How to Turn on and Use Find My iPhone to Locate a Lost Apple Device

Find My iPhone logo

If you’ve ever lost your phone, you know how stressful it can be. Not being able to communicate with your loved ones or use your favorite and most essential apps, combined with the fear of your device potentially getting into the wrong hands is never a good feeling. Luckily, if you have an iPhone or other iOS device, you can use the Find My iPhone app to track and locate your lost, missing or stolen Apple devices.

The iOS tracking system was created by Apple for Apple devices, and is linked to your Apple ID and iCloud account. This allows users to enable tracking on their devices, lock a device’s information if you lose it, play a sound to help you find it, or even erase all its content if you’re worried it may have been stolen. If you’re interested in using this system, we’re here to help! Here’s what we’re going to be covering in this tutorial:

To start, let’s get into the instructions to enabling Find My iPhone so that you can locate your device if you ever happen to misplace it in the future.

 

How to turn on Find My iPhone

1. On your home screen tap Settings.

The first step to enabling tracking is to open up your iOS settings. Tap the Settings icon on your home screen to access them.

iOS Settings app icon

2. Tap your name near the top of your screen.

Once you have your settings open, tap your name where it appears at the top to access settings related to Apple ID and iCloud.

Tap name

3. Select iCloud on the next page.

On the next page of your settings, tap iCloud.

iCloud settings

4. Scroll down and tap Find My iPhone.

To get to settings for iCloud tracking, scroll down and select Find My iPhone from the options in the menu.

Find My iPhone menu option

5. To enable Find My iPhone tracking, tap the switch at the top of your screen. Then enable “Send Last Location” as well.

Tap the switch at the top to turn on Find My iPhone and allow tracking on your device. Once you’ve enabled the feature, you’ll also have the option to turn on the Send Last Location feature, which will automatically send your device’s location to Apple when the battery level is critically low. Tap the other switch beside “Send Last Location” to turn on this option as well. When the switches turn from white to green, the features have been enabled.

Enable Send Last Location setting

6. Sign in to your Apple ID.

To confirm your actions and save your changes to your settings, log in to your Apple ID account.

iCloud sign in screen

That’s all you need to do to turn on Find My iPhone. These instructions will work to enable tracking on any iOS device, including iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. If you’d like to find out how to use the mobile app to track your devices, you’re in luck! We’ll be showing you how to use Find My iPhone next.

 

How to use the Find My iPhone app

1. Start up Find My iPhone by tapping Find iPhone.

To begin, you’ll need to launch the app. This app comes pre-installed on iOS, but if you’ve removed it from your device previously, you can re-download it for free from the App Store. To open the app, tap Find iPhone on your home screen.

Download the app: iOS

Find iPhone app icon

2. Sign in to your Apple ID to access details about your device’s location.

In order to see your devices’ locations on the map, you’ll need to log in to your Apple ID account. This is done for your security. If you don’t have your own iOS device with you (because you’re trying to find it) you can log in to your Apple ID account on a friend or family member’s iOS device to help you find yours.

Find My iPhone sign in screen

3. Select a device from the list at the bottom to see its location on the map.

If you have multiple devices with tracking enabled linked to your Apple ID, you’ll need to select the specific device you’re looking for. Once you choose a device, you’ll be able to see where it is on the map on your screen.

Select device to find

4. Tap the blue marker on the map to access tools.

On the map, you’ll see a blue dot that represents your device, indicating your device’s current location, or last known location if your device’s battery has run out of power. Tapping the blue marker will allow you to access some options or tools that can help you locate and secure your iOS device.

Blue location marker

5. Play a sound, lock your device, or erase it.

Using the buttons that appear at the bottom of your screen, you can play a sound to help you find your device, put it in Lost Mode so that your information is safe and secure, erase all the content on your device, or get directions to your device’s location by tapping the car icon.

Options for locating device

That’s all you need to do to track your devices using the Find My iPhone app for iOS. If you don’t have an iOS device available to you, you can also track them from your web browser by signing in to iCloud.com/find.

 

How to use Find My iPhone from a web browser

1. To track from your computer, open a web browser and go to iCloud.com/find.

Using whichever web browser you prefer, you can track your Apple device’s at iCloud.com/find.

iCloud.com/find URL

2. Log in to your Apple ID account.

Then, enter your email address and password to sign in to your Apple ID.

iCloud log in screen

3. Click one of the dots on the map then click the i button.

To see your device’s name and gain access to more features and options, click on one of the dots that appear on the map on your screen to see the device’s name. Then, click the i button to the right of its name to access a menu with more options for things to help you find and protect your device and information.

Click dot

4. On the right, you can check your device’s battery, play a sound, put your device in Lost Mode or erase your device’s content.

In the top right corner of your browser window, you’ll see a small menu appear. At the top right of the menu, you’ll see your tracked device’s current battery level. At the bottom of the menu you can select Play Sound, Lost Mode, or Erase iPhone, depending on which feature you’d like to make use of. The Play Sound option is quite useful if you know your device is within earshot but you’re not sure where it is (pesky couch cushions!), while the Lost Mode and Erase options are good if you’re not sure who might have possession of your device at the moment.

Menu Options

 

That’s everything you need to know to enable Find My iPhone and track your missing Apple devices from the Find My iPhone app, or from the iCloud website in any browser. If you’d like to find out about other cool things you can do with your iOS devices, head over to the iOS section of our site.

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