Find Your Lost Or Stolen iPhone, iPad Or iPod Touch with Find My iPhone

fmilogo   Find Your Lost Or Stolen iPhone, iPad Or iPod Touch with Find My iPhoneUp until the recent iOS 4.2 update of Apple”˜s mobile devices, if you wanted a way to locate your lost or stolen iPhone, you had to be an MobileMe subscriber, which means forking over $99 per year. But now every owner of a mobile device can get a powerful MobileMe feature called Find My iPhone, for free by simply signing up.

As a MobileMe subscriber, I’ve used Find My iPhone for almost a year now, and though my iPhone has never been stolen, it has located the device on the floor of my car, behind my bedroom bedside table, and in the dirty clothes hamper, more than a few times. So believe me, Find My iPhone is definitely worth installing on your iPhone and/or other Apple devices.

Requirements & Setup

If you have own any model iPhone, iPad, or 4th generation iPod touch, you can use the Find My iPhone service and app.

findapp   Find Your Lost Or Stolen iPhone, iPad Or iPod Touch with Find My iPhone

You will need to download the free Find My iPhone app (iTunes Store link) for all your qualifying Apple iOS4 devices. If you don’t have the app on your device, then of course you can’t use the service to locate it.

mobileme   Find Your Lost Or Stolen iPhone, iPad Or iPod Touch with Find My iPhone

Next, you need to launch the app and sign up for an Apple ID account, which also in the process registers your device. Note, if you’re a MobileMe member, you will not be able to use  the other services in the control panel shown on the page, just the Find My iPhone feature.

If you’re already a MobileMe subscriber, you don’t have to sign up again for the Find My iPhone service, but you will have to go through the setup again via your devices in order to sync it with the new Find My iPhone update.

How To Use It

If your iPhone is ever lost or stolen – not just simply misplaced around the house – you will want a quick way to activate the service.

I set up a bookmark to my MobileMe account for quick access. The bookmark is not buried in a folder, for if I need a family member to download the account page, I want it to be easily and quickly found.

So when you need to use the service, you need to go to www.me.com/find and sign in.

fmiphone5   Find Your Lost Or Stolen iPhone, iPad Or iPod Touch with Find My iPhone

Note: if your device does not show up on the page or if it says “Location services are disabled“, launch the Settings app of your mobile device, tap on Mail, Contacts, Calendars > your email account. Then set the Find My iPhone button to on.

If your device is connected to an Edge, 3G or Wi-Fi network, a blue circle shows its estimated location on the map. A smaller circle means a more precise location.

findmyiphone 6   Find Your Lost Or Stolen iPhone, iPad Or iPod Touch with Find My iPhone

Actions To Take

If your device is lost or stolen, you want to act quickly. You have the following options:

  1. Display Message or Play Sound: You can type out a message about where you can be reached for returning your device. And/or you can have a sound played on your device. The message will appear or the sound will play even if your device is locked or set to mute.
  2. You can also send a new passcode to your device which remotely locks it. Be sure of course to send a code that you remember so you can unlock the device after it’s retrieved.
  3. If you”˜re worried about someone accessing important information on your device, you can have all the data permanently deleted, which in turn restores it to factory settings. As the instructions say, “Once wiped, your iPhone (or other device) will no longer be able to display messages or be located“.

erasedata   Find Your Lost Or Stolen iPhone, iPad Or iPod Touch with Find My iPhone

In most cases, the Find My iPhone service has located my phone in less than a minute, but one occasion it took almost ten minutes. But out of the handful of times I’ve used it, it’s never failed to locate the device.

findmyiphone 2   Find Your Lost Or Stolen iPhone, iPad Or iPod Touch with Find My iPhone

It seems as though the now free Find My iPhone service means Apple may be in the process of making some other MobileMe features (syncing bookmarks, contacts, and data) available for free in future upgrades of their devices or the iOS. But for now, Find My iPhone is a must-have app and service – probably the best and only way for retrieving your device if it’s lost or stolen.

So let us know if you have used Find My iPhone to find your lost iPhone. Has it ever helped you get your phone back? Are there other features you wish would be included? Let us know.

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25 Comments -

0 votes

Kelly Neuville

Re: “If you have own any model iPhone, iPad, or 4th generation iPod touch, you can use the Find My iPhone service and app” – Ummm, am I missing something? I have a 3GS and Apple’s site (http://www.apple.com/iphone/find-my-iphone-setup/) states “Make sure your iPhone is running iOS 4.2. If you’re creating a free account for the first time, you need an iPhone 4″. Bummer..
Is there a workaround?

