Where's my iPhone? How to find a lost phone

What to do if you lose an iPhone

iPhone users will be happy to learn that they’re already well-equipped to find their misplaced smartphone—Apple includes phone-finding software in every iPhone it currently makes. Hurrah! The app is called Find My iPhone, and it its settings can be accessed via iOS’s settings menu.

A word of caution: In order for this feature to be of any use, certain situational requirements need to be met. Let’s get into it.

First, the Find my iPhone feature will need to have been enabled in advance in order for it to do its job. If you want to get out in front of any future mishaps, I recommend turning Find my iPhone on if you haven’t already.

Next, you’re going to need a computer or an additional iOS device (an iPad or another iPhone, for example) that can access iCloud in order to track the current whereabouts of your iPhone. Simply log in to iCloud with your personal credentials and select “Find my iPhone.”

Credit: Apple
Find my iPhone can be accessed from any iOS device or at iCloud.com.

Once your at the helm, iCloud will display the current location of your phone overlaid on a map. From here, you have the option of pinging your phone with notification sounds, or remotely setting it to “lost mode,” which allows you to display a message and phone number on your iPhone until its found.

If all else fails, you can also remotely wipe the device of all its contents. Of course, the possibility of going “scorched Earth” on your lost or stolen iPhone is a good enough reason on its own to maintain backups of all your data.

Find My iPhone Interface

Credit: Apple
If you’re iPhone is still on and connected to a network, you can ping it, put it in “lost mode,” or wipe its contents completely.

Unfortunately, this scenario is only possible if you’re iPhone is connected to a network (WiFi or mobile) and its battery is still alive and kickin’ when you try to track it. Once your iPhone disconnects from the network or switches off, its last-known iCloud location will appear for up to 24 hours.

This, my friends, is why I mentioned time being of the essence.

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