How to use Find My app to locate a lost or stolen device

How to Use Find My on iPhone and iPad

Apple’s Find My service helps you track down your or your family member’s lost or stolen device, remotely wipe the data, lock your phone, and more.

However, apart from the recent update allowing the Find My to locate compatible third-party accessories too, you can now track down a powered-off or battery-dead iPhone too!

Let me tell you everything about it and show you how to use the Find My app on iPhone or iPad running iOS 14 or 13.

How to turn on Find My on iPhone and iPad

  1. Launch Settings app.
  2. Tap on your name at the top of all settings.
  3. Select Find My.
  4. Tap Find My iPhone.

    Tap on Profile in iPhone Settings and Tap on Find My and Then Tap on Find My iPhone
  5. Turn on the toggle of Find My iPhone.
  6. Also, toggle on Enable Offline Finding and Send Last Location.

    Turn ON Find My on iPhone

Note: In iOS 14 Enable offline finding settings may vary named with Find My Network.

How to use Find My app to locate your misplaced or lost device

Using the Find My app, you can locate your misplaced device and erase it if needed. From getting map directions to marking it as lost, the app will let you configure your device accordingly.

However, make sure the missing device has to Find My iPhone/iPad enabled from the iPhone settings. If so, let’s get started with finding the location of your device.

See your lost device on a Map

  1. Launch the Find My app
  2. Go to the Devices tab from the bottom.
  3. Choose the device to view its location on the map.
    Note: If you’re a part of a family sharing group, you can also view devices of that group.
  4. Select directions to open that location in the Maps app.

    Open Find My App Tap on Device in Devices Tab and Then Tap on Directions on iPhone

If you’ve turned on Offline Finding, you can locate your device even if it’s not connected to a Wi-Fi or cellular data network.

Play a Sound

  1. Launch the Find My app.
  2. Go to the Devices section.
  3. Choose your missing device then tap Play Sound.

    Play Sound in Find My App on iPhone

Ensure that if your device is offline, no sound will be played unless it’s connected to an internet network.

Mark your device as lost mode

  1. Open the Find My app and go to the Devices tab.
  2. Tap on your device that is missing.
  3. Scroll down and tap Mark As Lost. Then tap Activate.

    Enable Mark as Lost in Find My App on iPhone
  4. You’ll have to follow the onscreen steps. If you want to display your phone number on your device or you want to enter a custom message asking the finder of your lost device to contact you.

What does it mean to Activate Mark As Lost?

  • This remotely locks your lost iPhone or iPad with a Passcode, securing your device information.
  • Once it is activated, Apple Pay will be disabled automatically.
  • A confirmation mail will be sent to the email address linked with your Apple ID. Later, when you recover your device, you’ll have to enter your passcode to unlock it.

Erase your device remotely

This is something you need to reconsider before going ahead as it cannot be undone. Make sure you’ve tried the above-mentioned steps to recover your device. Only then, proceed with the steps shared below.

  1. Launch the Find My app and go to the Devices tab.
  2. Select the device that you want to erase.

    Open Find My App and Tap on Device in Devices Tab on iPhone
  3. Scroll down and tap Erase This Device and then tap on Continue.

    Erase Your Device from Find My App on iPhone

Erasing your device makes sense when you want to remove your data so no one can access it. Once you erase, all your credit and debit cards for Apple Pay are removed from your device. Also, you can’t locate it using the Find My app anymore.

Note: If your lost device is covered with AppleCare+ Theft and Loss, consider filing a complaint instead of erasing it.

How to track your turned off or dead iPhone with iOS 15

With iOS 15 about to launch this fall, Apple leveled up its game in the Find My app by adding the feature to track down a powered-off or battery-dead iPhone. This left everyone startled about the working of this feature. Well, here’s what we know so far!

How will Find My locate your powered-off iPhone

Well, the science behind this is what can be called a masterpiece illusion. For the iPhone to remain trackable, it stays in what can be said a power reserve mode even after turned off or battery dead. 

This power reserve mode is capable enough to power the Bluetooth at all times, allowing the nearby iOS devices to have access to its Bluetooth signal and track its location. 

