iPhone and iPad Security

So Your iPhone Was Lost or Stolen? Here’s What to Do

Dan Helyer Updated 02-04-2020

If you lose your iPhone—or if some dastardly thief steals it—the ensuing panic makes it difficult to know what you need to do next. Where should you start your search? Do you need to alert the police? How can you use your IMEI number to block your iPhone?

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Don’t worry: we’ll explain everything you need to know about reporting and retrieving your stolen iPhone. We’ll even show you how to lock your lost iPhone so no one else can use it.

Without further ado, here’s what to do when the unthinkable happens.

How to Locate Your Lost iPhone

Find My app on Mac showing lost iPhone location

The first step you need to take when your iPhone goes missing is to look for it. That might include searching the house or tracking it on a map. If you think someone stole your iPhone, it can be useful to find out where it is, but you shouldn’t try to retrieve it yourself.

Here are all the ways to track and locate a missing iPhone.

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Try Calling It

Most of the time, a missing iPhone is simply lost around the house. It may be stuffed behind the couch, locked in the car, or buried beneath a pile of laundry. After giving your home or office a thorough search, try calling your iPhone next.

While it’s ringing, retrace your steps, keeping an ear out for your ringtone. If your iPhone is on vibrate, you might hear the telltale sound of it buzzing against the floor somewhere.

Don’t worry if your iPhone is on silent; you can still make it ring using the Find My app.

Use Apple’s Find My Service

Apple’s Find My app makes it easy to track your iPhone What Is "Find My" App in iOS 13? Everything You Need to Know Learn how to use the Find My app in iOS 13 and make the most of its awesome features. Read More on a map, provided it has a cell signal or a Wi-Fi connection. This doesn’t work if Find My iPhone is turned off in your settings, but since the option is on by default when you sign into iCloud, you should be fine.

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Open the Find My app on a different Apple device or head over to iCloud.com and log in with your Apple ID, then click the Find iPhone button. To use the Find My app on someone else’s Apple device, go to the Me tab and tap the option to Help a Friend.

iCloud home page with app buttons

After signing in, Find My shows the location of all your connected Apple devices. Select your lost iPhone to get directions to its location. If your iPhone is offline What It Means When Find My iPhone Is Offline and How to Find It Anyway What does it mean when Find My iPhone says "offline"? How do you find an iPhone that's offline? Here are the answers you need. Read More , ask Find My to Notify When Found instead.

If you believe someone stole your iPhone, for your safety you shouldn’t attempt to retrieve it yourself.

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Play a Sound From Your Lost iPhone

Find My only gives an approximate location on the map. This means you might still struggle to find your lost iPhone, even if you know it’s somewhere in the house. Luckily, you can use the Play Sound option in the Find My app or on iCloud to make your iPhone play a pinging sound.

This works even if your iPhone is on silent mode with the volume turned all the way down.

Play Sound button in Find My app on Mac

Enable Lost Mode to Lock Your iPhone

In Find My or iCloud you can choose to Mark as Lost or turn on Lost Mode for your missing iPhone. When you do this, it locks your iPhone—giving you the option to create a passcode if you didn’t already use one—and lets you write a message on the screen for whoever finds your lost device.

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iPhone lost mode message text box

To protect your data, you should mark your iPhone as lost to lock it whether you believe someone stole it or not. Doing so makes it difficult for anyone to resell your iPhone and makes it impossible for them to access sensitive services like Apple Pay.

You may notice another option to erase your lost iPhone. Don’t use this yet.

Use Google Timeline to Track Your Lost iPhone

It’s a well-known fact that Google tracks our every move. While privacy advocates bemoan this invasion of privacy, it might save your bacon if you lose your iPhone. As it turns out, you can track your device using Google Timeline instead of Find My or iCloud.

Sign in to your Google account on the Google Timeline website. You should be able to see all the recent locations where Google spotted your iPhone.

Google Timeline showing locations and dates

Like the Find My app, this only works if you had already installed Google Maps on your iPhone and enabled location history in the account settings. Google turns this option on by default, so it’s only off if you chose to disable it.

Again, if you believe someone stole your iPhone, don’t try to get it back yourself.

