This article was co-authored by Stan Kats and by wikiHow staff writer, Megaera Lorenz, PhD. Stan Kats is a Professional Technologist and the COO and Chief Technologist for The STG IT Consulting Group in West Hollywood, California. Stan provides comprehensive technology solutions to businesses through managed IT services, and for individuals through his consumer service business, Stan's Tech Garage. Stan holds a BA in International Relations from The University of Southern California. He began his career working in the Fortune 500 IT world. Stan founded his companies to offer an enterprise-level of expertise for small businesses and individuals.
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Misplaced your iPhone? Don’t worry. Even if it’s powered off or the battery is dead, you may be able to see its last known location in the Find My app or the iCloud website on another device. Even if you can no longer track your iPhone’s location, we’ll teach you how to use Find My or iCloud to put your phone in Lost Mode or set it to send a notification if someone turns it on.
Things You Should Know
- If you have Find My enabled on your iPhone, you can use the Find My app to view its last known location for a brief period even after the phone dies.
- Turn on Notify When Found or activate Lost Mode in Find My to get a notification if someone else finds your phone and turns it on.
- You can also go to https://www.icloud.com/find/ and log in with your Apple ID to look for your phone or turn on Lost Mode.
Using Find My or iCloud
1Open the Find My app on an Apple device. If you have Find My enabled on your lost iPhone, you may be able to see your phone’s last known location in the Find My app even if your phone is powered down, offline, or dead. To get started, open the Find My app on another Apple device that’s logged into the same Apple ID.
- If you don’t have access to an Apple device, visit https://www.icloud.com/find/ in a web browser instead. Log in with the same Apple ID you used to set up your lost iPhone.
- You can also use Find My on a family member’s iPhone, iPad, or Mac if you have set up Family Sharing and chosen to share your location with them.
- Or, use the Help a Friend feature under the Me tab in Find My on a friend’s phone to look for your phone in iCloud.
- The Find My app’s icon looks like a green and blue radar display.
2Tap the tab. You’ll see this tab at the bottom of the Find My screen. When you tap it, you’ll see a map showing the approximate locations of all the devices with Find My enabled that are linked to your account.
- If you don’t see your iPhone on the map, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to see a list of your devices.
- On iCloud, look at the map to see if your iPhone’s location is displayed there. If you don’t see it, click All Devices at the top of the Find Devices window and click your iPhone in the list.
3Check if your phone’s last known location is visible. According to Apple, the Find My app will display your iPhone’s last known location for up to 7 days after your phone goes offline or dies. The iCloud website will only display the last known location for up to 24 hours. X Research source If your phone died recently and you can still see its location, you may be able to find it by going to the location displayed on the map.
- To see more detailed location information, pull up your list of devices from the bottom of the screen and tap on your iPhone. It will list the address of the last known location as well as when that location information was sent.
- On iCloud, click the phone in the All Devices menu. The map will zoom in on its location (if a location is available).
- If you don’t see your device’s location, too much time may have passed since your phone went offline. Or, you might not have had all the Find My features enabled.
4Ask a friend to help you find your phone using Find My. While your friends can’t help you directly using the Find My app, there is a feature that will help you connect to your iCloud account through the app on a friend’s phone. This is a great option in a pinch if you don’t have access to a computer or another device connected to your Apple ID. Here’s how to do it:
- Ask your friend to open the Find My app on their phone.
- Tap Me in the lower right corner of the screen.
- Scroll all the way down to the bottom and tap Help a Friend. This will open iCloud’s Find Devices page in Safari.
- Tap Sign In and log in with the Apple ID associated with your lost iPhone. From there, you can check if your phone’s location is displayed on the map, enable Notify When Found, or put your iPhone in Lost Mode.
Enabling Notify When Found
1Open the Find My app. The Notify When Found setting will cause your iPhone to send a notification if it comes online again and Find My is able to detect its location. This is a good option if you think someone else might find your phone and turn it on. To turn it on, open the Find My app on an Apple device that’s logged into the same Apple ID as your iPhone.
- You can also visit https://www.icloud.com/find/ in a web browser on any device and sign in with your Apple ID and password.
2Tap the tab. It’s at the bottom of the app screen.
- If you’re using the iCloud website, click All Devices at the top of the map screen.
3Select your iPhone from the list of devices. Pull up the list of all your devices from the bottom of the screen if it isn’t open already. Tap on your missing iPhone.
