What to Do If Your iPhone is Misplaced or Stolen

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What to Do If Your iPhone is Misplaced or Stolen

iPhones are misplaced and stolen day-after-day, however fortunately Apple has strong instruments constructed into iOS that can hold your information secure and your system unusable if it is misplaced or snatched by a thief.

With Discover My iPhone, you’ll be able to find misplaced units, disable them, and even absolutely erase them, however except you have been in a state of affairs the place you have wanted these providers, you could not know precisely how they work, what they do, or what info somebody can entry once they have your system.


This information covers the ins and outs of dropping your iPhone (or iPad), together with settings that needs to be enabled beforehand for safety functions, easy methods to use Apple’s instruments to search for your system, and what occurs when it is in another person’s fingers.

Earlier than You Lose Your iPhone

To chop down on iPhone theft, Apple applied a software means again in iOS 7 known as Activation Lock that renders an iPhone unusable with out the proprietor’s Apple ID or password. What which means is even when a thief or a third-party has your iPhone, it is nonetheless tied to your Apple ID and cannot be used with some other account. Your iPhone may even be wiped fully and it’ll nonetheless be locked down, making it virtually ineffective to anybody however you.

Activation Lock, accessible on units working iOS 7 or later, is tied to Discover My iPhone. When Discover My iPhone is turned on, Activation Lock is on. When organising a brand new system, Discover My iPhone is routinely enabled, however you’ll be able to examine to verify it is turned on by following the beneath steps.

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Faucet in your profile.
  3. Faucet on “iCloud.”
  4. Faucet “Discover My iPhone.”
  5. Make sure that Discover My iPhone is toggled to the on place (in inexperienced).
  6. At this display screen, allow “Ship Final Location” for additional safety. In case your battery is critically low, it will ship its final recognized location to Apple. In case your iPhone is misplaced and your battery dies, it is a function you will wish to have.

Along with inextricably linking your Apple ID to your iPhone, Discover My iPhone additionally enables you to find your units at any time, remotely erase them, and remotely put them right into a “Misplaced Mode” to lock down your information.

Discover My iPhone is a very powerful function to have turned on within the occasion a tool is misplaced, however there are different key safety choices — a passcode and two-factor authentication. With a passcode, nobody can entry private information saved in your iPhone, and with two-factor authentication, your Apple ID can be safer from hacking makes an attempt, one thing a thief or individual with malicious intent may attempt to get entry to a stolen system.

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Two-factor authentication would require an additional verification code to be entered earlier than your Apple ID and iCloud account could be accessed.

Steps to Take When Your iPhone is Misplaced or Stolen

Logging into Discover My iPhone on one other iOS system or via iCloud.com is step one to take when you’ll be able to’t discover your iPhone. Whether or not it has been misplaced or stolen, if it has energy and is linked to Wi-Fi or a mobile community, the approximate location of the iPhone will present up on a map.


If the iPhone runs out of battery, loses its connection, or is turned off, Discover My iPhone will present the final recognized location for 24 hours. After that, it could actually’t be situated once more till performance is restored.

Activate Misplaced Mode

Together with establishing a location for a misplaced system, Discover My iPhone can be utilized to lock that system down via Misplaced Mode. Misplaced Mode shows a cellphone quantity and a message on the iPhone’s display screen, leaving all the things else inaccessible. If you did not have a passcode arrange, Misplaced Mode will stop your iPhone from getting used. Misplaced Mode could be turned on by following the steps beneath.

  1. Go to iCloud.com or open the Discover My iPhone app on one other system. Sign up together with your Apple ID.
  2. On the internet, click on on “All Units” and discover the lacking system within the record. On iOS, scroll right down to the lacking system and faucet it.
  3. On the internet, a menu will pop up with the choice to play a sound, erase the cellphone, or allow Misplaced Mode. On the iPhone, faucet “Actions” to get to this menu. Select Misplaced Mode.
  4. If activating Misplaced Mode on a tool with out a passcode, you’ll be prompted to create one.
  5. You may be requested to enter a cellphone quantity the place you could be contacted. Enter the quantity or select “Subsequent” to skip the choice.
  6. On the subsequent display screen, you’ll be able to write a message that can be displayed on the iPhone, reminiscent of an electronic mail handle or a reward providing.
  7. Select “Achieved” to activate Misplaced Mode after which examine “Notify if Discovered.” The iPhone is now locked and may solely be accessed utilizing the passcode you designated when turning on Misplaced Mode or the passcode that was already on the system. If it is offline and later situated, you’ll get an electronic mail when it connects to the Web and may convey its location.