Ask Around the People and Places Near You

It often pays to ask your friends and family on social media to keep an eye out for your missing iPhone. It’s quite possible you left your iPhone at a friend’s house the last time you visited. All you need to do is ask them to look for it.

Similarly, take a look in the lost and found boxes at any public places you recently visited. That includes cafés, theaters, gyms, and more. You could even call the public transportation company if you recently used a bus or train.

It’s also worth asking the police if anybody has handed in a lost iPhone. You might need to find your iPhone’s IMEI number What Is My Phone's IMEI? Here's What You Need to Know You might have heard the acronym “IMEI” and know it relates to the identity of your phone, but what exactly is it for? Read More before doing so to prove that it’s your iPhone. You can find this on the original packaging or on your purchase receipt.

How to Recover a Stolen iPhone

It’s one worry to locate your iPhone, but another matter entirely to get it back. Of course, if you simply lost your iPhone in the house or left it at the office, it’s perfectly fine to go and retrieve it yourself.

But if you think someone stole your iPhone, you need to be far more cautious.

Report Your Stolen iPhone to the Police

Despite the fact that the Find My app offers to give you directions, don’t be tempted to recover a stolen iPhone yourself. There are reported cases of people getting attacked, shot, or even killed when attempting to do so.

While some people successfully retrieve their stolen goods through direct confrontation, these are the lucky minority. Instead, you should report your stolen iPhone to the police.

Police Car NYPD

Give them as much supporting documentation as you can. This include your IMEI number—which you can find on the original packaging or the purchase receipt—to prove the iPhone belongs to you. You should also provide the last known address of the iPhone, if you were able to track it.

Unfortunately, you may find that the police treat this as a low-priority case, depending on the crime rate in your area. Even if that’s the case, you can use the official police report as part of an insurance claim for a replacement device.

Report Your Stolen iPhone to Your Insurance Company

If you insured your iPhone against loss or theft, now is the time to speak to your insurance company about a claim for a replacement device. Be sure to provide them as much information as you can, including a copy of the police report and a list of all the steps you’ve tried to take to recover your iPhone.

Even if you don’t have specific gadget insurance Do You Really Need Cell Phone Insurance? The Facts and Best Plans Considering cell phone insurance for your smartphone? Is insurance worth it? Which cell phone insurance should you choose? Read More , you may be able to claim for your iPhone with your home insurance or even with your credit card company.

How to Block a Lost or Stolen iPhone

If you can’t recover your phone, there are a few precautions you should take to ensure your data remains secure. If you haven’t already, use the Find My app or iCloud website to enable Lost Mode and create a secure passcode to lock your iPhone.

You may also want to take additional steps to erase the device entirely or revoke access from certain accounts.

Activation Lock Still Protects an Erased iPhone

If you already have a backup of your iPhone and you’re convinced you’ll never get it back, you might want to erase it remotely using Find My or the iCloud website. You can’t track your iPhone after erasing it, so only use this option if you’ve given up all hope of getting it back again.

To do so, select your iPhone in Find My or on iCloud and use the option to Erase This Device.

Erase iPhone confirmation window from Find My app on Mac

Thanks to Activation Lock, even if you erase your iPhone, no one can set it up without your Apple ID and password. Thus, there’s still a chance your iPhone might get handed in and make its way back to you even after you erase it.

Change Your Email and Account Passwords

In the unlikely event that someone else does manage to unlock your iPhone—perhaps if they found out your passcode—you can still protect most of your data by changing your account passwords.

Make a list of each app and service you use with your iPhone, including:

  • iCloud
  • Email accounts
  • Online shopping
  • Social media services
  • Cloud storage services

Then sign into the website for each of those services and create a new password for your account. Also, look for an option in the account settings to revoke access to existing devices.

When you do this, it blocks anyone from being able to log in as you on your lost iPhone without entering the new password. It’s particularly important to change your email password, because this is where your other password reset links get sent to.

Block the SIM Card in Your Lost iPhone

Next, you’ll want to move on to contacting your carrier to block your SIM card. A thief could use your mobile number in a different device to make phone calls and rack up expensive data bills.

