Apple’s Find my iPhone feature is a great utility to find lost Apple Devices. Whether it is an iPhone, iPad, iPad touch, Mac or even an Apple watch, you can locate it using this feature.

What is Find my iPhone feature

Find my iPhone is a free service from Apple. The service is provided by iCloud, that means the service is provided by the cloud.

With the ever expensive iPhone and their new models, it is utmost necessary to be aware of features of iPhone that can aid us to the greatest extent of its technology.

But apart from just enabling the features of your device you should learn how to limit access to them. Otherwise, you will end up providing open access to your iphone, which is something we don’t want to do.

Ever since Apple’s Batterygate scandal, our trust in Apple has taken a hit. This is also another reason I implore you to learn more about your device.

This tutorial will help you learn to use the find my iphone feature, which is a stock feature of your Apple device and completely secure.

By our experience, the GPS of Apple is more accurate than other consumer-grade mobile devices.

This feature is a great feature for people who have lost their iPhone, or other Apple devices. Find my iPhone feature uses iPhone’s built-in GPS tracker to locate the iPhone.

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You can do following things with “Find my iPhone” feature

  • You can find / track your iPhone / Mac / iPad & various other Apple devices

  • Lock your device from your Mac or anyone else’s iPhone

  • Delete all data from iPhone remotely

How the  Find my iPhone feature works

The Find my iPhone feature is a service provided by Mac. Apple basically pairs your apple id with all of your Apple accounts.

By logging on to your Apple account you can track your device’s location, and control a lot of features. By exploiting this virtue of universal apple account the Find my iPhone service activates iPhone’s built-in GPS and tracks down your phone.

One wrong presumption I have seen in most iPhone users is that you have to install Find my iPhone app in order to avail this service. This is not true, the app and service are two different things.

You don’t have to actually install the Find my iPhone App on your phone to use this service. All you need is a browser, your apple id, and your password to use this facility.

The App and Service are two different things working in conjunction yet independently of each other.

So, you don’t need the app, but if you haven’t lost the phone yet it is better to install it right away so that you can track your other devices if you lost them sometime in future.

You can locate your phone whenever it is on a mobile network, nearby a previously used Wi-Fi or in your physical Proximity. 

How to use Find my iPhone

Using this feature is very easy. All you have to do is to follow these steps.

1. Set up “Find my iPhone” on your device

Go to and log in using the Apple ID you used to set up your iPhone. The Apple ID iCloud must be the one which is used on iPhone.

After logging in, click the Find My iPhone icon, the next thing you will see a console and all your devices on it.

So, you don’t need the app for using the Find my iPhone feature. However, You must realize that you must enable these services before you can use them.

Normally you enable these services as soon as you set up your device, but just to be on the safe side do it yourself.

iOS 9 onwards, Find My iPhone is automatically turned on during the iPhone set-up process if you enable iCloud.

So, if you have had iCloud running, it’s a pretty good bet that you’re running Find My iPhone, too. If not, you should make sure to enable Find My iPhone right away.


Setting up Find my iPhone on your iPhone

Go to Settings > iCloud > enable find my iPhone. And your iPhone will be now traceable from anywhere using iCloud.

enable Find my iPhone
Enable find my iPhone by accessing your iPhone’s setting

Setting up location service on Mac

Go to Applications > All Applications > Select iCloud > check find my mac option. Now your Mac is traceable from anywhere using iCloud.

find my iphone mac high sierra
Find my Mac feature



2. Locate Your Apple device using Find my iPhone Service

When you lose your device you can find it either by

  • Using another iPhone
  • By accessing iCloud

Once again, you don’t need the app to use “find my iPhone” service, but you do need to activate it. 


Using another iOS device 

  1. Go to Find my iPhone icon on the home screen (the icon resembles an old-school radar display).
  2. Enter your iCloud credentials click on the “GO” option in the pop-up window.
  3. You will see the list of devices, enlisted in your iCloud account. Click the device you want to locate. A green dot implies The device is online, while a grey one indicates an offline device. 
  4. Now you will see a map and your device on it. Now you can either trace the device and repossess it or take appropriate action.
find my iphone from other phone
Using find my iPhone on another iPhone device

By accessing iCloud 

You can manually access iCloud and locate the device.

  1. Open a Browser (preferably safari but you can also use chrome or firefox). or Start iCloud application find iPhone application on your mac
    find my iphone mac high sierra dashboard
    Find iPhone application on Mac


  2. Go to iCloud and Sign in with the Apple Id and password you used on the device you want to find.
  3. Click on “Find my iPhone”
  4. select the device that you want to find and it will show device’s location.
find my iphone mac high sierra dashboard
Devices location on Apple Map



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3. Wipe or Lock your Device as a Precaution

You can furthermore take action to secure your device by wiping the data or locking it, explained in next section.

As an extra measure of precaution, you can always erase your iOS device, Apple Watch or Mac. If you do not want to compromise your data, and there is the slightest chance that the thief can access your device, I suggest you do clean your device.

Remember, your device does not have your data anymore, but it still requires your Apple ID and Password to reactivate the device. So, no one can access it unless you want it to.

Follow these steps to erase your device

Erase your device

  1. Go to Find my iPhone App or iCloud

  2. Click “All Devices”, you will see all devices listed on your account, click the device you want to erase.

  3. In the device’s Info window, click Erase.

  4. To erase:

    • An iOS device (iPhone / iPad) or Apple Watch:

      • Enter your Apple ID & password.

      • If you’re not using a trusted browser, answer the security questions or you can enter the verification code that is sent to your other devices.

      • But, If you’re using a trustworthy computer and do not want to follow verification step in the future on this computer, click Trust.

    • A Mac:

      • Enter your Apple ID password.

      • If you’re not using a trusted browser, answer the security questions or you can enter the verification code that is sent to your other devices.

      • But, If you’re using a trustworthy computer and do not want to follow verification step in the future on this computer, click Trust, else click “Don’t Trust”.

      • Enter your passcode to lock the Mac, then enter a message. This passcode will be required to unlock the device. And the message will be shown to the person who is trying to get access to the device.

What Happens when you set your device to “erase”

  • As soon as your device gets online or is online you will get a confirmation message to erase the data. Once you confirm the erase procedure, the device will erase all data.

  • You can always get your data back on your new device, or on the old device. All you have to do is to log in to iCloud and hit restore.

  • In case of Mac you can back up data if you have created “Time Machine Backup”.

  • IMPORTANT: If there was an EFI firmware password on your Mac before it was lost, and you have erased it, then you have to take your Mac to an authorized repair center to unlock it before you can use it again.

  • All credit or debit cards set up for Apple Pay on your device are removed from your device, even if it’s offline.

  • Apple Pay is also disabled on your device.


See Also

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