the feature on your phone, you require an active Apple ID that acts as an access key across Apple devices and platforms.

  1. Go to the Settings page on your iPhone
  2. Find your name on the menu, and then click the the “Find My” option
  3. Sign in to your Apple ID or create one if necessary
  4. Click on “Find My iPhone” to turn it on
  5. The Find My iPhone last location feature can also be enabled by tapping “Send My Location,” which will send the location of the iPhone to Apple if the battery is about to run out
  6. Enabling the “Find My Network” option lets you locate your device even when it is offline or up to 24 hours after it is turned off

How to track an iPhone from another Apple Device

If you cannot find your Apple device, such as an iPhone, here’s how to use Find My iPhone:

  1. Log into your Apple ID on the other iPhone or iPad
  2. Open the “Find My” app on the device
  3. Find the devices tab 
  4. Click on the name of the iPhone that you’re looking for
  5. If you think the device is close by, click “Play Sound” and the device should start making a loud noise
  6. If you cannot locate it, click on the “Directions” option to see where the lost iPhone is on the map

How to Find a Lost iPhone using Find My iCloud

If you do not have an alternate Apple device you can log into, you can use the Find My iCloud feature:

  1. Open iCloud on a web browser
  2. Use the same Apple ID to log in
  3. Go to your apps and click on “Find My”
  4. Click on “All Devices”
  5. Identify your missing iPhone device and click on it
  6. You should have the last location of your device, and the “Play Sound”, “Lost Mode”, and “Erase Phone” features in front of you

How to Use Find My iPhone to Mark the Device as Lost

Apple makes it easy to see the location of the lost device through the “Find My” app but that’s not all. In the same menu where you see the location, you can also mark the device as lost. This will let you display a message on the screen for whoever finds the device. Marking a device as lost should also allow you to set an additional passcode to block access to it. Simply click on “Mark as Lost” on the Find My app, create a passcode, and add contact details for how it can be returned to you. Even AirPods and iPhone Wallets should send out a message when someone tries to connect to the device.

If You Cannot Track the iPhone, You Can Erase It

As a last-case scenario, if you are unable to figure out how to find the lost iPhone, you have the option of erasing the data to protect it. The “Erase the Device” will allow you to delete all the information stored on the phone to ensure no one can misuse it. Your data should be backed up on iCloud for you to access when you find the lost iPhone. 

Anyone who finds the device will still require your ID and password to reuse the device. The Activation Lock should send a prompt that repeats that the device is still linked to your account, preventing the finder from benefiting from the device in any way.

With your Find My settings turned on and the knowledge of how to find a lost iPhone now safe on your mind, you should now be able to locate your device with ease. Connecting your ecosystem of Apple devices and Air Tagged items will allow you to rest easy and track your belongings wherever you go.