SIM card with pirate logo next to iPhone

You shouldn’t need your IMEI number to block the SIM card for a stolen iPhone. But if your cell carrier asks for it, you can find the IMEI number on the original packaging or on your iPhone purchase receipt.

How to Avoid Losing Your iPhone in the Future

Whether you recover your iPhone or replace it with a new one, you’ll likely want to know how to protect yourself against losing it in the future. While it’s difficult to actually avoid losing it again, you can ensure your data is secure if you do so.

The best step to take is to create a six-digit passcode that is difficult for other people to guess. Enable this from Settings, where you may also be able to turn on Face ID or Touch ID to make it more convenient to securely unlock your iPhone.

Also, make sure you enable Find My iPhone by going to Settings > [Your Name] > Find My. Turn on Send Last Location for an increased chance of finding your iPhone when the battery dies.

Find My iPhone settings on iPhone

Finally, consider getting insurance that covers you against loss or theft. That way, you don’t need to pay for a replacement device yourself if it ever does go missing.

Don’t forget that even if you think it’s gone forever, a good Samaritan still might hand your iPhone in to the police. Make sure you know what to do if you find someone else’s missing iPhone Found a Lost or Stolen iPhone? Here's What to Do Found a lost or stolen iPhone? Here's how you can try to unlock a lost iPhone and return it to its rightful owner. Read More so you can return the favor as well.

Related topics: GPS, iCloud, iPhone Tips, Location Data, Password, Smartphone Security.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. John Smith
    October 18, 2018 at 12:02 am

    I’m had my iPhone 8 stolen. I wiped it to restore it and it had activation lock. Can I still track it?

  2. Adam
    September 29, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    We left a phone behind and when we realized, it had already been turned off. I'm wondering how long we should leave service on it before switching to a new phone. Not sure if the thieves will turn it back on at some point or not...

  3. Jayme
    August 15, 2018 at 2:32 am

    I recently bought 3 IPhones X’s and they were still in the boxes when they were stolen. I’m almost certain they were stolen by someone I know also. Is there a way these phones can be found with the imei numbers? I’m sure they did the whole switching of the sims cards and most likely were dumb enough to use their own SIM cards not knowing it could to traced back to them that way. If anyone can help me with this I would be so grateful be a cause as it stands, I’m having to pay for all 3 phones which I’m sure you’re aware that’s gonna cost me $1,000 each phone. Please help if you can. Thank you

  4. fadi
    June 11, 2018 at 1:30 am

    Hi everyone
    i lost my iphone 7 with find my iphone disabled an i don't know my icloud account, can i disable my iphone using serial number of device or IMEI number, please help.
    thanks

  5. carl
    January 25, 2018 at 11:11 pm

    hi I just lost my iPhone 7 today because I left it in a taxi it has fingerprint lock and 6 digits code however the location services was off. I tried find my iPhone but it didn't let me search it maybe that was because the location was off. I don't know what to do as of now

  6. Karissa
    October 27, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    I want my iPhone tracked down or found or I'll kill them

  7. Monica
    September 8, 2017 at 3:59 am

    I was robbed at gun point tonight and they took my phone and wireless headphones.

  8. John
    March 14, 2017 at 10:01 am

    Unfortunately my phone was stolen just last night. Thief immediately turned it off so their intention is obvious.

    Logged in to find my iPhone and set it to lost mode. Phone is protected by a pin so I doubt they could guess it. Hope they turn it on and realise they can't use it and instead accept my generous reward offer.

  9. Neil B
    February 26, 2017 at 8:39 am

    Lost my iPhone 5 in Faro airport Portugal in 2015. Reported it to the airport lost & found but heard nothing, so replaced on insurance.
    2016, Apple email me that my phone had been reported found by police at Faro airport. Great, I think. Sent police email requesting procedure to recover the phone. No reply - ever.
    Just now, received a WhatsApp message to my wife's phone from someone who had bought the phone at a police auction!
    Two things concern me. How did the purchaser open the locked phone to access the number? Find My iPhone was operational so I performed a remote erase but it just says pending and will erase when connected to the internet.
    The purchaser is now hassling for Apple id and password that originally set up the phone. Politely told him to go away.
    Anybody got any suggestions?

