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The fastest way to find your lost or stolen iPhone



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Angela Lang / CNET

The moment you realize that your iPhone has been lost or even worse stolen is terrifying. You quickly realize how much information is stored on your phone, and the stress is only compounded by the fact that you are now cut off from the outside world. With services such as Apple's upcoming credit card, the Apple Card which lasts from signing up to paying your bill on your iPhone, the loss of your phone will not be less stressful. . Not to mention that the loss of your iPhone means a expensive replacement phone .

You can take action to reduce the risk of phone loss. The Find My iPhone service (soon to be called Find My (1

9459011)) is the key to backing up and restoring a lost phone phone.

But while I've got your attention, make sure you've set up a passcode and enabled Find My iPhone so you have the best chance of getting your phone back.

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You do not want your iPhone to fall into someone else's hands.


Sarah Tew / CNET

Be prepared

Setting a Passcode

Some users use the Face ID or the Touch ID as an unnecessary step when using an iPhone. These people are wrong. Setting a passcode and using your face or fingerprint to protect all information on your phone is an essential part of protecting your personal information. Just think about all the information on your phone: bank apps, private conversations, the location of your home and office, contacts, emails, photos … the list goes on.

Do you really want a random stranger to go through all? from that?

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Back up your device by opening Settings > Face ID (or Touch ID) and passcode and follow the instructions. Scanning your finger or allowing Face ID to unfold its magic is a minor inconvenience. And after a few days, the extra step becomes part of your routine and you will not even notice it.

Read: Stolen or lost Android phone? How to Get It Back

Make sure "Find my iPhone" is checked

After setting a passcode, check if "Find my iPhone" is checked. It should be enabled by default and you would need to make an effort to disable it, but it's always a good idea to check it again.

On your iPhone, open the app settings and touch Name at the top of the screen. Then select iCloud and scroll down to find Find My iPhone . Tip it on. If both switches are On, you are done. If not, enable both options and exit the Settings app.

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Find my iPhone in iOS 12.


Screenshots of Jason Cipriani / CNET

Using Family Sharing

Apple's family sharing service not only saves money, because the entire family can install a paid app on multiple devices, but it can also be integrated into Find My iPhone. Use Set Up Family Sharing to view the location of all devices associated with a family member's Apple ID. That is, you can ask a family member to search for your lost iPhone as soon as you discover it's missing.

Creating Good Habits

The best way to keep your phone safe, especially when traveling or in unknown areas, is to keep an eye on it and never relax. Be careful. Careless even. Do not store your phone outdoors where someone can grab it and run away. In case you lose your phone, do not panic! Take a deep breath and remember to use Find My iPhone.

Restore your phone.

Find My iPhone is the key.

Each individual iOS device has Find My iPhone system settings managed by your iCloud account. Once you find that you have lost your phone, you should first visit icloud.com/find on a computer.

If you are not near a computer, there are several ways to access Find My iPhone. Either borrow a friend's or family member's iOS device and sign in to the Find My iPhone app. Once you've set up family sharing, a family member can view your lost device in the Find My iPhone app on their own iOS device.

If you're browsing to "Find my iPhone" through your website or other device, you'll need to sign in to the same iCloud account associated with the lost iPhone. After logging in, select your phone from the list of devices to see the current location. If the device has been switched off, the last known location is displayed.

When viewing the location of the device, select Actions at the bottom of the screen, followed by Lost Mode . You will be asked to enter a phone number and message that will be displayed on the lock screen. You will be asked who should send your device back to you. If a password has not been set for a phone that has been put into Lost Mode, you will be prompted to create a password when you enter Lost Mode.

When this option is enabled, the device is locked in lost mode and no notifications and messages are displayed on the lock screen. In addition, the location of the phone continues to be tracked. The phone will continue to ring for incoming phone and FaceTime calls. This should help you locate the phone when it is nearby. Or maybe you are lucky and the person who has the phone will answer it to bring it back to you.

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Find My iPhone Actions screen on the iCloud website.


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

All credit and debit cards added to Apple Pay, as well as student cards and transit cards stored in the Wallet app, will be disabled until you return to the phone and sign in to your iCloud account. Once the Apple Card is available, it will also be disabled under these circumstances.

If the phone is turned off and lost mode is turned on, you will receive a warning when the phone is turned back on, including the current location – assuming a data connection exists.

If you restore your phone, you must enter the passcode you created when you activated Lost Mode. Then sign in to your iCloud account.

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What an iPhone looks like when lost mode is activated.


Jason Cipriani / CNET

Do not Confront a Thief

If you can track your phone to a house or home, do not confront the potential thief alone. Call the police and ask them for help. Sure, you want to get your phone back, but it's not ideal to get into a confrontation and possibly get hurt.

Contact your local police and let them handle it.

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Contact your wireless service provider

If you can not get your phone back, contact your wireless service provider to explain that your phone has been lost or stolen. The network operator identifies the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number of your device and, in most cases, prevents that number from functioning on the network, rendering the device useless to anyone.

Do not forget when you have your service suspended You decrease the likelihood of following the phone unless it is connected to a well-known Wi-Fi network. You should not disable the service until you are certain that you will not be able to recover the phone.

Claim Insurance

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Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

If you have AppleCare + with theft and loss or pay for the device insurance through your mobile service provider monthly, start the application process as soon as possible. You will need to complete some documentation and pay a deductible to get a replacement device.

To start the process for a phone with AppleCare + with theft and loss insurance, use this website. If you make a claim, your iPhone will be deleted and other users will not be able to use it. If you find your phone after submitting a claim, you can cancel it. However, you will need to re-set your iPhone.

Contact your wireless service provider directly to begin claiming.

Originally published on May 15th.

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