With Misplaced Mode activated, the iPhone’s display screen will show the cellphone quantity and the message you set. On a tool with a mobile connection, there may even be a “Name” choice to name the desired quantity. Emergency cellphone numbers are nonetheless in a position to be known as as effectively.


Activating Misplaced Mode instantly disables credit score or debit playing cards related to Apple Pay, prompts Low Energy mode for max battery life, and renders all options on the iPhone, reminiscent of Siri, inaccessible.

The 2 different choices in Discover My iPhone are “Play Sound” and “Erase iPhone,” each of that are simple. “Play Sound” causes a loud beeping to happen, which could be turned off by hitting the facility button on the iPhone. It is helpful for an iPhone that is been misplaced close by.

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Erase iPhone will delete all the information on the iPhone remotely. It needs to be used as a final resort as a result of erasing the iPhone will make it inaccessible via Discover My iPhone. With Activation Lock, a passcode, and Misplaced Mode, an iPhone is actually locked down, however erasing information can provide peace of thoughts for those who lose a tool you do not anticipate to get again.

Misplaced Mode, Play Sound, and Erase iPhone will solely work when the iPhone is turned on and has a mobile or Wi-Fi connection. Whether it is off or unable to hook up with the Web, these actions can be queued and activated as quickly as a connection is on the market. Misplaced Mode mixed with “Notify if Discovered” will ship you an electronic mail when a misplaced iPhone that’s offline can hook up with the Web.

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If Misplaced, Use the Discover My iPhone Map

In case your iPhone has been left behind in a restaurant or retailer and also you’re undecided the place it was misplaced, Discover My iPhone offers an in depth approximation of its location. If it is in an house constructing or different dense city space, it may not be capable to pinpoint the precise spot the place it’s, however it could actually get shut. So long as your iPhone is on and has a mobile or Wi-Fi connection, its location can be frequently up to date within the Discover My iPhone app so it is simple to trace down.

With a cellphone quantity and different contact info accessible via Misplaced Mode, somebody who finds it could actually simply contact you.

If Stolen, Contact the Police

In case your iPhone has been stolen, Discover My iPhone can assist regulation enforcement confirm its location. It may be tempting to go to the placement of a stolen iPhone by yourself, however doing so could be harmful. When coping with an unknown prison aspect, getting the police concerned is the most secure transfer.

Report Misplaced iPhone to Provider

The 4 main carriers in the US, AT&T, Verizon, Dash, and T-Cell, have instruments for reporting a smartphone as stolen to droop service and in some circumstances, block the system from getting used on the provider’s community.

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Suspending mobile service will stop your iPhone from connecting to a mobile community, making it tougher to trace. It ensures a thief can not use the system to make cellphone calls or rack up service costs, however in lots of circumstances, these options can be unavailable anyway.

What’s Accessible on a Misplaced iPhone?

Most individuals in all probability do not take into consideration the extent of the knowledge saved on an iPhone till it falls into the unsuitable fingers, however there’s quite a lot of information that is probably accessible. Within the occasion your iPhone is stolen, there’s probably sufficient element about you to make you weak to phishing makes an attempt and malicious social engineering.

Under is a listing of what somebody can discover out about you and what stays hidden behind a passcode. If you do not have a passcode, your iPhone is an open guide.

Earlier than Turning on Misplaced Mode

With a passcode on, no matter is on the market via the lock display screen can be utilized. If in case you have Notification Middle, Management Middle, and Siri entry enabled, all of these options can be found to a stranger. Something you’ll be able to entry from the lock display screen, a stranger can entry.

Siri can reply private questions on who the iPhone belongs to and provide up contact info. Asking “Whose iPhone is that this?” or “Who am I?” offers a reputation and a cellphone quantity. Apple Music could be turned on, and Siri can be utilized to make cellphone calls to contacts primarily based on instructions like “Name mother.”

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Siri will not give extra detailed contact info like your electronic mail handle with out a fingerprint, apps cannot be opened, and settings cannot be modified.

