How to Use Apple's Find My Service to Locate Your Lost iPhone

Russell Kidson
Mar 18, 2023
Updated • Mar 17, 2023

Apple has made significant advancements to its Find My service since merging Find My iPhone and Find My Friends into a single app in 2019. Among these improvements is the new feature that enables users to locate their iPhone even when it is powered off, which was introduced with the release of iOS 15 in September.

To help you make the most of Apple's Find My app, we've compiled a comprehensive guide with everything you need to know. 

Related: Apple TV app for macOS could get a sidebar

Before we start

However, before getting started, it's essential to ensure that you have set up a passcode. This simple step will prevent unauthorized access to your device and safeguard your personal information in the event of theft or loss. It's also important to verify that the Find My service is activated to maximize your chances of recovering your device. By taking these steps, you'll be well-equipped to navigate the app's features and locate your lost or stolen iPhone with ease.

Set a secure passcode

Some iPhone users view Face ID or Touch ID as an unnecessary extra step in accessing their devices. However, this viewpoint is misguided. Setting up a passcode and utilizing biometric authentication, such as facial recognition or fingerprint scanning, are crucial in safeguarding the sensitive information stored on your phone. Just consider the plethora of personal data your iPhone contains, from banking apps to private conversations, the locations of your home and office, contacts, emails, and photos.

To protect your device, navigate to Settings > Face ID (or Touch ID) & Passcode and follow the prompts to secure your phone. While scanning your fingerprint or using Face ID may initially seem like a minor inconvenience, it is a small price to pay for the added security and peace of mind it provides. After a few days, the extra step will become second nature, and you won't even notice it.

Related: Apple chatbot ambitions halted by major obstacle

How to make the most of Find My iPhone

Enable Find My iPhone

Once you have set up a passcode on your iPhone, it is essential to ensure that the Find My service is activated to maximize your chances of recovering your device in the event of loss or theft. By default, this feature is enabled on most iPhones, but it's always a good idea to double-check.

To check if Find My is activated on your device, open the Settings app and tap on your name at the top of the screen. From there, navigate to Find My > Find My iPhone and confirm that the switch next to Find My iPhone is on. Additionally, ensure that the switches next to Find My network and Send Last Location are also enabled. As a reminder, Apple's Find My network uses crowdsourcing to locate lost devices. If you lose your iPhone and mark it as lost in the Find My app, any nearby iPad, iPhone, or Mac running the Find My service will help locate your device, even if it's not connected to the internet. The device owner won't even be aware that they are assisting you in finding your lost device. This feature is incredibly useful and should be utilized whenever possible.

As for Send Last Location, this feature sends the last known location of your device to the Find My service when the battery is running low. This information can be helpful in locating your device even after it has turned off. Please note that the ability to track your device after shutdown is only available on newer iPhone models running iOS 15.

Related: Apple releases iOS 16.4 beta 4 for all users

Leverage Family Sharing

In addition to its cost-saving benefits, Apple's Family Sharing service can also be used to enhance the Find My experience. When Family Sharing is set up, all devices linked to a family member's Apple ID can be viewed from one central location, enabling family members to monitor each other's device locations.

This feature can be incredibly helpful in the event of a lost or stolen iPhone. By quickly checking the location of your family member's devices, you can ask for their immediate assistance in searching for your lost phone. With their help, you can increase your chances of locating your device quickly and easily.

Forge better habits

Keeping your phone secure is crucial, especially when you're traveling or in unfamiliar surroundings. To minimize the risk of theft or loss, it's essential to remain vigilant and cautious at all times. Avoid leaving your phone in plain sight where it could be easily snatched by a passerby. Instead, keep your phone close to your body or securely stowed away in a bag or pocket.

If you do happen to lose your phone, try not to panic. Take a moment to compose yourself and remember that you can use Find My iPhone to track its location. By accessing this feature through another Apple device or the iCloud website, you can remotely locate your lost device and take steps to recover it. With the help of Find My iPhone and a cool head, you can increase your chances of finding your phone and preventing any unauthorized access to your personal information.

How to find your iPhone

Use the Find My service app

Apple's Find My service, formerly known as Find My iPhone, is a built-in feature on every iOS device. This app is linked to and managed by your Apple ID, making it easy to track and locate your lost or stolen phone.

