Unfortunately, losing your phone is an all too common problem for a lot of people. If you yourself haven’t lost or misplaced your phone, there is a very good chance that somebody that you know has. Millions of phones go missing all over the world. There are many of different scenarios that could lead to you misplacing your phone. You could leave it at a bar or restaurant, forget it in a taxi or even have it stolen by somebody else.
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Whatever way the device is lost, that situation brings up some major fear and anxiety in most people. Most of us have a ton of our own private and personal information and data on there such as messages, photos, contacts, emails and more. If those end up in the wrong hands, you never know what could happen. A sad reality in these situations is that sometimes, these people never find their phone and are constantly worried about who may find it and what they may do.
So while it is perfectly normal to be scared and nervous when your phone goes missing or is stolen, don’t worry. There is an app that comes pre-loaded on iPhones now called “Find My iPhone”, and it does just that. This app lets you remotely track your missing iPhone from any computer or other devices, as long as your phone has an internet connection. However, in addition to helping you find your missing phone, this app also allows you to remotely wipe all of your private and sensitive information off of it, in case you fear you will never get it back.
This is a great addition by Apple and has surely saved millions of phones around the world from being lost forever. But before you can actually use this app you need to turn it on. Without turning the app on, you will not be able to locate your phone if it goes missing. It is best to be proactive in this situation than reactive. Once you turn on Find My iPhone, you are covered and can track it once it goes missing. The app also works on other Apple devices like iPads as well.
How to Turn on Find My iPhone
As mentioned, the app needs to be turned on and activated before it can work. Thankfully, it is very easy to turn on and can be done in only a few short steps.
Step 1: Go to the Settings app on your Apple device.
Step 2: From there, scroll down and tap on iCloud
Step 3: Once in the iCloud menu, scroll down until you see the “Find My iPhone” button.
Step 4: Finally, tap the slider so that it switches to the green “on” position.
Now that you know how to turn the app on, you can rest easy knowing there is a good chance you’ll be able to locate it if it ever goes missing. However, now let us take a closer look at what you can do with the app if your phone does indeed go missing and how to get your phone back safe and sound.
How To Use Find My iPhone on a Computer
Most of us have a computer or laptop handy at home, and you can easily locate your missing phone via that computer, even if it isn’t an Apple.
Step 1: Go to iCloud.com in any browser and log in to your account.
Step 2: On the main menu, click Find iPhone.
Step 3: Next, click All Devices and then locate your device name on the list, and click it.
Once you complete those steps, the app will search for (and hopefully find) your device. Once it has located your device, it will show you its location on the map so you can easily know where it is to go retrieve it.
How To Use Find My iPhone on an iPhone or iPad
If you don’t have a computer handy, don’t worry! If you have a friend or family member’ iPhone or iPad handy, you can actually use that to locate your lost phone as well.
Step 1: Launch the Find My iPhone app from any iPhone or iPad.
Step 2: Enter your Apple ID and log in.
Step 3: Tap the name of the device you want to locate or track.
Just as it did on the computer, a map will pop up and show you just where your phone is so you can go and get it.
And now that you know how to get to the map and the location of your device, there are also three additional things that the app lets you do other than just track your device down via GPS. These options appear at the top right of the page if you are using Find My iPhone on the computer, and they will be at the bottom of the screen if you are using another Apple device.
Play Sound – This option will make the phone make a sound so you can hear. This one obviously isn’t helpful if your phone is lost a few minutes away, but if you lost it inside your home somewhere, this can be a life saver. Even if your phone is on vibrate or has its ringer off, this option will still allow the phone to make a noise to help you find it.
Lost Mode – This option will put a passcode on your phone to keep your information safe. It will also not display alerts or messages and won’t make noise when you call it.
It can also allow you to put a custom message on the phone in case anyone finds it. You could easily use this custom message to alert anyone who picks it up that the phone is lost and could leave information for how they should contact you to return it. Lost Mode is perfect for keeping the information on your phone safe until you can go and get it yourself, or until someone sees it and returns it.
Erase – Unfortunately, not all lost phone stories come with a happy ending. Sometimes your phone was stolen by a person or lost in a place where you simply can’t retrieve it from for one reason or another. With this in mind, Find My iPhone gives you the option to remotely erase the data and information on your phone and wipe it clean. This will protect your information from the thief of from whoever might find your phone.
While yes, it means you will lose everything and have to get a new phone, that is definitely a better option than someone finding your phone later on and being able to access your information.