Losing your phone is really stressful. It is even worse when you lose an iPhone that you’ve paid more than a grand for. Fortunately, most of the time, we’ve just misplaced our phone or we’ve just lost it in the couch cushions, so after a minute or two of hyperventilating, we get our device back.
However, what do you do when you actually lose your iPhone? Most of us will just grab hold of our nearest friend and have them call us, hoping somebody would answer the phone and tell us to come and get it. As you can probably assume, that rarely happens because people don’t really miss an opportunity to get a free iPhone.
Fortunately, every iPhone out there is equipped with this neat little thing called a GPS tracker. Well, not a tracker, per se, but a GPS chip. This chip allows your phone to precisely track your location, providing you with useful data on weather, help you get around when you open up Maps, etc. However, this chip can also come in handy if you lose your iPhone.
On that note, here’s how you can track your lost iPhone and hopefully retrieve it.
1. Using The “Find My” App
You’ll be lucky to know that all Apple devices come with a built-in tracking and locating app called “Find My”. This is a similar app to Google’s Find My Phone, and just like FMP – you will have to have this thing set up before you lose it.
What’s great about this app is that it is remarkably easy to enable. If you know how to unlock your phone, you’ll be able to set this thing up, so don’t worry about it. Here is how you can do it.
First up, unlock your phone and go to the Settings. From there, you can either type in “Find My” in the search bar (which is probably what most of you will do), or if you prefer exploring the Settings, you’ll do it step by step by opening the Apple ID tab and then clicking on Find My. It should be right under iCloud and iTunes tabs. You’ll easily spot it as it’s the only green icon in between three blue ones.
Once you’ve entered Find My, you’ll simply tap on the Find My iPhone tab, enable the green tick, and that’s it – you’re all set. From there, all you’ll have to do is use one of the other Apple devices that are connected to your Apple ID and simply look for it.
2. Using The “Offline Finding” Feature
A neat feature that you’ll find under the Find My iPhone tab is the Offline Finding. Offline finding enables you to track and locate the device even when it is not connected to the network. As you know, many will turn off the internet in order to prevent you from finding your phone, but with this – that shouldn’t be an issue.
This is a really neat feature that Apple recently implemented, and even we don’t know any of the technical details of how it works – the gist of it is pretty simple. For this to work, you’ll need two Apple devices with the same Apple ID. Here’s why.
Offline Finding is essentially an encryption system that allows you and only you to track your device. To put it simply, your device will emit a constantly changing public key that a nearby Apple device will pick up, encrypt and upload to a secure server. From there, the encrypted key with your geolocation data will only be accessible by you, and you’ll be able to easily track your phone.
3. Using Third-Party Monitoring Apps
If you don’t want to use the Find My iPhone feature, or you simply can’t because you don’t own multiple Apple devices or remember your Apple ID, you can use third-party tracking apps to easily trace your phone in case you lose it.
A third-party phone monitoring app can be installed on any phone, including an iPhone, without having to jailbreak or root your device. The advantage of these apps is that they can be used across various platforms and are easily set to access your device’s location even if the “Location” is turned off.
All you’ll need to do is download an app from the AppStore, install it on your device, enter your mobile phone number into the browser or an app, and that’s it. You’ll have the ability to trace your iPhone in real-time without any issues.
However, unlike Find My iPhone, these apps won’t be free. You’ll either make a one-time purchase or subscribe to a monthly fee, but you won’t ever have to spend more than $50 on it. That might sound expensive, but once you read more on everything that these apps can do, and when you compare it to the price of an actual iPhone – you’ll realize that it is not that expensive at all.
4. Using Reverse Lookup Apps
If you just want to locate your device without real-time tracing and other stuff, you can use reverse lookup software and find the approximate location of your device simply with a phone number.
As you might imagine, this is not something that would be considered legal if you were to trace somebody else, but since you’re doing this to find a phone that’s your property – you don’t have to worry about anything, as that is perfectly within your rights.
What’s great about these reverse lookup apps is that they don’t require any previous setup or preparation. All you need for this to work is for your phone to be on. You don’t have to be connected to the internet or have geolocating turned on.
If that’s the case, all you have to do is enter the phone number of an iPhone you wish to locate and let the app do its magic. Within moments, you’ll have an approximate and pretty accurate location of where your phone is.
There you have it. As you can see, there are several methods that you can rely on to help you trace your iPhone in case you lose it. All of these will get the job done, and it’s up to you to decide which one you’re going to choose.