How do I turn off Find My iPhone? How do I remove an iPhone, iPad or MacBook from Find My iPhone?

Find My iPhone is a feature found in iOS and macOS that enables users to locate lost or missing iPhone, iPad and Mac devices. Once Find My iPhone is activated on a device, it is linked to that user's Apple ID. The owner can then locate the iPhone, iPad or Mac by logging on to iCloud.com (on a Mac) or using the Find my iPhone app on an iPhone or iPad. With Find My iPhone enabled, the owner of a device can see its location on a map, remotely lock it, wipe its contents or send a message to a lost device (encouraging a finder to return it).

Apple's Find My iPhone service can be useful in a variety of situations - if you've lost a device or had it stolen - and is at least interesting in most others. Gosh, look how many Apple devices I own.

But not everybody likes it. Partly there is the feeling, which never entirely lifts, that you are being monitored by some Orwellian overlord - well, you are, even though the Orwellian overlord in this case has consistently shown itself a friend of privacy. And this is fair enough. You're allowed to find even benign surveillance creepy.

More importantly, there are specific circumstances when Find My iPhone stops being useful and becomes a potential inconvenience or danger. When you wish to sell a device, of course, you need to remove it from Find My iPhone; the same is true when you send it in to Apple for repair.

Luckily it's very easy to remove an iPhone - or a MacBook, iPad or iPod touch - from Find My iPhone. In this article we show how.

Read next: How to find a lost iPhone - track an iPhone using Find My iPhone

How to turn off Find My iPhone: Can I turn off Find My iPhone?

How to turn off Find My iPhone

Find My iPhone is a tremendously useful service, and was implemented in part to discourage the theft of highly prized Apple devices. Because of this you cannot disable Find My iPhone without the Apple ID password used to set it up. Furthermore, if you cannot turn off Find My iPhone, you cannot completely restore the iPhone or iPad to its original factory settings.

Because of this you must disable Find My iPhone before selling, or passing on, your iPhone. If you have purchased an iPhone second-hand and do not have the Apple ID and password requested by Find My iPhone, you will need to contact the original owner to retrieve it (or hand them the iPhone or iPad and get them to enter the password).

How to turn off Find My iPhone: How to remove an iPhone from Find My iPhone

How to turn off Find My iPhone: Find my iPhone Apple ID

Once armed with the same Apple ID and password used to set up Find My iPhone, turning it off is pretty straightforward. Follow these steps to turn off Find My iPhone:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap iCloud.
  3. Choose Find My iPhone.
  4. Set Find My iPhone to Off.
  5. Enter the Apple ID password for the account listed and tap Turn Off.

Find My iPhone will now be disabled for that iOS device, and you can continue to reset the device to its factory settings (if you're planning to sell it.) Do this using Settings > General > Reset and Erase All Content and Settings.

How to turn off Find My iPhone: How to remove an iPad (or iPod touch) from Find My iPhone

The procedure is the same for other iOS devices as for an iPhone. OpenSettings, tap iCloud, choose Find My iPhone and set it to Off. The enter the password when prompted.

How to turn off Find My iPhone: How to remove a MacBook from Find My Mac

Removing a MacBook from Find My iPhone (or Find My Mac, as it's understandably called in this context) is a bit different. To turn off Find My iPhone on your Mac, open System Preferences (from the Dock, or by selecting the Apple menu in the top bar and selecting System Preferences), then click iCloud (far left on the third row, although this menu may look slightly different on different builds of macOS/Mac OS X).

Scroll to the bottom of the list and you'll find Find My Mac, most likely with a blue tick next to it. Click this if necessary to make sure there is no tick next to this entry.

How to turn off Find My Mac

I haven't got the right Apple ID or password. How do I turn off Find My iPhone?

We're sorry to report that there really is no way around the requirement for the Apple ID and Password to turn off Find My iPhone - at least not one that we know of. If there was a workaround then it wouldn't be an effective security measure.

If you don't have the original Apple ID and password then you need to request it from the previous owner. Fortunately, the Apple ID is almost always an email address. So if you don't know the original owner, you can check the Apple ID and then email them and request the password (or help with resetting the iPhone or iPad).

Without the Apple ID and Password there is no way to turn off Find My iPhone or reset an iOS device to its factory settings.