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Published on: 04.30.2023, Updated on: 09.12.2023

Find my iPhone: How Can I Track My Lost iPhone?

iPhones are a status symbol for some and a privacy firewall for others, but no matter how you deem them, losing an iPhone is a heartache and a headache all at once.

So what can be done in such an iPhone theft or loss event? Do you report lost iPhone and wait or take matters into your own hands? Simply Fixable provides you with all necessary information. Read on to know more and how to find iPhone lost.

Key Takeaways

In this guide, we talk about what happens when you lose your iPhone, how to find missing iPhone using different techniques, how to track stolen iPhone, and answer your commonly asked questions. Losing something as important as your phone can be stressful and upsetting. Knowing what to do in this situation will help you recover your lost phone so you can return to everyday life.

What Happens if an iPhone is Stolen?

The consequences of a stolen phone could be:

  1. The first thing burglars will attempt to do with a stolen iPhone is to wipe it clean. They'll try to erase all the data from stolen iPhones, including pictures, movies, documents, and audio files, and sell them again.
  2. The criminals might also try to break the iPhone's screen to attempt to get a replacement through AppleCare. The thieves are often capable of persuading AppleCare that they are the rightful owners of the stolen phone and get it replaced.
  3. Also, you have heard of the dubious shops that offer extremely low-cost iPhone repairs. The stolen iPhones end up there. Once they learn they can't use the stolen iPhone, thieves usually disassemble it and sell the individual components to sketchy repair facilities for cash.

How to Find My Lost iPhone?

What to do if I lost my iPhone? How to locate lost iPhone? If you're saying help, my iPhone is lost, follow the below guide to answer those questions and learn how to find stolen iphone.

How Do I Find My Lost iPhone? Use a Map

Hmm, lost iPhone how to find it? Apple can help. Apple gives you the option to find your iPhone in many ways. You can either log in to to locate your device or utilize another Apple device you own using the "Find My" app.

To use "Maps" for finding your iPhone, follow the following:

  • Start the "Find My" app
  • Select either the "Devices" or the Items tab
  • To view the item's position on a map, choose the gadget or object
  • You can also view your phone in any family member groups you are a member of
  • Open the location in "Maps" by selecting "Directions"

Even if your phone is not connected to Wi-Fi or a mobile network, you may view its whereabouts if you enable "Find My Network."

Label as lost

When finding lost iPhone, your information is kept secure when you remotely lock your lost device after marking it.

The missing device can show a customized message that includes your contact details.

Follow these to declare your device missing:

  • Select the "Devices" or Items" tab in the "Find My" app
  • Choose the item or gadget that is missing
  • Select "Activate" or "Enable" under "Mark As Lost" or "Lost Mode" by scrolling down

iPhone lost mode


Then follow the on-screen instructions to:

  1. If you want your contact information to appear on your lost gadget or item
  2. If you want to input a personalized message asking the finder of your lost item to get in touch with you

Inform Your Local Police of your Missing Device

Legally, your local police can request the serial number of your gadget, which you can use to retrieve your phone.

In addition, you can also track down the serial number by the following:

  • Open a web browser and navigate to
  • Use the Apple ID that is associated with your device to log in.
  • Select the "Devices'' category. Select the device to view the serial and IMEI/MEID numbers.

Next, if you still require assistance, try these things:

  • Have another iOS 10.3 or later-running device signed in to your Apple ID? Navigate Settings > [your name] on that smartphone.
  • See all of the devices that are using your Apple ID. Tap the device name to see the serial and IMEI/MEID numbers.
  • Do you still have the original packaging for your device? Locate the barcode's IMEI/MEID and serial number.

how to find a lost iPhone


Declare a Theft and Loss

Apple provides additional help to its customers by allowing them to submit a claim for a new iPhone.

Also, there are other carriers where you can file lost iPhone claim like:

  • AT&T Support
  • Lost iPhone Verizon Support
  • Sprint Support
  • T-Mobile Support

These carriers can file a lost iPhone claim and have the ability to put your account on hold, preventing a thief from using your service and accruing charges. Some carriers can also help with how to track a stolen iPhone.

Delete Your Gadget Remotely

This cannot be undone, so make sure to try the above methods before deciding to do this. To delete your gadget remotely:

  • Select the "Devices" tab in the "Find My" app after opening it
  • Select the device you want to wipe remotely
  • Select "Erase This Device" by scrolling down
  • Click "Erase This" [device]

Remember, you shouldn't wipe your device until your claim on "AppleCare+ with Theft and Loss" is active for the missing device.

Speak to Your Wireless Provider

If your iPhone is still connected to the data or Wi-Fi, you can report it to your wireless provider.

This will help you to stop calls, texts, and data use and disable your account.

Delete Your Accounts from Your Missing Device gives all the instructions you need to follow to remove a missing device from your list of trusted devices. But follow them only when your claim has already been approved.

