by Esther P., Pad & Quill Techster
I hate losing things. Especially something as important as my smartphone. But if you're like me, it happens sometimes. So all I can say is that if you're going to lose your iPhone, do it right. Be prepared before it actually happens.
Step 1: Enable "Find My iPhone"
Unfortunately, if you've already lost your iPhone without enabling this setting, you're out of luck. Back to the old-fashioned way of checking under the couch cushions, driving back to the restaurant where you ate dinner, and racking your brain to figure out when you last had your iPhone.
One of the first things you should do when you get a new iPhone is to enable the Find My iPhone setting.
Go to the Settings app and choose iCloud.
Scroll all the way down to the bottom until you see "Find My iPhone." Slide the tab to ON to enable the setting.
Click on "Allow" when your phone prompts you to enable Find My iPhone features, such as showing the location of your phone on a map.
Step 2: Locate Your iPhone
Okay, so you've lost your iPhone. Now what? With "Find My iPhone" enabled, you can use any other iOS device or the Internet to locate, lock, or wipe your phone if it's lost or stolen.
From the web, go to www.icloud.com.
Log in to your account and click on the Find My iPhone button.
Choose your iPhone from the list of devices.
Your iPhone's location will automatically pop up on the map. From there, you can choose to play a sound that helps you locate the device (for example, if it's underneath a pile of dirty clothes), change your phone to lost mode, or erase all data from the device.
Step 3: Lock Your iPhone
If your iPhone is in a location where it could get stolen or someone could access your personal information, your next move should be to lock your iPhone. This will keep anyone from accessing your personal data until you can get your phone back.
To lock your iPhone, just choose "Lost Mode," which will pop up a screen on your lost iPhone with a customized message so that if someone finds your iPhone, they can call you at a different number, bring it to the manager of the restaurant, or any other specific instructions you want to include in the message. "Lost Mode" will also lock your iPhone.
Step 4: Wipe Your iPhone
Finally, if you're in a situation where you know you won't be able to get your iPhone back (for example, it's stolen or lost for good), you can erase the iPhone's memory from iCloud.
Just choose "Erase iPhone" to wipe your phone's data.
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Image Credit for Screenshots: Find My iPhone App on itunes.apple.com