What’s more? That it can also be tracked even if the iPhone is reset to its factory settings.

Compatible devices

This is a real big deal for users as not all iPhone models support this feature. Like AirTag’s precision finding, this feature too requires the Ultra-Wideband (UWB) technology powered by Apple’s U1 chip. 

With that being said, the models that support this feature are:

  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12 mini
  • iPhone 12 
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max

Moreover, this feature isn’t supported on iPads or Apple Watches, even though the Series 6 watch houses the U1 chip.

Offline Tracking

Although the above feature is limited to the UWB technology, Apple has not let everyone down. There’s another feature in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, called Offline tracking, supported by all updated devices.

The feature lets users track their device even if it’s not connected to the internet.

It also works with the help of Bluetooth signals sent and received by the device to its nearby iOS/iPadOS devices. However, the feature becomes inactive once the device to be tracked is turned off.

How to locate your Friends with Find My app

Apart from being a device locator, Find My app also acts as a location-sharing app on your iPhone and iPad. You will love exchanging locations with your friends and family using this app. Here’s how you do it.

  1. Open the Find My app.
  2. Go to the People tab.
  3. Select the friend who is sharing their location under the map.

    Open Find My App Tap on Friend's Name in People Tab on iPhone
  4. Swipe up on the popup, then tap Contact to view the contact information of that friend.

    Tap on Contact to View Contact Information on iPhone
  5. Hit Directions to get directions to their location.

    Get Direction to the Friend's Location in Find My App on iPhone
  6. Select Add (Friends Name) to Favorites.

    Tap on Friend's Name and Tap on Add to Favorites in Find My App on iPhone
  7. Now, tap Edit location name.
  8. Choose a label to add to the location (Home, Work, School, or Gym).

    Tap on Friend's Name and Edit Location Name in Find My App on iPhone
  9. Tap Add Custom Label to give a personalized label to that location.

    Add Custom Label in Find My App on iPhone

How to add Friends in Find My app on iPhone and iPad

  1. Go to the People tab in Find My app.
  2. Tap Share My Location.
  3. Enter the name of the contact or add it from the list.
  4. Hit the + to add more people.
  5. Tap Send. 
  6. Choose the right time frame of location from Share for One Hour, Share Until End of Day, and Share Indefinitely.

    Share Location with Friends in Find My App on iPhone

How to share your location with Find My app

  1. Open the Me tab in the Find My app.
  2. Turn on the toggle for Share My Location.

    Turn Off Share My Location in Find My App on iPhone

In the same way, you can stop sharing your location by turning off the toggle.

How to stop sharing your locations and remove a friend

  1. Go to the People tab in the Find My app.
  2. Tap on a friend that is sharing location.
  3. Swipe up on the popup and hit Stop Sharing My Location from the bottom.
  4. Select Stop Sharing Location to confirm.

    Stop Sharing Location with Friends in Find My on iPhone
  5. Now, remove select Remove (friend’s name).
  6. Hit Remove to confirm.

    Remove Friends in Find My App on iPhone

How to track third-party accessories using Find My app

Let me show you the steps to add a ‘Works with Apple Find My’ third-party product to the app. Once added, you can see it on the map, play sound, enter Lost Mode, and get a notification when it is found.

In short, the third-party products and accessories get the same options like iPhone, AirPods, Mac, Watch, etc.

Before you begin: Update your iPhone or iPad to iOS 14.3 or iPadOS 14.3, respectively.

  1. Firstly, follow the instructions set by your product’s manufacturer to initiate the connection process. You can find it on its site, the product packaging, or the instructions booklet.
  2. Next, open the Find My app on your iPhone or iPad.
  3. Tap ItemsAdd New Item.
  4. Use the on-screen steps to set a name and register it to your Apple ID.

At the time of launch, VanMoof’s latest S3, and X3 e-bikes, Belkin’s SOUNDFORM Freedom True Wireless Earbuds, and the Chipolo ONE Spot worked with Find My.

However, more third-party accessories will be supported in the future. It all depends on the manufactures’ interest to be a part of this program.

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