How to find, track and erase data of your lost or stolen iPhone from Apple iCloud

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Apple has all its devices linked to Apple ID, just like Google does for all Android devices. So if you misplace or lose your device, all you need to do is just sign in to iCloud.com or the ‘Find My iPhone’ app to locate your missing device on a map, similar to Android Device Manager for all Google devices (read our Find My Android article here). The iCloud sign-in allows you to play a sound (ring) on your device, use Lost Mode, or Erase all the data.

What is ‘Find My iPhone’ ?

Find My iPhone essentially helps you locate and protect all your Apple devices.

How to set up ‘Find My iPhone’ ?

In your iPhone, tap on Settings > iCloud
Then scroll down to the bottom and tap on Find My iPhone
Now slide to turn on ‘Find My iPhone’ and ‘Send Last Location’.

Step 1:

Visit Apple’s iCloud.com/find website and log in with your Apple ID

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You can also log into iCloud.com and tap on Find My iPhone, but we recommend you to use the full URL, because if you have two-factor authentication enable on your phone then it won’t log in. But with iCloud.com/find, you will bypass the system and it will immediately locate your iPhone.

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or

You can use ‘Find My iPhone’ app by Apple

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Step 2:

By default the iCloud will locate your iPhone on Apple Map, otherwise you can click on ‘All Devices’ drop down on the top bar and select the device you’d like to locate.

Step 3:

Click on the located device, and then click ‘i’ sign to see the info window.

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Step 4:

The information window will tell you when your device was used last and the amount of battery power it had then.

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With this you can either “Play Sound” on your iPhone, use “Lost Mode” to insert a number and a message that will get displayed on your iPhone for someone to see it on the locked phone screen and can get in touch with you.

Step 5:

The last option is to “Erase iPhone” and when you’ll attempt to do that the website will prompt you to enter Apple ID password again to complete the process.

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Important Note: Once you’ve erased your device remotely then you won’t be able to use Find My iPhone to ring or locate your device.

What if you didn’t enable ‘Find My iPhone’ ?

In such case, you can’t use the ‘Find My iPhone’ app or iCloud to locate, play a sound or erase data of your iPhone. However, you can change your Apple ID password, which will prevent anyone from accessing/ misusing your iCloud data or other such services connected to your Apple account.

Lastly, if you have recovered your lost iPhone but had the data erased then you can simply restore the information using iCloud Backup. But your device needs to be properly backed up on the iCloud. Read our How to backup your iPhone using iCloud.