To access Find My, visit on a computer or open the Find My app on another Apple device. Alternatively, a family member in your Family Sharing group can also use the Find My app on one of their Apple devices. When accessing Find My on a different device, make sure to sign in using the same iCloud account linked to your lost iPhone. Once you're logged in, click on the "All Devices" option at the top of the screen and select your phone from the list. The map will then refresh and display your phone's current location. If your device has been turned off, the last known location will be displayed instead.

When viewing your phone's location, you can use the card in the top-right corner of the screen to play a sound, turn on Lost Mode, or remotely erase your phone. Alternatively, if you're using the Find My app, you can scroll down to find the same options, as well as the ability to turn on notifications for whenever the device is found or goes offline. By utilizing these features, you can increase your chances of finding and recovering your lost phone.

Related: Apple’s future looks brighter with new displays

Turn on Lost Mode

If you've tried playing a sound on your iPhone and still can't locate it, the next step is to enable Lost Mode. If you have a passcode set up, you'll need to enter it to unlock your device and turn off Lost Mode. If you haven't set up a passcode, you'll need to create one. Additionally, you'll be prompted to enter a phone number and message that will display on the lock screen, asking whoever finds your device to return it to you.

When enabled, Lost Mode will lock your device, disable notifications and messages on the lock screen, and continue to track its location. However, the phone will still ring for incoming calls and FaceTime calls, which may aid in locating the device if it's nearby. If the person who has your phone answers a call, you may be able to retrieve it through their assistance.

Note that any credit or debit cards, student IDs, or transit cards stored in the Wallet app will be disabled until you regain access to your phone and log in to your iCloud account.

If your phone is turned off while Lost Mode is active, you'll receive an alert when it's turned back on, including its current location. When you retrieve your phone, you'll need to enter your passcode, or the one you created when enabling Lost Mode, to regain access to all of your Apple services, including Apple Pay.

Find your iPhone when it’s off

The iOS 15 update from Apple includes a major improvement to the Find My service, allowing you to locate your lost iPhone even if the device is turned off or the battery has died. This functionality is automatically enabled if you have the Find My network activated on your iPhone, meaning that the phone's location will still be visible in Find My on your other devices or to members of your Family Sharing group, even if the phone is not turned on.

It's worth noting that this feature is only available on iPhone 11, 12, and 13 models.

To turn on the Find My network, open your iPhone's Settings menu, tap on the box with your name and photo, then select Find My and choose Find My iPhone. Ensure that the toggle switch for Find My network is turned on.

Once this capability is activated, you'll receive an alert when powering off your iPhone, stating "iPhone Findable After Power Off." Tapping on this notification will bring up an information box with further details.

Find your iPhone with ease

losing your iPhone can be a stressful experience, but with the Find My service from Apple, you have a good chance of locating and retrieving your device. By setting up a passcode, enabling Find My, and activating Lost Mode if necessary, you can take important steps to protect your personal information and track down your lost phone. Additionally, with the new capability in iOS 15 to locate your phone even when it's turned off, you have even greater chances of finding your device. 

Remember to take precautions when traveling or in unfamiliar areas, and always be cautious about keeping your phone secure. By following these tips and utilizing the features of Find My, you can have peace of mind knowing that your device is protected and can be easily located if lost or stolen.


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  1. John said on August 18, 2023 at 12:06 pm

    Really the only thing I dislike about MacOS as a whole is the way Apple updates the OS with huge update file downloads. Actually 700Mb is small compared to some Apple has released which are in the gigabyte size. These large file sizes also translate to long update times as well.

  2. Anonymous said on August 28, 2023 at 1:48 pm

    I like Emre, Onur, Shaun and Eray’s articles more, Ashwin and Martin are always complaining about something instead of getting excited and sharing their excitement with the world.

    Ever since I started bookmarking their pages my mood has been so much better, I’m glad to be free of the depressing vibe the two of them have. Damn it feels good to just enjoy life and not look for things to complain like I used to while I were under their influence.

    1. John G. said on September 2, 2023 at 11:31 pm

      Personally I really like @Ashwin and @Martin articles both equally. Please respect the authors.

    2. Herman Cost said on September 4, 2023 at 2:37 pm

      You realize that none of the authors you like are real people, right? They are AI bots ‘writing’ articles that are basically taken from product advertisements (e.g., “Get Protected the Right Way With Avast Free AntiVirus” Really?) So, yes they are excited, but the excitement comes from advertising copy. No real world negativity from those sources.

