How to Set Up Find My iPhone on iPhone

Turn on Find My iPhone for peace of mind

If your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch has been misplaced, lost, or stolen, it's not necessarily gone for good. If you set up Find My (or its predecessor Find My iPhone) on the device before it vanishes, you may be able to get it back or at least keep the person who has it from accessing your data. It's critical that you enable Find My before your device goes missing.

Instructions in this article apply to iPhones and other iOS devices with iOS 14 and iOS 13. Earlier versions of the iOS, beginning with iOS 5 when Apple introduced Find My iPhone, follow similar instructions.

What Is Find My?

Find My is a tool that finds lost or stolen iPhones. It uses the built-in GPS or location services of the device to locate it on a map. It locks a device or deletes all data from a device over the internet to prevent a thief from accessing your data. If your device is lost, use Find My to make the device play a sound. Listen for the dinging sound to locate the device.

With the release of iOS 13, Apple combined the Find My iPhone and Find My Friends features into one app called Find My.

Turn on Find My 

The option to set up Find My is part of the initial iPhone setup process. You may have enabled it then. If you didn't, follow these steps to turn it on.

  1. Go to Settings.

  2. Tap your name.

  3. Tap Find My. (In earlier versions of iOS, tap iCloud > Find My Phone to turn on the feature.)

    Path to Find My settings on iPhone
  4. If you want to let friends and family members know where you are, turn on Share My Location in the Find My screen. This optional setting is not required to locate your phone.

  5. Tap Find My iPhone at the top of the screen.

  6. Turn on the Find My iPhone toggle switch.

  7. Turn on the Find My network switch to see your phone even when it's offline. This setting is optional and not required for locating the device.

    Find My network is an encrypted and anonymous network of Apple devices that help locate your device.

  8. Turn on Send Last Location to have the phone send its location to Apple when the battery is low. This setting is also optional.

    Settings for turning on and configuring Find My on iPhone

You must have Location Services turned on to locate your phone's location on a map. To check that it is on, go to Settings > Privacy.

After you set up Find My on your phone, set it up on any other compatible devices you own to keep the content up to date on all your devices.

Depending on the version of iOS, you may see a message verifying that you understand that this tool turns on GPS tracking of your iPhone. The GPS tracking is for you to use, not for someone else to track your movements. Tap Allow.

How to Use Find My

When your iPhone or other iOS device goes missing, either because it was misplaced or stolen, use Find My with iCloud to locate it.

  1. Open a web browser, go to iCloud.com, and log in with your Apple ID, which is also your iCloud account ID.

    Apple ID field on iCloud.com


  2. Select Find iPhone. You may be asked to provide your password again.

    Find iPhone button on iCloud website


  3. iCloud locates your iPhone and other devices that you set up with Find My and displays these devices on a map. A green dot indicates the device is online. A gray dot means it's offline.

    Green dot indicating online iPhone at iCloud website


    All iOS devices support Find My, along with Mac computers and the Apple Watch. AirPods can be located if they are paired with and near an iOS device.

  4. Select All Devices and choose the missing iPhone to show it on the map.

    Selected iPhone in All Devices list on iCloud.com


  5. Choose one of these options:

    • Play Sound: If you suspect your iPhone is nearby, select Play Sound and follow the sound to the iPhone.
    • Lost Mode: Locks and tracks your iPhone.
    • Erase iPhone: Remotely erases your personal information on the iPhone.
    Lost iPhone options on iCloud.com


Turn Off Find My on Your iPhone

To turn off Find My iPhone, tap Settings > [your name] > Find My > Find My iPhone and turn off Find My iPhone.

In some earlier versions of Find My iPhone, you may need to enter the password for the iCloud account used on the device. This feature, called Activation Lock, prevents thieves from turning off Find My iPhone to hide the device from the service.

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