Using Find My iPhone

iPhone’s are a hot commodity, both in stores and on the black market.

They are one of the most stolen items a person can own, often making people a target that use them in public.  The device is small and easy to lift, and it is often hard to find those who ran off with it.  That is why there has been a series of evolving features to help users find their stolen, or lost, device wherever it is.  Most recently the iPhone has Lost Mode, which ties in some of the most recent features in the device to help locate it should it go missing.  Here is a look at how to use Lost Mode on your iPhone.

The first thing that you will need to have done is to download, install, and create a log in for the free iPhone app Find My iPhone.  This is an app released by Apple for the explicit purpose of actually finding your iPhone when it is out of your possession.  The foundation of this is going to be iCloud, which is the infrastructure that allows you to see the status of your iPhone even when you are away.  You have to have attached your iPhone to your established iCloud account and then have iCloud attached to your home computer as well. This will also mean having an operating system version on your computer that will allow for this, which will mean having Mac OS X v10.7.2 or a more recent version.  It will also mean that you have to have at least the iOS 6 on your iPhone, so your iPhone has to be recent enough to support the iOS update.

Start by going into your Settings and locating iCloud, which will at the top of the fifth block of options right above Mail, Contacts, Calendars.  In the series of On and Off switches that are in these settings, make sure the Find My iPhone switch is turned On.  This may already be done by default on your iPhone.  You can also add a restriction to this so that a passcode has to be entered to use the Find My iPhone app.  To do this you will need to go back into the main settings and choose General, which is at the top of the fourth block of options.  Go down and choose Restrictions, which is below Passcode Lock.  Once you enable Restrictions go into Location Services.  Here you will see Find My iPhone towards the lower block of options.  At the top of Location Services you should select Don’t Allow Changes if you want to include Find My iPhone in Restrictions.

When you are back on your home computer go into the Apple Menu and then go to System Preferences.  Here you will choose iCloud and you will need to sign in with your Apple ID.  Put in a check mark next to Find My Mac and then choose that you want Find My iPhone to use this computer.

Once you have done these two major steps then the device will be ready to initiate the tools for iPhone location.  When you log in to your Find My iPhone app you will see the devices that are using iCloud and could use Find My iPhone, including the iPhone you are on.  If you select that device then the app will find it on a map, showing you your location.  This tool is done so that you could, perhaps, use your iPad to find your iPhone.  From here you can enter in Play Sound, Lost Mode, or Erase iPhone.  These are all tools for dealing with your lost iPhone.  You may have sensitive material on your iPhone, such as content from work, and it may serve you well to Erase iPhone.  This is especially useful if you have everything backed up on your home computer from regular syncing.

If you want to enter Lost Mode you can do this by selecting the button and then entering in the assigned passcode.  You will then be able to enter in a phone number where you can be reached, as well as cancel the process.  You will then need to enter in a message that will shown on the iPhone with the number to contact if someone finds it.  This format is done with the assumption that you lost your iPhone rather than had it stolen.  On the iPhone it will appear with a message, the phone number to call, and a button to call from that phone.  It will be locked to regular usage.  You can then go to to watch where the iPhone is on a real time map so that you can physically locate the device.  When the device has finally been returned you can enter in your passcode, disable Lock Mode, and then select Stop Lost Mode, which will return normal functionality.

If you have simply lost your iPhone in your vicinity and cannot find it you can log into Find My iPhone and choose Play Sound, which will start an alarm sound on your iPhone.  This is intended to help you find it, and when you do you can hit the OK button on the pop up window to end the alarm sound.  This is all presuming that you have one of your devices from which to activate the app or you can do it from your computer.

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