How ‘Find my iPhone’ Really Works
Apple Inc. created an important asset; The Find My monitoring tool allows you to Locate any missing Apple devices and other kinds of third-party accessories connected to your iCloud account.
Use this guide whenever you’re wondering “where is my iPhone?”
What is ‘Find My’ App?
Checked the find my iPhone app out of curiosity and I sort of located my iPhone. Not even going to fight for it, they can have it 👍🏽 😂 pic.twitter.com/zyXqxkMsUN
— Kudzaishé Naomi (@Kudzaishenaomi) February 15, 2022
Find My app incorporates the Find My Friends app and the Find My iPhone app. It is a sleek upgrade that helps you find any Apple device you are looking for.
Since this app was developed, additional features have been added to include tracking when an iPhone or iPhone device is disconnected, shut down, or even wiped completely.
The Apple phone tracker is splinted into different sections, and you can gain access to any section by touching the tabs available.
My devices, Airtags, and Find My-enabled Bluetooth are just in the middle, a “Me” page with all your information and settings on your right and your left, Individuals.
You get to see all your Apple products listed just like the former Find My iPhone app. If you have devices signed into your iCloud account and have your Find My function turned on, Apple’s Find My would be able to locate your device on a map, and you could increase the map or reduce it to get the exact location of your lost iPhone, iPad, AirPods Max, or any other Apple gadget. To get direction to your devices is as easy as tapping just one gadget.
How does “Find My” work?
Find My app can be activated on your new iPhone but make sure it was switched off beforehand to avoid problems with activation.
It can be disabled from your iCloud if your iPhone is not responding or you cannot reach it.
Make sure your iPhone is connected to a portable Wi-Fi or stable internet source for you to disable the app.
The Apple’s Find My app is disabled on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, but that is not the same for Apple’s servers.
How to Enable Find My iPhone (Step by Step)
Note: The following instructions do not apply to the iPhone 4 or 4s.
- From the main menu of your home screen, tap the Settings app
- If your settings are not being displayed on your home screen, swipe to the left to open your app library
- At the top of the settings menu, tap on your name from your main settings panel.
- Select ‘Find My’
- Click on your versions like iOS 14.4 and other versions
- You can turn on or switch off ‘Find My’ by clicking on the Switch on or off the Toggle button.
- If instructed, input your Apple ID password, then switch off. You also choose either switching on or switching off the Send Last device’s Location.
How to Locate Apple Devices Using Apple Watch
You get to use your Apple Watch to find your missing iPhone or lost device. If you do not link your devices to your Apple ID, your devices will be difficult to find. So, you must locate nearby Apple devices only if they are linked.
Switch on your watch and open the App, ‘Find My’, tap on the lost device, and if the item is capable of being found, it appears on the map, and you get to see the last location data, last internet, or Wi-Fi connection time and even the charged device percentage.
If the device cannot be found, besides the gadget on your watch screen, you get to see a pop-up message—No location next to the device name.
Turn on the “Notify When Found” user notification on your watch, and once the device is detected, you get a notification.
Finding Your Apple Devices Using Sounds on Your Apple Watch
Open the ‘Find My’ app and play the sound on your watch. You’ll see a button with Play on it. Tap the button. If the device is connected to a good internet source, it begins to play for about two minutes with the sound increasing progressively, or the device vibrates, and on your screen, you get a ‘Find My’ notification. You also get a notification on the email that functions in your Apple ID.
If no sounds are forthcoming, it could be there are no connections to the internet, so you get to see Sound Pending. As soon as your missing device gets connected to a portable Wi-Fi or internet, the sound begins to play.
Locate Your Apple Device Without Turning On Connection
With the iOS 15 upgrade, you may be able to hunt down your device’s turned off using the ‘Find My’ App. The amazing thing is if the device is within close range of your second apple device, it can be found; switched off or very low in power.
This feature was introduced in iOS 15 as an upgrade to include Apple devices turned off. After iOS 13 was made to find your devices without connection by utilizing other iPhones, iPad, and MacBooks within proximity.
But this feature has not been explained by Apple to the general public. Still, it is probably because the U1 chip, Bluetooth, or NFC are functioning even if your device has a low battery or is switched off, and this tracking may last for about three hours at most in the former case.
Track iPhone with Apple ID
On iCloud.com, tap on the All Devices button under ‘Find My’. Choose the device you want to track down. The device’s name would then be displayed in the toolbar’s center.
