How to Add a Device to Find My iPhone (Step-by-Step)

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Find My iPhone is a free tool from Apple that lets you remotely locate your lost, stolen Apple device. The app can also help you erase all your data if it falls into the wrong hands.

This service helps find your iPhone and your iPad, iPod touch, Mac, Apple Watch, or AirPods. In this article, you’ll learn how to add a device to Find My iPhone and how to use it to locate your lost iPhone.

How to Add a Device to Find My iPhone

It’s important to activate this feature on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. Otherwise, you won’t be able to use it when the unfortunate happens. The steps below will show you how:

Add an iPhone to Find My iPhone

  1. Open the Settings app on your iOS device.
  2. Tap on your profile icon.
  3. Select Find My and switch the toggle on to activate it. It will turn green when it’s activated.
  4. Turn on the Send Last Location switch, as this will send the location of your device when the battery is low.

Add a Mac to Find My iPhone

Activating Find My Mac
  1. Click the Apple logo at the top left corner of the screen.
  2. Select System Preferences from the dropdown list.
  3. Depending on your macOS version, select iCloud or Apple ID.
  4. Scroll down to find the Find My Mac option and click the checkbox next to it. (You may be asked to enter your admin password.)

How to remove a device from Find My iPhone

Erase this Mac prompt
  1. Go to your favorite browser and enter iCloud.com, then sign in with your Apple ID.
  2. Select Find iPhone among the options.
  3. Click All Devices at the top and choose the device you want to remove.
  4. Click Remove from Account to remove a device from Find My iPhone.
  5. A prompt will ask you to confirm this removal and to authenticate yourself by entering your iCloud password.

Now that you know how to add a device to Find My iPhone, here’s how to use it to track the location of your iPhone if you lose it.

How to use Find My iPhone on the web

iCloud interface

If you have a computer, you can use the web-based tool, which works similarly.

  1. Go to iCloud.com
  2. Log into your iCloud account
  3. Click on Find My iPhone
  4. If you have multiple Apple devices, click on All Devices at the top of the window and choose the lost or stolen device you’re looking for.
All Devices option in iCloud
Screenshot: Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

Once Find My iPhone locates your iPhone, it will appear as a green dot on the map. You’ll see a small window with your iPhone image, battery percentage, and a few other options in the upper-right corner.

Here there are and what they each do:

  • Play Sound: This option is for those who’ve misplaced their iPhone somewhere nearby. It allows you to play an audible sound even if your phone is on “Silence Mode.”
  • Lost Mode: It allows you to lock your iPhone and enter an alternative number. That way, a good samaritan can reach out to you.
  • Erase iPhone: This will let you wipe out everything on the device preventing anybody from obtaining your personal data. If you think you’ll never get your iPhone back, this is the best thing to do.

How to use Find My iPhone on iPhone

Grab your iPhone and swipe down from the middle of the Home screen to bring up the search field. Type Find My, and it will appear in the Applications section. Sometimes you’ll find it in the Extras folder.

Locating iPhone using the Find My app

Open the app and log in with your iCloud credentials. Once logged in, you should see all your Apple devices under the Devices tab. Select the stolen/lost device from the list to view its location.

The UI is slightly different but works the same as if you were using the web-based tool. Swipe up to see all the options, then select the option that makes more sense. For example, if you misplaced your iPhone at home, you may press Play Sound to help you find your iPhone.

Find iPhone That Is Offline or Dead

There’ll be cases when your iPhone will not appear on the map. It will say offline. This is because your iPhone is out of battery/turned off, without an internet connection, or has its location turned off.

Either way, you’ll still have the three options mentioned above to take action from. The next time your iPhone is back online, the action you’ve taken will happen.

As mentioned above, it’s important to turn on Send Last Location in the Find My iPhone settings. That way, you can see the last known location of your phone in case it’s dead or turned off.

If Find My iPhone wasn’t enabled before you lost your iPhone, you wouldn’t be able to locate it. In this case, you must immediately change your Apple ID password, preventing anyone from accessing your iCloud data.

If you were using Apple Pay, you should also remotely delete all your credit/debit card information via iCloud on the web. Don’t forget to report your missing iPhone to local law enforcement and your wireless carrier to protect your personal information.

Photo of author
Herby has a healthy obsession with all things technology, especially smartphones. He loves to rip things apart to see how they work. He is responsible for the editorial direction, strategy, and growth of Gotechtor.

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