How to Find a Lost iPhone

Three Methods:Using "Find My iPhone"Trying Other WaysPreventing Future Lost Phones

Is your iPhone missing? Losing your phone can be a stressful experience, especially if it's an expensive phone like an iPhone. There's also the added risk of your personal information falling into the wrong hands. Luckily, there are a variety of ways you can track down your lost iPhone, including using tools developed by Apple and built into every iPhone. See Step 1 below to learn how.

Method 1
Using "Find My iPhone"

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    Open "Find My iPhone". You can access the "Find My iPhone" service from another iOS device by downloading the "Find My iPhone" app from the App Store on your iPad or a friend's iPhone. You can also log into the iCloud website ( on any computer and select "Find My iPhone" from the main menu.
    • Regardless of which method you choose, you will need to log in with the Apple ID that is associated with your lost phone.
    • Find my iPhone needs to have been enabled on the iPhone in order to use it. It is normally enabled when you set up your iCloud account for the first time on the iPhone, but may have been skipped. To enable it, tap the Settings app, scroll down, and tap "iCloud". Make sure you are signed in with your Apple ID. Tap "Find My iPhone" to toggle it on.
    • For iPhones running iOS8, it is also a good idea to enable Send Last Location. When your battery is very low, your phone will automatically send its last known location to Apple.
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    Select your lost iPhone. Click the Devices menu at the top of the page if you are using the iCloud website, or tap the "My Devices" button at the top-left corner of the window on an iPad or iPhone. Select your lost phone from the list of devices (If you have other devices associated with your Apple ID, such as an iPad, it will be listed here as well).
    • If your iPhone cannot be located because it is turned off or out of network, check the "Notify me when found" box. As soon as the iPhone is turned back on and connected to a cellular or wireless network, you will receive a notification at your Apple ID email address. You can also remove the iPhone from your account, disassociating your Apple ID.
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    Note the location. If your iPhone is online and "Find My iPhone" can locate it, the map will center on your iPhone's last-reported location. You can use this map to determine where you may have left it.
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    Choose an action. When you select your device, there are three basic actions you can take: "Play Sound", "Lost Mode", and "Erase iPhone". Choose the action that best suits your current situation.
    • Play Sound - If your iPhone is lost nearby, you can click or tap the "Play Sound" button to make the iPhone play a notification sound. This will be played at maximum volume, which can hopefully help you track it down. Tap "OK" on your iPhone to stop the sound from playing.
    • Lost Mode - Clicking or tapping this will lock the iPhone's screen with either your preset passcode or a new one if you don't have one set. You can also add a contact number and message that will be displayed on the screen if a nice person finds.
    • Erase iPhone - If the iPhone is gone and you don't think you'll be able to recover it, you can choose this option to wipe your iPhone of all your data. This is a last-resort option, and should only be chosen if you are worried sensitive or personal information will fall into the wrong hands. If your iPhone is passcode-locked, your information is not retrievable.

Method 2
Trying Other Ways

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    Call your phone. Use a landline or your friend's phone to try calling your missing iPhone. If it's nearby, you may hear it ring. This can help you track it down, especially if it's slipped under a cushion. If your phone is lost and a friendly stranger hears it ringing, he or she may be able to help get it returned to you.
    • Move from room to room as you call your phone. If it's buried in a bag or under something, the ringer may not be very loud.
    • If you don't have access to another phone, but have access to a computer, you can use This website allows you to enter your phone number and it will call your phone for you.
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    Check hard-to-reach places. The iPhone has a tendency to slide out of pockets, so check between your couch cushions or underneath your car seat to see if your iPhone is hiding where you can't see or hear it.
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    Retrace your steps. While this certainly isn't exclusive to phones, retracing your steps can help you determine where your phone went missing. Think back to when you last used it, and then work forwards from there. Check with the employees of all the places that you visited since your phone went missing.
    • Some other common places you may have left your iPhone include work, the gym, the restaurant you visited earlier, the bank, or any other place you may have emptied your pockets.
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    Check Lost and Found boxes. Depending on where your phone went missing, it may have ended up in a Lost and Found box. Many transit systems and other establishments have Lost and Found systems for items left by customers. For bigger establishments, the Lost and Found department may have its own phone number.
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    Use social media. Letting people know via Twitter or Facebook that your phone has gone missing may end up working if your friend or a friend of a friend ends up finding it. It's kind of a long shot, but it's better than buying a new phone.
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    Check with local law enforcement. Police stations and lost property stations in the vicinity of where you lost your iPhone might yield positive results. You might be pleasantly surprised to find that someone has handed in your phone. Even if they haven't, leave your details as there may be a delay in processing or turning in. You can also file a report if you believe your phone was stolen.
    • If you have the IMEI/MEID number for your iPhone, give it to the law enforcement official when you file your lost or stolen report. This will help track your phone in case it gets sold to someone else.
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    Try the Missing Phones online directory. The Missing Phones directory is a website that allows you to enter the IMEI number of your device. The website will check the database to see if a kind person has found the phone and registered it on the site. You can check the database at
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    Contact your carrier if your phone is gone for good. If you're sure that your phone has been stolen, or you don't think you'll ever find it again, contact your carrier as soon as possible. While they won't be able to track it for you, they can shut off service to your phone and potentially get a new one shipped to you if you have phone insurance.[1]
    • Some carriers allow you to block service for a period of time in case you think you will recover your phone again in the near future.
    • Be sure to dispute any charges that have occurred on the phone since it was stolen.

Method 3
Preventing Future Lost Phones

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    Install an application on your iPhone called "If Found". If Found lets you create a background wallpaper that shows your contact details that lets an honest finder contact you by another means (such as your home phone).[2]
    • (Note that you need to purchase If Found but the cost is minimal.)
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    Use iHound. This is a free program that alerts you the moment your iPhone is plugged into a computer. This means that you'll receive an email letting you know that your tracked iPhone has been located, along with a detailed report on where it is being used.
    • This is a good additional measure for where the iPhone gets turned off but is later plugged in to change or upload software, etc.[3]
    • iHound lets you sound an alarm to help you find the iPhone in case it's slipped down the back of sofa, etc.
    • iHound lets you use geofencing location alerts. These are alerts and check-ins that work automatically with Facebook, Foursquare, or Twitter when you arrive at locations.
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    Use iLocalis. This lets you log in to the website to find your missing iPhone. You can also log in and send yourself a message. If the SIM card has been changed, you'll also be able to get the thief's new phone number.
    • Note: this software requires a jailbroken iPhone.
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    Use iLost-finder. This lets you play an alarm sound loudly when your iPhone is stolen and the thief is trying to power off the iPhone or entered wrong passcode. It also takes photo of the thief and send it to you by email.
    • Note: this software requires a jailbroken iPhone.


  • If your iPhone is in airplane mode, "Find My iPhone" won't be able to locate your iPhone.
  • For Find My iPhone to work, it must have been enabled. To do this, go to the iCloud tab in Settings, and set the switch for Find My iPhone to On.


  • If you believe your phone was stolen and are currently tracking it. Do not attempt to get it back yourself. Instead, report it to the police. Attempting to retrieve your phone yourself could put you in harm's way.

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