  10. MaryJane
    January 1, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    Please help.. ok iPhone was stolen. Now I can't even get onto ICloud account! Not very good with all this technology! So I'm not sure what all to do!

    • Tim Brookes
      January 5, 2017 at 3:06 am

      You can't really do much without access to your iCloud account. I recommend recovering access to iCloud using the "forgot password" link at iCloud.com. Once you're in, try and see if the phone is still active/what its last location was using the Find my iPhone service.

      The article should guide you from there.

  11. Liz
    December 11, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    A pick pocket stole my 2 month old iphone S6 out of my bag at Pick and Pay Supermarket Keywest Krugersdorp on the 11/12/2016. I went back to the store on the 10/12 and Asked if I could see the camera footage. We watched as I was being robbed by 3 people without knowing it. When I tried to phone my phone, the voice mail came up. I also used the app find my phone, but to no avail. I knew they had taken the simcard out. I am on a cellc contract and the blocked the phone and gave me a new simcard. What worries me the most is that I received an email from from Find My Phone saying: with find my iPhone disabled, this device can no longer be located, placed in lost mode or remotely erased using icloud.com/find or the find my phone iOs app. In addition your apple Id password will no longer be required for someone ro erase, reactivate and use your iphone. HOW is this pissible? Yoday I viseted the Istore at Clearwater Mall and
    the thechnician told me that the thief possibly hacked my phone and got my password. CAN this be? Can someone help me? I do have the IME/MEID no and the serial number. I am sure the Istore could have helped me. I do not have a password when I want to use my phone but do have an apple ID. Please let me know if there is something I can do. I live in South Africa and the crime is rife. I am not sure if the police will help me, as this is petty crime.

  12. sid
    October 29, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    hi !
    id an iphone 5s. id the touch id but the password was easily guessable i.e 11111.
    i lost it and raised a lock request. but o fear that the finder can guess the password easily.
    any and all help will be appreciated

  13. richelle
    June 4, 2016 at 12:22 am

    Also, how true if my lost iPhone can be jailbreaked? Is there a way I will find out if they disk this? Hope my email will be notified if you will leave a message? Tysm!

  14. Richelle
    June 4, 2016 at 12:16 am

    My phone got stolen iPhone 6 Plus and was able to track it through find my iPhone but unable to go inside the factory located because it was night and we couldn't enter it and talk to their management. So the thief was able to get out the factory without us knowing. So it was like 2x went back to that location. So I suggest to be more careful and plan thoroughly when retrieving ur phone so not to be fooled around there specially if those people near that place might be their allies. Anyway, the phone s now offline so the only one appeared in find my iPhone is the last trace and the time it was there. So we tried looking in the last trace and check cctv unfortunately it was hard to analyze because the mall only shows the part that it was open..anyway we had a feeling the first time the thief moved away from his location it went there and the last time which we are certain around 11pm, we are unable to check in cctv that's y everything went off. Anyway we have a suspect in the cctv but can't be certain because the cctv is blurred. So unfortunately I wasn't able to retrieve my phone. It was 2 days now and I got new iPhone so I was thinking if I still can use my old Apple ID? I already locked my previous SIM card.. I wish to get some of my important contacts there.. Is it safe? And can I still track it? So I have same iCloud with my lost phone? Thanks

  15. farter
    December 8, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    hello everyone! my iphone 5s was snatched 12/8/2015, if the iphone was in lost mode, can the snatcher open it or even restore??

  16. Anonymous
    October 25, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    I lost my iPhone 6 on 28 June 2015. I activated the Lost Iphone mode and posted a message with my phone number. On 13 October, someone messaged & asked if I have lost a iphone. The phone had been found across the borders, 360km away from home where I lost it!!!! This person claimed that she has found my phone and had gotten my number from the message!
    I got my phone back a few days ago from the person and had verified that it really is my phone as it recognised my Apple ID. But the phone had been restored to factory settings & seems like all photos and data are gone. I still has not set up the phone as I am still hoping that there is a way to recover the photos and data.. The phone was not backup before it was lost for a long period of time....
    Can anyone here help me????