If the device is traceable, it would be displayed on a map, so you get the estimated location of the device.
Note: Perchance, your air pods are separated. You get to see just one air pod location at a time on the map. Start by locating one pod at a time, place it in its case, and then search for the other one on the map.
If you cannot find the device you are looking for, the device’s name and an offline message will be displayed with the last location known.
Tap on “Notify me when found” to receive an email with information regarding the location. To search for another Apple device, go to your list of devices by tapping on the current device in the toolbar, then select a new device.
If you happen to stop using your iPhone, iPad, or Macbook, make sure to erase it from your ‘Find My’ app, so it does not appear again.
Find A Device That Belongs to A Family Member or A Friend
You can help a friend or family search for a missing phone by making good use of your ‘Find My’ iPhone on iCloud.com. in a Family Sharing group, you get to see their devices just beneath yours.
It is a good idea for every member of your family to configure their devices to share their locations with other family members. After setting it up, you can use the location sharing feature to find their lost iPhone.
However, you cannot use the same steps to help your friend find the last known location of their iOS device. If your friend happens to misplace their device, they can log in to their Apple ID at the icloud.com/find site.
You can’t use the ‘Find My’ iPhone to track a friend’s phone. Friends who misplace a device can log in with their Apple ID at icloud.com/find.
Make sure the map is an updated version, then try the process below:
- Select the device missing in the devices list. After that, tap on a green dot that would appear on the map.
- Tap on the Refresh button to update the location of the device.
- Move the map by dragging it.
- To open a Trackpad, you can tap the zoom-in button or open it by using your fingers to pinch it open and vice versa if you want to close a trackpad.
- At the top-right corner, tap the map button, and then choose the kind of view you want; Standard, Satellite, or Hybrid.
Tracking Disabled Apple Devices
If your iPhone or iOS device gets stolen and wiped, you can still find it because it will continue to appear on the ‘Find My’ app, and you can track your device with iOS 15.
This feature is of the connection to Activation Lock, which helps to prevent unlicensed permission to your iPhone using your Apple ID and password. In iOS 14 and previous upgrades, the Activation Lock gets on if a device gets taken. This prevents anyone from accessing your iPhone without your passcode. However, your ‘Find My’ app gets disabled in the process. The ‘Find My’ app is the most accurate and effective medium to search for a switched-off device.
On a new welcome screen, it is obvious that the device is locked, it is the property of another fellow, and can be tracked through the ‘Find My’ app. This creates awareness and prevents another person from buying a device attached to your Apple account.
In the early second quarter of 2021, Apple announced the release of Airtags. Airtags are very small and circular trackers that are Bluetooth and can connect to items like car keys, wallets, and any gadget you want trackable. They are traceable in your ‘Find My’ app alongside other Apple gadgets, and they can also be just like other products from Apple.
In iOS 14, Apple presented ‘Find My’ for third-party devices like Bluetooth gadgets connected to the ‘Find My’ app.
The first items added to the ‘Find My’ Accessory Program were Belkin SOUNDFORM Freedom True wireless earphones, Chipolo ONE Spot item tags, and VanMoof electric bikes in April 2021. These accessories can be through the ‘Find My’ map and Play Sounds and in the Lost mode.
Third-party accessories can be through the ‘Find My’ Network Accessory and through Airtags in similar ways. However, they are independent of each other.
Anti-Stalking and Tracking Safety Measures
You can avoid stalking and tracking your device. The ‘Find My’ app now has a feature that notifies you when a Bluetooth device is within proximity and other unfamiliar Bluetooth—’Find My’ compatible devices. This allows you to double-check and avoid another person following you.
Discover a Misplaced Item
Whenever you come across any item with AirTag, You can scan the AirTag with any device available to know the actual owner of the item by using the scanning option “Identify Lost Item” in the ‘Find My’ app. But there are chances the owner can see the actual location.
Apple Inc. has made it incredibly easy for you to know the current location of your lost devices, including your Apple iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and other devices with AirTag attached. Maintaining contact with friends and family, safeguarding your privacy every time, and finding devices wiped or not connected to the internet. The development is great and ideal, covering every loophole that might make you lose your device and never find them.
Disclaimer: This article is not the official guide to the Find My app process but is based on the author’s research or own personal experience.