What is iPhone Lost Mode?

iPhones are either lost or stolen every day, posing a potential threat to personal data security. However, iOS offers a range of features that can help keep your data safe and make your device unusable in such cases.

One such feature is "Lost Mode," which will lock your iPhone after configuring a password and show a custom message with your contact information and the "Call" option. Moreover, it will activate the location services on your device, allowing you to track lost iPhone in real-time.

Also, your lost iPhone will be automatically set to "Low Power Mode" to extend the battery life, allowing you more time to track  its location to find it.

Here's how you can activate the Lost Mode on your iPhone:

  • Go to the iCloud website.
  • Sign in to your Apple ID.
  • Click/tap "Find iPhone" and enter your passcode if prompted.
  • Next, select the device you want to enable the Lost Mode (For a specific device, click "All Devices" and choose your iPhone).
  • Click/tap the "i" icon next to your iPhone and select "Lost Mode."

Lost mode on iPhone


  • Enter your phone number and click "Next."
  • Now, enter a custom message and click "Done."

Note: You can only track your iPhone through the Lost Mode if you've enabled the Find My iPhone feature on your lost device. To do this, navigate to "Settings" > "Your Apple ID Name," choose "iCloud," and tap "Find My iPhone." Toggle on the button next to "Find My iPhone."

Lost Phone Icon on iPhone

When you enable the Lost Mode on your iPhone, anyone with your device will see the "Lost iPhone" icon on the lock screen, along with your custom message and contact information.
Below the custom message, a "Call" button will be available, which provides a quick and easy way for the person possessing your lost iPhone to contact you.

Lost phone icon on iPhone


What does mark as lost do on an iPhone?

Mark as Lost is a security feature on your iPhone that lets you remotely lock your device with a passcode through the Find My app, protecting your personal information from unauthorized access.

This will also disable certain features, such as Apple Pay, making it difficult for anyone who finds or steals your device to access your personal, work, or financial data. 

How to override Lost Mode on iPhone?

If you've found your lost iPhone and want to override the Lost Mode, simply enter your device passcode or the one you've set while enabling the feature. 

How to turn off Lost Mode on iPhone?

In case you are unable to override the Lost Mode on your iPhone through the passcode, you can turn it off using the Find My iPhone option in iCloud with the steps outlined below:

  • Go to iCloud using your preferred browser from another device.
  • Sign in to your Apple ID.
  • Tap/click "Find My iPhone."
  • Select "All Devices."
  • Select your lost iPhone on which you want to turn off the Lost Mode.
  • Choose "Lost Mode."
  • Then, select "Stop Lost Mode."
  • Click/tap "Stop Lost Mode" again to confirm and turn off the feature.

Can someone unlock my iPhone in Lost Mode?

Since Lost Mode is a security feature, it prevents others from using your iPhone or unlocking it without the passcode that you've set.

However, if they enter incorrect passwords repeatedly, it will disable lost iPhone, and the "iPhone Unavailable" message will appear on the screen.

Find My iPhone Via IMEI

Each mobile phone has a unique identification number, including feature phones and smartphones. This is commonly called an IMEI number and is used by network providers to identify the phone on the network. While your iPhone’s IMEI number cannot be used to directly trace the phone it can be used in other ways.

Follow these steps to do this:

Step 1: Contact your phone’s service provider, who can give you a duplicate sim. They will give you the information on blocking the missing phone’s IMEI number and OTP on the number. You can use this to make the phone useless to whoever has it.

Step 2: The OTP data on the phone number must match the phone number before it was lost/stolen. 

Step 3: You will get an ID request which can be used for notification if someone tries to activate that IMEI number.

When you list the phone as lost or stolen, your phone’s network operator will share your IMEI number with the central database and have it blacklisted, This will stop anyone from connecting the device to any other mobile network.

How to Find Your IMEI Number?

Your IMEI number can be found on your iPhone.

Navigate to settings - General- About

The number can be found in this section by scrolling down the screen. It's good to pop this number in the warranty and Apple registration forms.

How to Find Your IMEI Number

Lost iPhone Tracker/Lost iPhone Locator 

If you have misplaced your iPhone somewhere in the shopping center when doing your weekly errands, you can use a third pary app installed on your phone. This will show you a map of exactly where your iPhone is sitting so you can retrieve it.

How to Set Up the Lost iPhone Tracker?

Setting up the lost iPhone locator is easy and requires only a few steps.

Step 1: Go to your Settings.

Step 2: Click on your name and navigate to Find My.

Step 3: You can toggle on Share My Location. This will allow family and friends to know your location.

Step 4: Once you locate Find My, toggle it on.

Step 5: You want to turn on find my network so your iPhone can be found when it's offline.

Step 6. Ensure that your Send Last Location is switched on, which will allow your location data to go to Apple when the device is running low on battery.

Step 7. Ensure your location settings are on, which can be found in Settings- Security, and then tap on location settings and turn it on.

