How to track an iPhone using Find My iPhone

Devan Joseph/Business InsiderRetrieve your lost iPhone from the wild with Find My iPhone.
  • Find My iPhone, as the name suggests, lets you track the location of your iPhone. It can also record the last known location of the phone if the battery dies.
  • Use the Find My iPhone app and iCloud’s website to check on your iPhone‘s location at any time.
  • You can also track the location of up to five other iOS devices from your Find My iPhone app or website using Apple’s Family Sharing feature, but it requires their permission to enable it.

Thanks to the Find My iPhone feature, it’s possible to know exactly where your iPhone is at any time – which is great for those occasions when you misplace your phone, but even more critical if it’s ever stolen.

And phone tracking isn’t limited to your own iPhone; using Family Sharing, you can check on the location of up to five important people in your life as well. If that prospect sounds a bit creepy, don’t worry; everyone has to opt into this feature, so you can’t track a spouse or kid without their permission.

Here’s how to set up and use Find My iPhone and Family Sharing.

Turn on Find My iPhone

1. Tap the Settings app.

2. Tap your name at the top of the screen.

Iphone 1Dave Johnson/Business InsiderFind My iPhone is just a few taps away – in the iCloud section under your Apple ID in Settings.

3. Tap “iCloud” and then tap “Find My iPhone.”

4. Tap “Find My iPhone” to turn the feature on.

5. Make sure that “Send Last Location” is also turned on.

Tracking 2Dave Johnson/Business InsiderBe sure to enable ‘Send Last Location’ so that you can find your phone even if the battery dies.

Now that Find My iPhone is turned on, you can see the location of your phone in the Find My iPhone app on another one of your iOS devices, or in any web browser. By turning on Send Last Location, you’ll be able to see the phone’s last known location even if it was turned off or the battery died.

Track your iPhone using Find My iPhone

1. In any web browser, navigate to https://www.icloud.com/#find. You may need to log in with your Apple ID and password, but you won’t need to enter a two-factor authentication code, because the intent here is that you don’t have the phone and therefore can’t retrieve the code.

2. Click “All Devices” to see a list of all of your iOS devices.

3. Click your lost device to see where it’s located.

Tracking 3Dave Johnson/Business InsiderYou can track the location of your phone from any device, as long as you can get to a web browser.

At this point, you can zoom in or out on the map to get a better look at the location, or you can use the controls on-screen to play a sound (if the phone is powered on, it will play a siren-like sound), enter lost mode (which can display a message on the screen for anyone who finds it) or erase the phone’s contents (which you’ll only want to do if it’s stolen or presumed lost forever).

Track someone else’s iPhone

With their permission, you can track the phones of up to five other people using Family Sharing. This is handy to keep tabs on kids or for partners to quickly see where the other person is. Setting it up is easy, but whoever you track will need to perform some steps and enter their password.

Start tracking a phone with Find My iPhone and Family Sharing

1. On your iPhone, tap the Settings app.

2. Tap your name at the top of the screen.

3. Tap “Family Sharing.”

Iphone 3Dave Johnson/Business InsiderAfter you turn on Family Sharing, you can track the phones of any anyone you add to your family group.

4. Tap “Add Family Member…” and then choose how you want to invite them to be tracked. “Invite via iMessage” is easy and takes place over text messages. If you choose “Invite in Person,” your family member will be invited to enter their Apple ID and password directly into your iPhone.

After accepting the invitation, your family member will also need to turn on Location Sharing (they will be prompted to do this).

Now, everyone whom you have added to your Family Sharing list will appear when you use the Find My iPhone app or website.

Tracking 5Dave Johnson/Business InsiderYou can track everyone in your Family Group from the same map.

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