      My approach is to use a UBlock Origin filter to block all the articles except those by Martin and Ashwin. It has made the site readable again for me.

      1. Anonymous said on September 5, 2023 at 1:03 pm

        I would like to achieve that as well. Mind sharing some UBlock tricks & tips? :)

      2. TelV said on September 5, 2023 at 3:59 pm

        @ Anonymous,

        Go to this link from yesterday and scroll down to the post by “Anonymous said on September 2, 2023 at 1:33 pm” He (or she) posted instructions on how to skip articles written by users other than Martin and Ashwin.

        You might want to consider changing your name before you post to make it easier for users to identify your comments.

      3. John Wold said on September 5, 2023 at 4:25 pm

        @Herman Cost
        You can add this to your rules in uBlock Origin:,.home-posts,.home-category-post:not(:has-text(/Martin Brinkmann|Ashwin/))

      4. tired said on September 13, 2023 at 3:41 pm

        @John World. Than you dude. So much better.

        Why does Martin even allow this garbage to ruin his website. Every single article not written by martin and ashwin reads like sensational clickbait, I don’t care about if I should buy the latest apple product every week, new roblox cock rings that don’t pull your pubic hair, elon musk’s new body spray or whatever bullshit these bots can come up with.

      5. Anonymous said on September 24, 2023 at 7:10 am

        I think he means your filters

    3. Anonymous said on September 5, 2023 at 2:52 pm

      +I like Emre, Onur, Shaun and Eray’s articles more

      you’ve made my day

  3. TelV said on September 5, 2023 at 3:48 pm

    It’s not the EU’s fault that Bing is such a crappy search engine. In any event it’s built into the OS and Microsoft does its best to convince users to adopt it over Google by making it the default search tool. A great Many Windows 11 users are not technically minded and don’t know how to switch to another search engine and just accept their lot.

    In any event I hope the EU Commission doesn’t allow Microsoft to pull the wool over their eyes.

    1. Anonymous said on September 5, 2023 at 11:26 pm

      Both Google and Bing are now worthless. Nowadays, Yandex is the only search engine that finds anything I’m looking for.

      1. TelV said on September 20, 2023 at 12:33 pm


        Yandex is Russian and under Putin’s control. Search results you get may not be accurate and possibly manipulated to give you a false sense of security depending on what you’re looking for.

  4. ECJ said on September 5, 2023 at 7:16 pm

    Bing is absolutely a gatekeeper. Except for countries such as China and Russia that have their own search engines (Baidu and Yandex), most of the world’s searches relies on just two search engines: Google and Bing.

    Alternative search engines overwhelmingly get their search results from Bing. DuckDuckGo, Ecosia, Qwant, Swisscows, Excite, Lycos, Yahoo, You, etc. all use Bing behind the scenes for their results.

    StartPage originally used the Google search engine for it’s results, but have also started using Bing as well recently.

    Microsoft also use Bing as the default search engine in Windows (such as the Start menu search, Taskbar search, desktop search bar, Edge sidebar, etc.) and use Bing as the default search engine in Edge – which is the default browser on Windows. Windows has greater than 70% desktop market share and is used by more than two billion people.

    Not to mention Microsoft’s anti-consumer efforts when it comes to Bing. They have a history of malicious intent by aggressively trying to trick users who use a different search engine and browser into resetting their default search engine and browser back to Edge and Bing (by displaying unscrupulous popup dialogue boxes and full screen pages prompting the user to change their settings back to the “recommended settings” – which is Edge and Bing).

    1. TelV said on September 20, 2023 at 12:50 pm

      @ ECJ,

      Microsoft’s Bing has managed to sidestep the EU’s Digital Markets Act for now arguing that it doesn’t qualify as a gatekeeper:

      The easiest way to avoid Bing is never to use Edge. It’s not mandatory and you’re free to use which browser you wish. I use Floorp myself which is a Firefox fork with many extra privacy configurations.

  5. ilev said on September 6, 2023 at 8:37 am

    “A report claims that Apple is developing an affordable MacBook series”

    Its is time to stop posting Rumors as reports.

    Apple has already a Chrombook killer. It is called : iPad.

