How to track an iPhone using a Find My app or iCloud's website, and locate it even when its battery is dead

Business Insider Lifestyle 1 month ago
  • You can track an iPhone using any iteration of the Find My app, which gives you the last known location of your iPhone.
  • The Find My or Find My iPhone app is installed on every iPhone and iPad by default, and you can also access the feature through the iCloud website.
  • Using a Find My app, you can track up to five Apple devices, including your iPhone, iPad, and even Apple Watch.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Thanks to the Find My feature (an iOS 13 combination of the apps Find My iPhone and Find My Friends), 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 is 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 and Family Sharing to track your iPhone, no matter which iOS version you have.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

iPhone 11 (From $699.99 at Best Buy)

iPad (From $329.99 at Best Buy)

How to track your iPhone using the Find My app iterations 

In iOS 13 or later

1. Open the Settings app.

2. Tap your name at the top of the page to open your Apple ID page.

3. Tap the tab that reads "Find My."

4. On the next page, tap the switch next to "Share My Location" so it turns green.

5. Tap the the "Find My iPhone" tab at the top of the screen.

6. On the next page, tap the switch next to "Find My iPhone" to activate it and reveal two more options.

7. Tap the switches next to "Enable Offline Finding" and "Send Last Location."

You'll now be able to track your iPhone using the Find My app on another Apple device, or iCloud's website (as depicted below). 

In iOS 12 and earlier

1. Open the Settings app.

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

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.

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.

How to find your iPhone using iCloud's website

1. In any web browser, navigate to 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 devices.

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

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).

How to track someone else's iPhone with Family Sharing

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.

1. On your iPhone, tap the Settings app.

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

3. Tap "Family Sharing."

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'll be prompted to do this).  

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

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