In Management Middle, all options are accessible. The flashlight could be turned on, the calculator could be opened, alarms could be set, and the digicam can be utilized. Photos could be taken, however the Digicam Roll cannot be opened to show present pictures.

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Among the info a stranger can find out about you earlier than Misplaced Mode is enabled on a misplaced system


Notification Middle has probably the most potential to reveal private info. Relying on what’s enabled, previews of emails and messages is likely to be displayed, calendar occasions are seen, current Apple Pay transactions are listed, and lots of third-party apps, like Evernote, will present previews of content material within the As we speak view. On an iPhone with Face ID, a few of these previews are disabled by default so you could not want to fret fairly as a lot.

If in case you have the Medical ID function arrange via the Well being app, all of that info is on the market, together with emergency contacts, top, weight, blood sort, allergy symptoms and well being circumstances.

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All of those lock display screen options are optionally available and could be disabled via the Settings app if desired.

After Turning on Misplaced Mode

Activating Misplaced Mode locks the iPhone down, which is why turning it on straight away is crucial. Misplaced Mode prevents all the above listed options from getting used. Siri is inaccessible, as is the Management Middle, the Notification Middle, and Medical ID info.


All somebody can do together with your iPhone when it is in misplaced mode is name you, flip it off, or make an emergency cellphone name.

What Occurs When a Misplaced iPhone is Turned Off?

If a thief turns off your iPhone, it may be off the grid till the facility is turned again on. Equally, it could actually’t replace its location when there isn’t a mobile or Wi-Fi connection accessible.

Within the Discover My iPhone app, when an iPhone cannot be reached, it is listed as offline. For 24 hours, the final recognized location is on the market. After that, no details about its location is shared. Whereas a misplaced iPhone is turned off, it can not reply to Discover My iPhone requests to place it in Misplaced Mode or wipe it, however as quickly as it’s powered again on, Misplaced Mode can be activated.

What Occurs When a Misplaced iPhone is Wiped?

Misplaced Mode locks down the iPhone and prevents it from being accessed in iTunes when plugged into a pc, however it could actually’t cease somebody from wiping an iPhone by way of iTunes utilizing restoration mode or DFU mode.

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Even when your iPhone is absolutely erased, the one who has it could actually’t use it. Activation Lock stays on and there’s no solution to bypass it. As quickly because the iPhone boots up, it asks for an Apple ID and password and it will not go previous the activation display screen with out the knowledge.

No Extra iCloud Entry

A thief cannot use your Apple ID after it is wiped, however erasing the iPhone does stop it from being situated utilizing Discover My iPhone. As soon as wiped, the iPhone’s location will now not be up to date and you should have 24 hours to notice the final recognized location earlier than it merely cannot be discovered once more.

Even with an Web connection, an erased iPhone with Activation Lock on is not going to ship its location to iCloud. In Discover My iPhone, an erased system can be listed as “Offline” and data will not be accessible once more till you signal into the system together with your Apple ID and password.

Watch out for Phishing Makes an attempt

Your iPhone is actually ineffective with out your Apple ID and password. Some thieves might make an try to get that info via phishing makes an attempt like faux emails or messages, so it is best to concentrate on this chance ought to your iPhone be stolen.

iOS 6 and Earlier

Discover my iPhone can now not be downloaded on units working iOS 6 or earlier, however older iPhones and iPads that had the app put in previous to the launch of iOS 7 will nonetheless be capable to use it to find a misplaced system. Discover My iPhone is on the market on iOS 5 and iOS 6.

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Pre-iOS 6 units don’t embrace Activation Lock, however units working iOS 6 have entry to Misplaced Mode, which is the working system the place the function was launched. Units working iOS 5 or earlier can not use Misplaced Mode, however there’s a function known as “Lock” for rendering a tool inaccessible.

With no Activation Lock function, an iPhone with iOS 6 or earlier put in could be wiped by a thief and arrange as a brand new system. For that purpose, in case you have a tool that may run the newest model of iOS, it is all the time higher to replace.

No Discover My iPhone

With out Discover My iPhone enabled, there isn’t a dependable solution to observe an iPhone that is been misplaced because it will not be accessible in iCloud. Not having Discover My iPhone put in additionally means Activation Lock is turned off, which means a thief can wipe an iPhone and set it up as a brand new system.

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