How to locate and protect your lost or stolen iPhone

findmyiphoneIf you lose your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch and you don’t have another iOS device, you will find the following information very useful. If you intend on removing your device from your Apple account, Activation Lock will be turned off, which will allow someone else to activate and use your device.

If you decide to erase your device, you should contact your wireless carrier so they can disable your account and prevent calls, texts and data use.

The following will only work if you enabled Find My iPhone (including iPad or iPod touch).

  • Sign in to on a Mac or PC with your Apple ID and Password (Don’t check ‘Keep me signed in’}
  • You will also get an email from Apple to tell you about your iCloud sign in
  • Click > All Devices – you will see a list of iOS devices that are either offline or connected to the Internet
  • Select a device to view its location on a map. You can play a sound, activate Lost Mode or Erase iPhone
  • Turn on Lost Mode – this will allow you to remotely lock your device with a passcode, display a custom message with your phone number on your missing device’s Lock screen, and monitor your device’s location*
  • Report your lost or stolen device to the Police
  • Option: Erase your device – this will erase all your iPhone device information remotely. This will also mean you will be unable to use Find My iPhone and someone else will be able to use your device (Activation Lock is turned off by default)
  • Inform your wireless carrier that you have lost your device – provide them with the Serial Number (Settings > General)

*Note: If you enabled Apple Pay, you will be unable to make payments using Apple Pay as the device will be suspended.

IMPORTANT: If you are using iOS 8.3 you should update to iOS 10.x immediately. iOS 8.3 forces you to set up Find My iPhone with iCloud. It doesn’t force you to set up a device passcode. If you lose your iPhone (even with Activation Lock enabled), your emails, iMessages, Contacts, Photos, Calendar etc can still be accessed. Make sure you use a device passcode.

Remember, if your device is off or in offline mode, you can still put it in Lost Mode, lock it or remotely erase it. The next time your device is online, these actions will take effect.

Further reading: How to use Find My iPhone Activation Lock

Safe surfing folks!


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