Find my iPhone is a service, and corresponding app that enables you to locate and, hopefully, recover lost iPhones. It’s also known as Find my iPad and it works on all iOS devices and Mac OS X computers.
Setting up Find My iPhone is easy, and it soon proves itself to be invaluable. If you are unlucky enough to lose your iPhone, or even worse are the victim of a theft, then Find My iPhone can help you recover your lost property.
It’s also a really useful feature to have if you’re the sort that is always leaving the iPhone or iPad around the house and can’t find it. With Find My iPhone or find My iPad set up you can use your iOS devices and Mac computer to locate wayward Apple kit around the house.
Here’s how to set up and use Find my iPhone:
Turn on Find My iPhone in Settings
The first thing you need to do is to turn on the Find My iPhone service. it’s part of iCloud so should have been done automatically when you first set up the iPhone, but just in case go to Settings > iCloud > Find My iPhone and check that the switch is turned on (set to green). If not switch it on and tap OK
If you haven’t already signed up for iCloud you’ll need to sign up for an account to use Find My iPhone. Note that all devices need to be using the same Apple ID. You can only use Find My iPhone to locate other iOS devices using the same Apple ID, you can’t look for other people’s phones.
Download the find My iPhone app
The Find My iPhone in Settings enables other devices to locate the iPhone (or iOS device that you're using). But to do the actual locating you need to get the corresponding Find My iPhone app (also known as Find my iPad, both are the same app). This can be found and installed in the usual way: from the App Store.
Tap App Store > Search > “Find My iPhone” and Search. Tap Free and Install to download the app to your iPhone.
Using find my iPhone to locate devices on a map
Open Find My iPhone and enter your Apple ID and Password. Be sure to use the same Apple ID as you are using on all devices you want to locate. You will see a list of all the devices that are signed up to Find My iPhone using that Apple ID. Next to them will be a Green or Red light. If the light is green this indicates that it is turned on, and can be located. Tap one of the items to view its location on a map (or tap All Devices to view a map with all of your devices on it).
Drive to your lost iPhone with Apple Maps
One neat trick is if you tap the Green car icon next to the device the location is passed on to the Maps app and you can drive or walk to where the iPhone is. Just tap Start to begin the directions.
Control iOS devices remotely
Another neat trick in Find My iPhone is that you can control devices remotely. There are three options Tap the Blue more arrow next to a device on the map to view them:
Play sound. Tap this and the device will start making a pinging noise. This is the most useful feature if you lose your iPhone or iPad around the house.
Lost Mode. Tap this and enter a passcode to lock the device. The device can then only be unlocked by entering that passcode. You also get an option to enter a phone number which will be displayed on the screen of the device. This is the best option if you think your iPad is missing, and somebody may have picked it up. They cannot access your iPad but can contact you using the phone number.
Erase Device. This is the final resort option if you are sure you aren’t going to get the missing iPhone or iPad back, but want to be extra sure that the information on it isn’t access by the person who has your iPhone or iPad. Some companies or government organisations are very particular about data falling into the wrong hands. Tap Erase and confirm to remotely wipe the device. Note that once you’ve erased the iPhone or iPad you won't be able to use Find My iPhone any more.
Access Find My iPhone from iCloud web app
One final trick is that you can access Find My iPhone from the web browser. This is handy if you lose the iPhone or iPad when out and about, or on holiday, and want to be able to view it. Go to www.icloud.com and enter your Apple ID and Password. Click on the Find My iPhone icon and use the program as normal. The web-based app works just like the desktop app.