How to Fix It When Find My iPhone Isn't Working

If you need to use Find My iPhone, you're probably already in a stressful situation: your iPhone is lost or stolen. That situation gets worse if Find My iPhone isn't working.

Why Isn't Find My iPhone Working?

The following issues can cause Find My iPhone to stop working:

  • The feature isn't active.
  • The iPhone has no power or is off.
  • The SIM card has been removed.
  • The device date is wrong.
  • Find My iPhone isn't available in your country.
  • You're using the wrong Apple ID.
  • Your phone's version of iOS needs an update.

If your device is running iOS 15.2 or later, Find My iPhone should still be able to locate it even if it's turned off or very low on power.

How to Fix Issues With Find My iPhone When You Have Your Phone

Take the following steps, in order, to get Find My iPhone working again. These fixes apply when your device is on hand and you can change settings.

  1. Charge your device. While an iPhone running iOS 15.2 or later can still send its location when it's in Power Reserve mode (when it still has power but not enough to switch on), a completely dead device won't be able to send its location.

  2. Check your Apple ID. You can't use Find My with a different Apple ID than the device you're locating. On your phone, go to Settings > [your name] and look at the email address under your name. This account is the one you need to sign in to iCloud with to find your phone.

  3. Make sure Find My is on. Your devices won't show up on Apple's map if the feature isn't active, so you'll need to check that in Settings > [your name] > Find My. Set the switches next to both Find My iPhone and Find My network to on. The former option lets you find the device online, and the latter can help you find it even without a network connection or power, via Bluetooth.

    Optionally, select Send My Location, which will automatically upload your phone's location to Apple when the battery runs out.

  4. Check Location Services. You have to opt in to sharing your location with Apple for Find My iPhone to work. Open Settings, and then go to Privacy & Security > Location Services and turn the switch to on if it isn't already.

  5. Check your network status. Along with power, an iPhone also needs an internet or Bluetooth connection to send its location. Go to Settings > Bluetooth to verify that it's turned on, and then try opening a web page in Safari to see if the internet/cellular connection is active.

  6. Set the iPhone's clock. An incorrect time or date can interfere with your phone's communication. Go to Settings > General > Date & Time, and then check to see that the switch next to Set Automatically is on.

  7. Update iOS. Features like Find My may not work if the phone's operating system is out of date. Open Settings > General > Software Update to see if a new version of iOS is available.

  8. Restart your iPhone. A failure in Find My iPhone could just be a temporary issue that a restart will solve. Hold the side or top button (depending on your model) until the Slide to Power Off option appears, and then swipe across the screen to switch off your device. Hold the same button until the phone restarts.

How to Fix Issues With Find My iPhone Without Your Device

It's harder to troubleshoot a device you don't have, but if you can't locate an iPhone or other Apple device on Find My, you can still try a couple things. First, make sure you're signed in to the right Apple ID. You can only use the iCloud website to find devices that use the same Apple ID you use to sign in. If you're using someone else's computer to find your phone, for example, odds are good they'll be signed in.

Unfortunately, if your phone has been dead for longer than 24 hours, Find My or Location Services aren't on, or it can't access a network, your options for finding it are limited. You should contact your carrier first. They may not be able to locate the device, but they can suspend its service so nobody else can use it.

FAQ
  • How do I add AirPods to Find My iPhone?

    Your AirPods will automatically appear in Find My as long as the feature is active on the device you pair them to. Whether you use them with a Mac, iPhone, or iPad, as long as Find My is on, the AirPods will appear. To see them, use the iCloud website or the Find My app.

  • How do I find my iPhone from another iPhone?

    The easiest way is with the iCloud website. The site will prompt you to sign in with the Apple ID tied to the phone, but you can select Use a different Apple ID to use yours. Once you're in, scroll down and select Find My to see where your iPhone is.

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