- In the iCloud website, find and click your phone in the dropdown menu that appears when you click All Devices.
4Toggle on . You’ll see this option under the Notifications header. Toggle the switch next to Notify When Found so it’s in the
- In iCloud, click the box next to Notify me when found under the picture of your iPhone.
- Next time your lost iPhone is turned on and connected to the internet, you’ll get a notification from Find My on your connected Apple devices.
Reporting Your iPhone Lost
1Launch the Find My app. If you’re still having trouble finding your iPhone, you can activate Lost Mode in the Find My app. This will help prevent anyone from breaking into your phone and stealing your personal information if they find it. If someone finds the phone and turns it on, you’ll get a notification on your other connected devices or by email, and you’ll be able to see its location in Find My or iCloud. To get started, open the Find My app on another Apple device that’s connected to the same Apple ID. X Research source
- If you don’t have access to another Apple device, go to https://www.icloud.com/find in a web browser and log in with the same Apple ID you use on your lost iPhone.
2Open the tab. At the bottom of the Find My screen, locate the Devices tab and tap on it.
- If you’re using iCloud, click All Devices at the top of the map.
3Select your lost iPhone from the menu. If you don’t see your list of devices on the screen, swipe up from the bottom of the map to open it. Tap on your missing iPhone.
- If you’re using iCloud, click your iPhone in the All Devices dropdown menu.
4Tap under . You’ll find this option close to the bottom of the menu for your device.
- In iCloud, click Lost Mode in the list of options under your iPhone’s picture.
5Follow the on-screen instructions. If you haven’t already set a numeric passcode for unlocking your lost iPhone, you’ll be prompted to do so now. You’ll also be given the option to enter your contact information and a message for anyone who finds your iPhone.
- When you’re done, tap Activate (in Find My) or click Done (in iCloud).
- You can also turn on Lost Mode for a family member’s iPhone if you have Family Sharing enabled and their iPhone has a passcode set.
- If they don’t have a passcode set, you’ll need to log into iCloud with their Apple ID in order to activate Lost Mode and set a passcode for their phone.
- If your iPhone is dead, you’ll see Pending under Mark As Lost until the phone comes online again.
6Turn off Lost Mode in the app or on the phone. If you find your iPhone or you change your mind about marking it lost, you can easily deactivate Lost Mode in several ways.
- If you have the iPhone with you, simply turn it on and enter the passcode to unlock it. This will turn off Lost Mode.
- In the Find My app on another device, go back to Devices, tap your iPhone, and tap Activated or Pending under Mark As Lost. Tap Turn Off Mark As Lost, then tap Turn Off to confirm.
- In iCloud, click your iPhone in the All Devices menu, click Lost Mode, then click Stop Lost Mode. Click Stop Lost Mode again to confirm.
Enabling Find My on an iPhone
- To use all the features of Find My, you’ll need an iPhone 11 or later running iOS 15 or later. Earlier versions of iOS include an older version of the app called Find My iPhone, which has more limited features.
2Tap your name. It’s at the top of the Settings menu. If you’ve set a profile picture for your Apple ID, you’ll see it there.
3Select . You’ll see it in the same group with iCloud, Media & Purchases, and Family Sharing.
- In earlier versions of iOS, you’ll have to go into iCloud and turn on Find My iPhone.
4Tap . It’s at the top of the Find My menu screen.
5Toggle on all the settings in the screen. To have the best chance of finding your iPhone if it’s lost and offline or dead, you’ll need to turn on all the Find My features. Tap the toggle switches next to each of the 3 options to set them to the
- Find My iPhone turns on all the basic features of the Find My app, including the ability to see your phone’s location and erase or lock it remotely in case it gets lost.
- Find My Network allows you to see the phone’s location for a short period of time even if it’s offline or powered off.
- Send Last Location prompts your phone to send its location to Apple’s servers whenever the battery becomes critically low.
- You can also turn on Share My Location in the main Find My menu to share your phone’s location with family and friends.
To make it easier to find your phone next time you misplace it, you can also turn on Notify When Left Behind for your phone in the Devices menu of Find My. You’ll get an alert on other connected devices when your phone isn’t detected near your present location. X Research source
Some of these features may not work if you have an older iPhone (earlier than iPhone 11) or if you’re running an operating system older than iOS 15.