How to Set Up Find My iPhone on iPhone

Turn on Find My iPhone for peace of mind

A smiling man proudly shows his newly purchased iPhone 6.
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If your iPhone or iPod Touch has been misplaced, lost, or stolen, it's not necessarily gone for good. If you set up 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 iPhone before your device goes missing.

Instructions in this article apply to iPhones and other iOS devices running iOS 8 or later. Earlier versions of the iOS, beginning with iOS 5 when Apple introduced Find My iPhone, follow similar instructions.

What is Find My iPhone?

Find My iPhone 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 iPhone to make the device play a sound. Listen for the dinging sound to locate the device.

Man holding map
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Find My iPhone is a free part of iCloud. It's available on iOS 5 or higher on iPhone 3GS and newer, third-generation iPod touch and newer, and iPad.

Set Up Find My iPhone 

The option to set up Find My iPhone 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.

When you sign in to your device using your Apple ID, iCloud turns on automatically. To check your iCloud settings or to turn on iCloud:

  1. Go to Settings.

  2. Tap your name.

  3. Select iCloud.

  4. In the Apps Using iCloud section, scroll to Find My iPhone.

    Apple ID, iCloud, Find my iPhone buttons in iOS Settings
  5. If Find My iPhone is turned off, tap Find My iPhone.

  6. In the Find My iPhone screen, turn on the Find My iPhone toggle switch.

    Find My iPhone, Find My iPhone toggle in iOS iCloud Settings
  7. In some versions of iOS, you may be prompted to Send Last Location when the device is about to run out of battery power. Find My iPhone doesn't work on devices with no battery power. To send the last known location of the device to Apple, select On.

After you set up Find My iPhone 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 to turn on Find My iPhone.

How to Use Find My iPhone

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

  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 compatible devices that are set up with Find My iPhone 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 iPhone, 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
  6. Take measures to locate and retrieve your iPhone.

Turn Off Find My iPhone

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

In iOS 7 and up, 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.