  17. Anonymous
    September 11, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    Recently I lost my iPhone. But fortunately I gate it back using iLostFinder. This is awesome !!

  18. Anonymous
    June 6, 2015 at 8:11 am

    Hi, I have lost my phone and I don't know how to find it. I have I cloud also but I was out for the night and i'm not how to trace it since it doesn't have battery.

    Please help!

  19. Siping Ke
    May 27, 2015 at 9:45 am

    I lost my iphone 5/27/15 and i dont know what to do. I didnt even put a password there. Im scared if tyje stealer would go and look at my personal stuffs and call who and text who and give money. Ugh. How can i find it. I look at the cctv.

  20. ismail Hossain
    May 24, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    my iphone 4s is lost on 23/05/2015. i have no imei and serial number and apple id . i can't find the phone. i live in dhaka and somebody tell don't find it. i don't have icloud. and find phone is off. i want find it ? please tell me a method how to possible it

    • Tim Brookes
      May 26, 2015 at 1:56 am

      Hi Ismail, You probably won't be able to find the phone if you weren't using iCloud, you'll need the "Find my Phone" service activated (as part of iCloud) in order to do so. It would also have meant that your phone would be locked to anyone trying to restore it, but seeing as you've said iCloud wasn't enabled on the phone then it will probably have been reset to factory by now. You must have used some sort of Apple ID for the phone to work at all, so I suggest you login at iCloud.com and double check you didn't have any services activated that you'd forgotten about. In order to block the phone (and make it useless to a thief) you'll need to contact your carrier (network) and ask them to block the phone. You may need the IMEI for this, or your phone company may already have a record (or, if you still have the phone box or receipt it will be printed on it). Without the IMEI, all they can do is disable your SIM (which you should have probably done by now anyway). When you get a new iPhone make sure you enable iCloud and Find my iPhone! Good luck, Tim

  21. ismail Hossain
    May 24, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    my iphone 4s is stolen. i have no imei and serial number and apple id . i can't find the phone. i live in dhaka and somebody tell don't find it. i don't have icloud. and find phone is off. i want to block phone can i ? please tell me a method to block

  22. Praveen
    May 15, 2015 at 4:24 am

    I have lost my iphone 5 while riding
    i have not logged in to icloud and i have not turned oned Find my phone
    nw how to track ?? can we track that through imei no or something like that ??
    someone please help me

  23. geri
    April 27, 2015 at 11:18 am

    my iphone 4 s is stolen .i have imei and serial number and apple id .i cant find the phone in station police because i live in albania and policy tell dont find .i dont have icloud .and find phone is off. i want to block phone can i ?please tell me a metod to block

  24. Jessborss
    April 24, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    My newly *4weeks old* iphone 6 was stolen, i am so worried because i didn't activated my "Activation Lock" yet, now it was stolen and id just created an icloud account at my computer after what happened. I tried to look at the "activation Lock status" and it says it's off. Although i have my passcode and apple ID signed in there, Is there any chance that they can use my phone and all my data are still there?

  25. Tim Brookes
    April 1, 2015 at 3:13 am

    Are you sure you didn't activate it? I'm pretty certain Find My Phone is enabled by default when you login to iCloud, so if you were using iCloud then there's a good chance you have enabled tracking too.

    Have you tried logging in at iCloud.com and looking for your device? If you find it I suggest you approach law enforcement with this information.

    Failing that, contact your carrier and get the IMEI blacklisted. The phone will be added to stolen database, and many carriers will refuse service. Even if the perpetrators can get around Apple's protections, the phone will be virtually useless without being able to reliably access the cellular network.

    Good luck!

  26. sehrish
    March 31, 2015 at 1:25 am

    hi there
    my iphone 6plus is stolen and i didnot activate find my iphone ...
    what to do now????

  27. NickNah
    March 18, 2015 at 2:52 am

    "Find my phone" shows my missing phone just outside a cluster of office buildings with a large green dot around it. I have my name and number on the back of the phone and whoever found it could have called me. I went to the place and pasted messages for a reward if my phone is returned but no calls after two days. Now "Find my Phone" shows it offline. Meanwhile, the iphone6 I ordered to replace it just arrived. My questions are:
    1. If I activate my new phone for the same phone number but still leaving my old phone in "Lost Mode", will "Find my phone" continue keeping track of the old phone? Been keeping track of it using my ipad.
    2. Will activating my new phone make my old phone become usable to whoever has it? It has IO7.
    I would appreciate any comments.
    I would appreciate hearing from anyone.

