Where’s my i-device?

You have any of Apple’s mobile devices you need to be using the Find iPhone functionality. Whether it’s iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and even Mac, there’s so much you can use this free service for that you simply shouldn’t overlook it.

By Magnus Nystedt

Published: Sat 3 Dec 2011, 11:49 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 8:02 AM

The functionality obviously has its origin in you being able to find your iPhone if it’s lost or stolen. It used to be that you had to have a paid MobileMe account and if you were parted from your iPhone you could log in to the MobileMe website and see where the device was.

Apple eventually dropped the requirement that you had to have a paid MobileMe account and made this functionality available for free, which I think was a great move. Now the only requirement is that you have a free iCloud account, which you can get by signing up for a new one or transferring your existing MobileMe account.

The only other thing you need to do is run the Find My iPhone app (if you don’t already have it, it’s a free download), log in with your iCloud credentials and activate the service. You may also want to go to the device’s security settings and turn on restrictions for accounts. Set it so that you have to enter a passcode to make any changes to accounts like iCloud. If you don’t do this someone could turn off iCloud on the device thereby rendering this whole exercise pointless.

Now you should see all the devices that are tied to your iCloud account in the Find My iPhone app as well as when you log in to the iCloud.com website. By clicking on a device you can see where it’s been most recently located on a map and you have three options: play sound or send message, remote lock, and remote wipe.

They are pretty self-explanatory but let’s go through them quickly. You can make the remote device play a sound, which sounds very much like a loud alarm, either so you can locate the device yourself or alert someone else who has it to the fact that you’re looking for it. If you send a message it will be displayed on the screen of the device, alerting anyone seeing it to the fact that you’re looking for it.

Remote lock simply means that you look the device so someone else can’t get access to the data on it even if they manage to get their hands on it. Remote wipe is a bit more drastic, in effect wiping the device clean, thereby protecting your data from falling into the wrong hands.

Find My iPhone is a very simple service to set up and use and since it’s free there’s really no excuse for not using it. It may just end up saving you some valuable time and money one day, so go ahead and do it today.

Magnus Nystedt, @mnystedt

More news from