  6. John said on September 6, 2023 at 2:47 pm

    I can see Apple getting concerned about losing sales to Chrome OS devices. Given that K-12 kids have probably been using Chromebooks and would be familiar with that platform going off to college. I remember when Apple ruled K-12 computer rooms and because they simply out priced the educational sector. Google managed to take a huge bite out of educational market especially with COVID. I never thought iPads worked in a K-12 setting, and mac’s are too expensive. I doubt Apple can really make a MacBook below $500 which would compete with Chromebooks.

    1. bruh said on September 12, 2023 at 5:30 pm

      I managed hundreds of ipads for schools when I worked at an MSP – ipads are certainly OK, and boy are they hundreds of times better than Android tablets. Chromebooks suck so much, their market penetration into school system became real when schools received a bunch from government

  7. aibot said on September 7, 2023 at 1:43 am

    Apple has always had great diffculty grasping what “low cost” means. I don’t have much faith in them ever generating anything that can compete with a Chromebook, but I’ll buy it if they do. I don’t want a Google OS, Windows is getting painful, and I’m tired of hearing how great Linux is from people who don’t use it.

    I agree with the posters above about the usefulness of using a uBO filter to limit the posts I see on this site to those from Martin and Ashwin.

  8. vector said on September 11, 2023 at 12:01 am

    While Apple has patched iOS 16 for this, they haven’t yet indicated if they’re going to for supposedly-still-getting-security-updates iOS 12 (the latest OS option for the millions of still-in-use iPhone 6) and iOS 15 (still in use on millions of iPhone 6s to 8, which can’t be upgraded to 16).

    I hope they do. Long-term support is one area where Apple phones crush Android, and it’s the #2 reason I use them (#1 is because not a privacy nightmare).

    1. vector said on September 13, 2023 at 12:19 am

      Apple has now released security updates for iOS 12 and 15 to address this issue. This is how you keep loyal customers.

      1. tinarse said on September 13, 2023 at 7:59 am

        Released an update for iOS 15, yes; for iOS 12, no. It’s not clear from reading their release notes if this means iOS 12 is not affected, or if they’re just not bothering.

  9. John said on September 11, 2023 at 1:50 pm

    M3 won’t move the needle much on performance. Honestly, Apple has put itself in a bind making the M1 really good. Probably the first time when Mac users can have some real lasting performance. But that also means that many won’t be persuaded to upgrade as often either. I am using a M1 MacBook Air and a M1 Mac mini and have yet to even entertain upgrading to a M2 or even a future M3 model of either because I am very satisfied with the M1 performance.

  10. John said on September 12, 2023 at 12:57 pm

    I like iPhone in general have owned iPhones for many years. But I don’t see these Apple events inspiring me to want to upgrade and spend hundreds to get what few improvements offered up.

  11. Anonymous said on September 13, 2023 at 3:10 am

    People still watch this nonsense? As I get older technology no longer excite me.

  12. bruh said on September 13, 2023 at 10:22 am

    I love it – Apple took an objectively bad thing and turned it into something people don’t hate. “It’s not that our front camera/sensors cover up screen real estate, this is uhh, a dynamic island… Yeah! It’s a feature actually, you’re lucky to have it”.

    1. TelV said on September 20, 2023 at 12:54 pm

      @ bruh,

      I like iPhone too, but you have to be a virtual millionaire these days to own one and I don’t have the kind of money required to purchase one I’m afraid.

  13. angelsanges said on September 13, 2023 at 2:33 pm


  14. Oxa said on September 13, 2023 at 3:40 pm

    “Sorry Series 8, Apple Watch Series 9 is as powerful as it is handsome”
    “Apple to release iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 on September 18, and macOS Sonoma on October 26”
    “Apple unveils the Apple Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2”
    “Apple Watch Ultra 2 packs a punch to the older generation”
    “Does it make sense to upgrade to iPhone 15?”
    “iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max with Ray Tracing, Action Button announced”
    “Apple announces iPhone 15 series with USB-C port, Dynamic Island”

    Seven Applespams, all pushed out within a few hours. You should rename this site “AppleHack”.

  15. Anonymous said on September 13, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    I can’t believe people waste their money on smartwatches. The world has truly gone insane.

  16. Anonymous said on September 13, 2023 at 11:18 pm

    A total waste of money. Thats why people can’t afford basic necessities anymore. They just keep falling for Apple’s BS every year.

  17. Anonymous said on September 14, 2023 at 4:02 pm

    That is, if you don’t mind paying for Apple and their US Gestapo friends reading your most intimate data to use it against you.