    • Tim Brookes
      March 18, 2015 at 3:03 am

      Hi,

      Sorry to hear that some scumbag walked off with your phone, that sucks. In terms of your questions:

      1) If you activate your new phone it will simply be added to your Apple ID as a device that is yours. For as long as your old phone remains locked to your iCloud account (according to Apple that's a permanent fixture until you remove it, which requires your password) then it will continue to be tracked.

      2) As far as I'm aware, your old phone will remain locked to you indefinitely. That is how it's supposed to work. There are a few black market methods used by thieves to try and circumvent this, but I'm not sure if they actually work or not.

      So you should definitely activate your new phone, it will show up as "'s iPhone 6". Your old phone will continue to be tracked for as long as it has battery and a connection to the Internet.

      Good luck, do let us know if you manage to recover it :)

  28. Mashoor
    March 3, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    HTC Desire 816 Dual Sim (White) / Stolen / Pickpocket @ Paharganj, New Delhi

    IMEI 1: 352706063830596
    IMEI 2: 352706063830604

    S/N: FA499WW01251

    if found pls return to Nabi Kareem Police Station New Delhi./India

  29. Slc
    January 14, 2015 at 5:04 am

    Is there a way to lock or wipe out all the info if there was no password OR find my iPad? It was stolen without a password and has since been blacklisted however, I have been so nervous thinking about what personal info may have been in it.

    This has been a VERY valuable lesson for my husband but in the meantime, can anything else be done other than blacklist?

  30. AMIT TRIPATHI
    December 28, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    My iphone was Stolen in delhi and find my iphone is on and icloud show my phone is offline, i do the police complaint but there is also no response and 11 EMI is pending i am felling very guilty because police can't find my cell phone and "Find My Iphone" is show you device is offline if any other way please help me.. :'(

  31. Jayalakshmi Sivan
    December 19, 2014 at 9:21 am

    my iphone was stolen.... and i have got an apple id ......can IMEI number help me find it . I have lodged a complaint in the police station. i did nt get it back still. Help me :(

  32. Jane
    March 30, 2014 at 11:17 pm

    my iphone 5 was stolen, used find my phone app, put the phone in lost mode. And bam !!!! my phone was found about an hour away from where I live, So I called the police and they came with me to the house, I knocked on the door, losers answered the door at first denying they had my phone, I showed them the app on my ipad showing a map leading me to their property. so got my phone back, losers took happy snaps of themselves on my phone, so I shared those photos on social media , with the title 'thieving scumbags' :)

    • Tim B
      March 31, 2014 at 11:13 pm

      Thank you for sharing Jane, I absolutely love a story like that. It's great that law enforcement are embracing the technology put in place by manufacturers. You did the right thing by acting quickly – delay and it could be too late.

  33. Lekha
    February 26, 2014 at 5:28 am

    My iPhone has been stolen. find my iphone is of no use. couldnt get it back.

  34. Tim B
    January 29, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    Go to iCloud.com

    Login with your Apple ID

    Click Find my iPhone

    Wait and see!

    • MADIHA
      February 1, 2014 at 12:39 pm

      thanx for your help tim B but when i click on find my iphone i found this msg: all devices offline so i think i lost my iphone

  35. MADIHA
    January 29, 2014 at 10:07 am

    a few days later my iphone was stolen but i didn t install find my iphone. so what i have to do if i want get it back?

  36. Andrew
    December 19, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    If you never enabled Find My Iphone and want to try to track your iphone using IMEI number these guys do that: http://www.iphonetrace.com/
    Not sure about other phones though, I think they only work with Iphones.

