Apple iPad iPhone Mac

How to ensure Find My iPhone is activated

I recently read a couple of horror stories of break-ins and robberies from houses around South Africa. One of the articles I read had a guy chasing after the fleeing robbers, barefoot in a cop van, in Alexandra township with his neighbours iPhone in hand, tracking his iPhone and iPad which had been stolen in the robbery using the Find My iPhone application on the phone.

Loads of people have asked about Find My iPhone and how it works, and how it is activated. So I thought I would put a quick blog post together with some info.

  • Check the Find My iPhone service activated. To do this on your iPhone or iPad go to Settings -> iCloud
  • Make sure you are signed into iCloud using your iTunes username and password. If you share multiple devices, you can sign into 1 account multiple times
  • Make sure the Find My iPhone switch is set to ON. This will ensure you are able to locate your device using the Find My iPhone app or iCloud when it is switched on
  • This will only work if it has internet connectivity, so if you have a 3G iPad, ensure it is always on

There are a number of ways to check and see where your device is:

  • Download the Find My iPhone iOS app which can be installed on any iOS device. Using this device, you sign in using you iCloud username & password set above. This will display all the devices associated with this username & password
  • You can track your device online by going to the website. Again, sign in with your username & password and click on the Find My iPhone Icon. All your devices that are online will be viewable on the map

Once you can see your devices on the map or in the app, there are a number of different options to alert the person with the device

  • Play sound – This will play a pinging sound for 2 minutes on the device at full volume, even if it is on mute. I have used this plenty times to find the iPhone when it’s slid down the back of the couch
  • Lost Mode – This mode allows you to put in a number where you can be contacted when someone finds the phone. It is important to put the phone number in International format (ie +27xxx) as this will allow the finder of the phone to call the number without having to unlock the phone. You can also set a message here to alert the finder of the phone that it is lost and has been locked. The phone will be locked using your existing lock code if you have one, otherwise you can set one from the App/Site
  • Erase Mode – This mode will erase all the content on the phone and set it back to factory reset. The biggest issue here is that the phone can no longer be tracked when it is set to Erase Mode. I suggest only doing this in extreme cases.

Another cool tip is that Mac OS also offers Find My Mac functionality for your Macbook or iMac. The biggest downfall through is that the computer has to be connected to the internet to send the signal. You can set this up by going to System Preferences -> iCloud -> Activate Find My Mac

Have you used Find My iPhone or Find My Mac before ? I think it’s an awesome little add-on which not many people use.