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How to Find Your iPhone
Now that your iPhone has been configured to use the Find My iPhone service, let’s take a look at how to find your device, and other features. You can even lock your device or erase it remotely, if it falls into the wrong hands.
Find Your iPhone With Another iOS Device
If you have another iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, you can easily locate any device that has Find My iPhone turned on. If you don’t have the Find My iPhone app, launch the App Store, search for the app, and install it. The app is free.
Next, launch the app and sign in with your Apple ID. A screen will appear with a map at the top and your Apple devices listed below. As your devices are found, a green dot will appear next to each device.
Tap on the device you wish to find. Your device’s location will appear on the map, if Location Services are activated. You can turn on Location Services remotely by tapping Lost Mode. This will turn on Location Services and lock your iPhone with the passcode you provide.
I strongly encourage you to activate Location Services on your iPhone. If your device is turned off or has run out of battery charge, you cannot turn on Location Services using Lost Mode. If you enable Lost Mode, your device will not enable Location services when it is powered back on. I tried this, and it didn’t work. At best, you can keep checking for your device to come online and then activate Lost Mode. If it ran out of battery power and is lost somewhere, it will probably never come back online. It’s much easier to just turn on Location Services so you won’t have to hold a vigil for your lost iPhone.
Lost Mode will also display a message of your choosing. You can enter a message, and it will display on the screen. This is a great way to tell whoever has your iPhone how to contact you. Of course, you probably don’t want to leave your address, if your device was stolen.
If you lost your iPhone around the house, tap Play Sound. This will play a high-pitched tone for two minutes, which can help you locate the device. The sound will play even if you have muted your phone.
You can also remotely erase your iPhone if it has critical information. If you do keep critical information on your iPhone, make sure to do regular, encrypted back-ups on iTunes. That way, if your iPhone is lost and needs to be erased, you can restore it later. You can also set your iPhone to erase its contents if someone tries to bypass the lock screen. After 10 failed attempts, your iPhone will erase its contents. Be careful with this setting. A malicious user could easily wipe out your iPhone. Of course, if you back it up regularly, this is not a problem. You can enable this setting by going to Settings > General > Passcode Lock and turn on Erase Data.
Find Your iPhone With Any Computer
If you don’t have another iOS device, don’t worry. You can find your iPhone with any computer using Apple’s iCloud site. The site is quite useful, and enables access to all of the iCloud applications from any computer. You can use it to access Reminders, Calendar, Notes, or any of the iCloud apps. It’s compatible with any computer — Mac, Windows, and even Linux. It even comes with free web-based versions of iWorks. (continue…)