How to set up and use Find my iPhone

Everything you need to know about setting up, tracking, messaging, locking, and wiping a lost or stolen iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad with Find my iPhone

Find my iPhone -- or Find my iPod or Find my iPad -- keeps track of your iCloud enabled devices so you can track them down if they're lost or stolen, and even remotely message, lock, and erase it to keep your data secure.

How to enable Find my iPhone

Before you can use Find my iPhone (or iPod or iPad), you need to turn it on.

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Tap on iCloud.
  3. Toggle Find my iPhone to On.

How to use Find my iPhone via the web

If you iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad goes missing, you can track it via the web on your Windows, Mac, Linux, Unix, or any PC running a modern web browser.

  1. Go to www.icloud.com.
  2. Log into your iCloud account.
  3. Click on Find my iPhone.
  4. If you have multiple devices on your account, choose the one you want to track.
  5. Click the Information icon on the map to see your options.
  6. Choose your option -- Play Sound or Send Message, Remote Lock, or Remote Wipe.

Devices that are trackable will a small green dot next to their name. Wi-Fi devices can only be tracked when they're connected to a known Wi-Fi network.

If you think you just misplaced  your iPad or that someone borrowed it without asking, you'll want to play a sound or send a message.

  1. Click on Play Sound or Send Message.
  2. Type your messages
  3. Click on Send.
  4. The alert will be sent to your device.

The sound will be played and the message will be displayed on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad and will continue to play and be displayed until the device is unlocked and the alert dismissed.

If you think your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad was lost or stolen and is unlikely to be recovered, you'll want to lock it and possibly wipe all data from it.

How to use Find my iPhone on your iOS device

If your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad has been misplaced, lost, or stolen you can also track it on a secondary device, or a friend's or family member's iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad via Apple's free Find my iPhone app.

Free - Download now

How to get more help with iCloud

If you still need help with setting up, tracking, messaging, locking, or wiping your lost of stolen iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, or any other iCloud feature, head on over to our iCloud Forum and ask away!

Ally Kazmucha, Chris Oldroyd, and Gary Mazo contributed major sections of this guide.

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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