  18. Tom said on September 15, 2023 at 8:17 am

    > Apple also updated the macOS Sonoma 14 web page to reveal the release date of its desktop operating system. Sonoma will be released on October 26.

    This is not true. The website says September 29. I have no idea where your October 26 comes from.

    > Rumors suggest that Apple could announce the first M3 Mac in October, though another reliable leaker quashed hopes for any new MacBooks.

    I am not aware of any _current_ rumor that suggests that there will be a M3 Mac before 2024.

    Is this again an AI written article?

  19. Bruce Tech Guy said on September 15, 2023 at 10:03 am

    Just an FYI on the USB C situation.
    The iPhone 15 and 15 Plus only use the USB-C end-connector. The actual cable attached to it transfers data at the many years old Lightning cable speed, which is USB 2.0 based. (Max 480 Mbits/s in ideal lab conditions.)
    If you want iPhone USB data transfer at true USB 3.0 speed, then you have to pay more to buy the iPhone 15 Pro or 15 Pro Plus, which transfers data at actual USB 3.0 speed (5 Gbit/s in ideal lab conditions).

    Just another example of Apple using absurd (and very mean-spirited, IMO) down-grading of their lower-priced phone hardware. I mean, who else would sell an $799+ phone in 2023, using a data port that transfers at USB 2.0 speed?
    The USB 2.0 spec was published in year 2000, 23 years ago.
    The USB 3.0 spec was published in 2008 and the USB C connector spec was published in 2014, tho not widely adopted til paird with USB 3.2 in 2017, fyi.

  20. bruh said on September 19, 2023 at 10:11 am

    Man, I find this stuff so cringy – but obviously, it appeals to a certain type of person. I have no issue with Apple, my only issue is that every other hardware and software manufacturer seem to just be trying to copy Apple, instead of coming up with original ideas & visions. I don’t blame Apple for “innovating” in whatever direction they feel necessary, I’m just annoyed that nobody else is,,,

    Android is looking more like iOS, Windows 11 is looking more like MacOS, I had to set up a “premium” high-spec Dell laptop recently at work which just looked like a knock-off Macbook. It’s just sad.

    1. Tony said on September 19, 2023 at 4:00 pm

      People aren’t going to buy stuff that strays too far from the norm. Take for example foldables. I haven’t seen anyone personally that has one, nor are they “taking the market by storm”.

      RE: Android looking more like IOS:

      That ‘Material You’ garbage is thankfully nowhere near iOS. I think you might be referring to Samsung’s UI though. They try to keep things like Apple to win over Apple users (I think anyways). If it weren’t for Samsung’s UI though, Android would be totally a non-option for me, as Material You is just plain ugly.

    2. Anonymous said on September 25, 2023 at 10:58 pm

      I agree that it’s all so cringeworthy and juvenile. I’ve never understood the attraction of Apple products.

  21. Photographer said on September 26, 2023 at 12:41 am

    Looking forward to Jpeg-XL going mainstream.

    Modern hardware and displays need image formats supporting HDR and more than 8bit color depth.

  22. JohnIL said on September 26, 2023 at 12:09 pm

    I don’t see the big deal about iPhone 15. Only reason why I bought one was because I was tired of my small iPhone 13 Mini. Otherwise, the 15 is just another incremental upgrade. Unless you have a iPhone unsupported or broken. I think spending $800 plus for a smartphone every couple years is ridiculous.

  23. pHROZEN gHOST said on September 26, 2023 at 2:51 pm

    Simple solution: power it off. Enjoy the freedom.

  24. Anonymous said on September 27, 2023 at 6:45 am

    The longer it takes you to fix the comment problem, the greater the lack of respect for your readers.

    1. Tony said on September 27, 2023 at 4:20 pm

      I suspect that they are intentionally leaving commenting broken.

      On a side note, I’ve just bought an i15Pro and I always make it a point to decline analytics, however when I checked the location settings, it had iPhone Analytics enabled. Truly angering….

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on September 27, 2023 at 4:30 pm

        This is not true.

  25. Ridiculous-crap-comments said on September 27, 2023 at 9:04 pm

    Love wading through the ancient, 100% unrelated garbage comment muck to get to the few actually about the post. Thanks for wasting everyone’s’ time.

    Why can’t you recognise how useless and annoying that crap is???

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