    • MADIHA
      February 1, 2014 at 2:33 pm

      i take a glimpe and i found that i must pay ; but i ask if it s secure site and how i could know that s true

    • Sam
      June 17, 2018 at 1:38 pm

      It's actually iPhonetracer.com

  37. Shellbells
    December 12, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    I was at dairy queen just a couple days ago and had my iphone sitting on the table by all my stuff and when I came back to sit down with my food my iphone was gone I installed find my iphone but it keeps saying its offline so I think I can say my iphone is gone.

  38. Joyce
    November 19, 2013 at 5:17 am

    About a year and a half ago my iphone was stolen in a casino while visiting Reno, NV. Later that evening I was reading on my ipad about ways to possibly retrieve it. I installed Find My iPhone at that time. My phone turned up on a map showing it to be across town. I sent a msg including their own address and asked them to return it to the casino security or I would turn over their address to the police. The next day I once again looked at the map. This time it showed my phone at the casino! Thank you Find My iPhone!

  39. DMZ
    November 17, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    Agree with TPhil above. No cell phones, no trouble!

  40. TPhil
    November 13, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    Stolen iphone? Good, don't look for it

    • logan
      February 19, 2014 at 9:47 pm

      Life too boring for you?

  41. Linda R
    November 13, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    Three years ago my husband accidently left his iPod in his car when he went to work. He forgot to charge it the night before and was charging it with his car charger. He works as a manager at a local cheese factory and didn't think it was necessary to lock his car in the secured parking lot. He realized at lunchtime when he usually plays a video game or two that it was gone and remembered leaving it plugged into the car. It was gone as was the charging cord. He tried all of the usual ways to retrieve it to no avail. About three months later he was back in the lunch/locker room when he heard two of our grandchildren laughing and talking. Of course they were not there, but their voices were coming out of one of the lockers. Security opened the locker and there was my husband's iPod with a video playing that the kids accidently taped while playing with his iPod during one our Sunday visists. The woman who had stolen it didn't even attempt tp erase anything. It was filled with mostly gaming apps and I guess she didn't want to erase all of them to start over; who knows? We had already replaced the iPod with a newer model anyway so he gave it to the kids who had made the video.
    He learned a valuable lesson and we now use the Find My iPhone option on all our devices. It has helped us find iPads, iPhones and iPod's more than once under couch cushions, pillows and even pants pockets. With 6 kids and 18 grandchildren, we collectively have a lot of Apple devices to protect.

  42. James
    November 13, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    If you're in the UK you can add your device to the National property register on immobilise.com, I think this works in some other countries too. Police look on there if a device is handed in and get can't see who's it is easily. It's free to use too.

    • Tim B
      November 13, 2013 at 10:25 pm

      Thanks for letting us know!

  43. lurch1963
    November 13, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    Disable the option to delete software otherwise the first thing the thief will do is delete "find my iPhone" app which means you cannot locate it anymore via find my iPhone!

    To do this (IO6 - no idea about IO7) go under Settings -> General
    Turn on Restrictions, add passcode and then disable "deleting apps" option.

    Yes, they may get past your passcode, but they cannot delete anything which means you still stand a chance of getting the phone back.

    You also have other security options.
    After 10 failed passcode entries - delete the contents of the phone. If you have sensitive data on your phone you also may want to set this up, although this will mean Find my iPhone app will also be deleted so you will not get the phone back, however no one will get access to any of your data either.

    You also have options on the passcode, simple which is 4 digits, or you can have an advanced passcode, with numbers and letters.

    • Tim B
      November 13, 2013 at 10:24 pm

      This quite simply untrue. What has confused you is the fact that there is indeed a "Find my iPhone" companion app, which you can download from the App Store to help track your other Apple devices (laptops, tablets and so on).

      This has nothing to do with the Find my iPhone service which is installed as part of the core software. Deleting the Find my iPhone app has no bearing on the ability to track and remotely wipe your phone, and the only way you can disable it is to turn off the Find my iPhone service under Settings > iCloud, which requires you input the linked Apple ID password.

      You can read more about Activation Lock and how it works here: //www.makeuseof.com/tag/buying-or-selling-a-used-iphone-running-ios-7-read-this-first/

  44. musa
    November 13, 2013 at 1:02 am

    What about Samsung and Nokia phones??

    • logan
      February 19, 2014 at 9:44 pm

      This is an iPhone thread. Take that one somewhere else.