0 votes

Kelly Neuville

Re: “If you have own any model iPhone, iPad, or 4th generation iPod touch, you can use the Find My iPhone service and app” – Ummm, am I missing something? I have a 3GS and Apple’s site (http://www.apple.com/iphone/fi… states “Make sure your iPhone is running iOS 4.2. If you’re creating a free account for the first time, you need an iPhone 4″. Bummer..
Is there a workaround?

0 votes

sho

Then, this article should be modified accordingly because it’s misleading with the following statement which leads one to believe that it works with ANY model iPhone.

“If you have own any model iPhone, iPad, or 4th generation iPod touch”

0 votes

sho

Tried this with my iPhone 3G and it says I can’t sign up for a free MobileMe account which is required. It says my device is unsupported. Anyone else have any luck?

0 votes

FreeNothing

Same here – The requirements are you have to have a 4th Gen device to qualify for the free account – thanks for nothing Apple

0 votes

sho

Then, this article should be modified accordingly because it’s misleading with the following statement which leads one to believe that it works with ANY model iPhone.

“If you have own any model iPhone, iPad, or 4th generation iPod touch”

0 votes

Bakari

Hmmm, I need to double-check that, because that’s what I copied and pasted from the Apple site.

0 votes

Kevin Bondelli

Did not work with my 3GS either.

0 votes

Kapil Gupta

I think now anybody who steals iPod, iPhone or iPad will first find this app and delete it from the device before doing any other thing.

0 votes

Burner6336

Hopefully it will be locked, and thus, they cannot access it.

0 votes

Bakari

Haha, good point. Maybe put it inside a folder—might buy you about 15 minutes before they find and delete it.

0 votes

Holly

I wholly agree with you.

0 votes

Bakari

That’s an excellent point. It seems to me that Apple could make it so the app could not be deleted or that it be built into the system.

0 votes

Bakari

Haha, good point. Maybe put it inside a folder—might buy you about 15 minutes before they find and delete it.

0 votes

Bakari

Hmmm, I need to double-check that, because that’s what I copied and pasted from the Apple site.

0 votes

Guest123

Couldn’t somebody who stole your iTouch/iPhone/iPad just restore the device to factory settings and have themself an untraceable, nice new device? I’m not really sure Apple put enough thought into this..

0 votes

wyllis

yeah, the older iPhones are unable to configure mobile me, you need access to a gen 4 device to setup your account and then you can access it from your older iPhone. at least, that’s what Apple says…

0 votes

Bakari

That’s an excellent point. It seems to me that Apple could make it so the app could not be deleted or that it be built into the system.

0 votes

WhereIsMyiPhone

To my misfortune, I didn’t have Find My iPhone or any other GPS app installed when my iPhone was stolen, boo! I reported it on http://www.stolen-property.com… a website where you can report a stolen iPhone. Hmm, I hope it helps…from what I’ve been reading online I’m not exactly holding my breath.

0 votes

WhereIsMyiPhone

To my misfortune, I didn’t have Find My iPhone or any other GPS app installed when my iPhone was stolen, boo! I reported it on http://www.stolen-property.com/, a website where you can report a stolen iPhone. Hmm, I hope it helps…from what I’ve been reading online I’m not exactly holding my breath.

0 votes

aeferg

The app actually says iPhone 4, just went to download it.

0 votes

susan

If you have a 4th gen device and you set it up with that, you can use it with your iphone 3g. I have an ipad and a 3g iphone and was able to do that.

0 votes

jameslee

my iphone 4 got stolent , so i tracked the guy down but i cant find after 2 or three days as i keep refreshing , i doesnt work , does it still track the iphone when the battery runs out of power???

0 votes

Bakari

Jameslee, sorry to hear about your iPhone. Yes, I would think if your battery has shut down the phone that the tracker won’t work. If the guy is smart enough he probably has already deleted tracker somehow. It would be interesting to find out if the passcode is required to delete the app.

0 votes

Bakari

Jameslee, sorry to hear about your iPhone. Yes, I would think if your battery has shut down the phone that the tracker won’t work. If the guy is smart enough he probably has already deleted tracker somehow. It would be interesting to find out if the passcode is required to delete the app.