Lost iPhone? If It’s Missing, Look Up to the Cloud for Help.
Nothing stresses you out like a lost iPhone, even if it’s just missing somewhere in your home. Whether your iPhone is in your car, your office, or in the hands of a stranger, Apple can help you find it.
It’s almost the best kept secret around. With the help of your friends and some ingenious technology from Apple, you can locate a lost iPhone fast.
If you have an iPhone, you need to know that there’s a built-in feature called Find My on your phone as well as an app on icloud.com) that can come to your aid when you misplace or lose your phone.
Everyone misplaces their phone at some time. You leave it at work, a friend’s house, or in a restaurant. Usually, and luckily, you get it back no problem!
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But what if you don’t know where it is? How can you go about finding it and getting back before someone steals it from you? Millions of smartphones are stolen ever year!
Scary, isn’t it?
Nobody Wants to Lose Their iPhone!
You never want to lose your iPhone. It’s virtually essential for getting by and there’s too much of your life stored away on it, and that’s a real risk.
That’s why Apple created the Find My feature: to help you locate your phone if you suddenly can’t find it, don’t have it on you, or can’t remember where you last saw or used it.
“Wait a minute,” you’re thinking about now. “How can I use Find My when I don’t have my iPhone with me?
On top of that, you can also use iCloud, Apple’s proprietary cloud network, to use Find My to locate your phone.
What to do now, if you haven’t already!
Let’s cut to the chase: You need to learn what Find My and iCloud.com can do for you BEFORE you misplace or forget your phone somewhere.
- Like any other app on your phone, you have to turn it on (enable) and activate Find My (it’s under settings) if you haven’t already
- You need to know what Find My does and how to use it
- You need to know how to use your Mac (if you own one) or someone else’s Mac to use iCloud
- You need learn how to use someone else’s iPhone to help you find your phone
- Finally, you need to know what you can do if you fear your iPhone could be in a stranger’s hands
Okay, let’s say that someone has activated the Find My feature on their iPhone and knows how it works with iCloud.com and other devices.
Here’s what they probably do when they suddenly can’t find their iPhone. (Compare this to what you’d do if you haven’t set up Find My yet.)
Find My in action for a lost iPhone scenario.
There are dozens of “lost my phone” scenarios you could imagine, but let’s say you took an Uber to dinner at a restaurant, and now your back home with family and friends. After some time, you realize you don’t have your phone on you. Here’s what you’d likely do.
- Call my phone for me?
You’d have one of your friends call your phone. After all, maybe it’s simply in another room, in or a coat/jacket, or you placed it somewhere you usually don’t. With luck, you hear it and find it. All is good. But wait.
- You think you turned the ringer off?
No problem. You ask your spouse (you share the same phone plan) to use Find Me on their phone and check all “connected” devices. They locate your device on the app, and click to sound an “alert,” a beeping sound. Sure enough, you find it, because the beep overrides the ringer being off.
- Look up to the cloud
You’re at home, so you open your Mac laptop, go to icloud.com, log in with your Apple ID credentials, and go to Find My. You click on “search devices” and see, on a geo-map, that your iPhone seems to be at the restaurant. Whew. At least you know where it is. You call the restaurant with someone else’s phone and discover they’re keeping it safe for you. By the way, you can use anyone’s iPhone and the Find My feature to send an alert or locate your iPhone on a map. That’s important because let’s imagine you saw something strange on the map.
- Your lost iPhone is in a strange place.
You could see on iCloud.com/FindMy that your phone wasn’t at the restaurant location but is on a different side of town. You’re now concerned that you either left it in the Uber car (maybe in the cushions) and it’s on the move. You’re not sure if it’s been located by a stranger and if that stranger good intentions or not.
- You remotely lock your iPhone with Find My and send a “call me” message.
You’re not sure where your phone is and it’s certainly “lost” for now. You don’t want anyone exploring the personal and private data that’s on your phone. You go on Find My (from a Mac, using iCloud.com, or from someone else’s iPhone) and use mark your iPhone as “lost.” This not only prevents someone from using your iPhone, but it sends a message to the phone with a contact number you choose. If it falls into friendly hands, they now know how to reach you!
- Erase your phone’s data? It’s an option.
If you feel you cannot risk your phone getting into the wrong hands—and someone with tech smarts exploring what’s on it—Find My gives you the option of erasing all the data on your phone. That’s a severe move, but if you’ve backed up the data on your phone it’s a smart move. For more information, do your research at Apple.
Take advantage of the tools for a lost iPhone!
Now that you know about the tools and apps that Apple has created to help you find or locate your phone when it’s missing, put them into action.
Enable the features and do the same for other Apple devices you own or are in your network (on the same plan you).
Then experiment with the Find My app and get used to way it works on different devices. Finally, educate your friends and family who use iPhones about the Find My feature.
Maybe one day, you’ll be able to help one of them on that day when they only remember where they last saw their phone.
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