How to Track a Lost iPhone Using Find My?

The Find My service has a huge network of encrypted devices that can search and recover your device. To do this, follow the steps:

Step 1: Go in and open the Find My app.

Step 2: Choose which device you are wanting to find.

Step 3: Choose directions that will bring up your maps and show you the location of your iPhone.

If your device isn't showing up, you might not have the service switched on or set up properly, or it's been more than a week since your phone's location data was sent to Apple.

Find Lost iPhone By Number

How to find a phone without find my iPhone service is easy and can be done using your phone number. Many companies, such as Celltrack and Locate a Phone service, can find lost iphone. Some require a subscription, while others don’t. All you need to do is enter your phone number, and the website can give you your phone's location on a map.

Frequently asked questions

Can an iPhone be tracked without iCloud?

How to find a lost iPhone without iCloud is a great question, and it’s possible. Using the Apple Watch, your iPhone can be traced even if you don't have iCloud. One condition is to ensure your Apple Watch is connected to Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

How to find a lost iPhone that is turned off?

Can you track iPhone when off? When your iPhone is turned off but still has some charge, you can track it through the Find My app using the last known location this way:

  • Launch the "Find My" app on another device.
  • Go to the "Devices" or "Items" tab.
  • Choose the lost iPhone that you want to track on the map (If you are a member of a Family Sharing group, you can track the device in the groups.
  • Tap "Directions" to open the location of your device in Maps.

Can you find a stolen iPhone with an IMEI number?

My iPhone was stolen and was told to give my IMEI number to a network operator and request them to find the iPhone if you want to trace it using the IMEI number. The IMEI database can also receive reports of IMEI codes.

In all honesty, tracing your iPhone via its IMEI number is less successful than utilizing the "Find My iPhone" feature, but it gives you more options if your iPhone is lost or stolen and "Find My iPhone" isn't activated.

how to find a stolen iPhone


How to find lost iPhone without "find my iPhone"?

To find your lost iPhone without the "Find My" app, you can use the "Ping iPhone" feature on your Apple Watch if paired with your device.

To do this, connect your Apple Watch to the same network as your iPhone and swipe up on the screen to launch the Control Panel. Afterward, tap the "Ping" option, and your device will start a brief pinging sound. For those asking can you track an iPhone without find my iPhone yes you can. Read on for other alternatives.

How to find a lost iPhone without iCloud?

If you cannot find your iPhone using iCloud's Lost Mode, you can use Google Timeline as an alternative option, which is accessible on Android and iOS devices.

Google TimelineSource

Here's how to use Google Timeline to locate lost iPhone: 

  • Open "Google Timeline."
  • Login to your Google account that is linked to your lost iPhone.
  • Choose the date.
  • Find your iPhone's last location on the timeline and map. 

You can find when your device was last connected to Google by checking the time stamps. This can help you determine whether your iPhone is misplaced or stolen.

Note: If you've availed of the AppleCare lost iPhone coverage plan, you can initiate a claim to replace your lost device.

Can Apple block a stolen iPhone?

When you confirm your identity, your network operator can add your IMEI to a blocklist, preventing your iPhone from connecting to the carrier network. In keeping with this, you can use your IMEI number to disable the stolen iPhone.

How to unlock lost iPhone?

You can unlock your lost iPhone by disabling the Lost Mode in iCloud. Alternatively, you can turn off the iPhone "Marked as Lost" option in the "Find My" app by following the steps given below:

  • Launch the "Find My" app on another iOS device.
  • Tap "Devices."
  • Select your lost device.
  • Choose the "Activated" or "Pending" option below Marked as Lost iPhone.
  • Tap "Turn Off Marked As Lost."
  • Tap "Turn Off."

Note:  If you cannot unlock your iPhone, contact Apple Support for assistance.

How to find owner of lost iPhone?

What to do if you find a lost iPhone? More important question: How to return a lost iPhone? Below are some tips that you can follow.

Check If iPhone is Unlocked

How to find owner of iPhone is best started by checking if the iPhone is unlocked, you can look for contact information in the contacts app or call a recent number to inquire about the owner.

Ask Siri

How to find owner of lost iPhone can be done using Siri. If the iPhone is locked, try asking Siri, "Hey Siri, whose phone is this?" or "What is my contact information?"

Siri might display the contact details you can use to contact the owner.

Check Emergency Contacts

On the iPhone's lock screen, swipe right to access the emergency contacts or tap "Medical ID." If the owner has listed any contact information, call them to ask about the owner.

Check for a Lost Mode Message

If the owner has enabled the Lost Mode on their iPhone, tap the Call option to reach out to them or use the details to hand over the phone in person.

Turn in the iPhone to the Local Authorities

The last method is to hand over the iPhone to the local authorities. They might locate the owner or hold the phone until the owner claims it.

I found my lost iPhone how do I unlock it?

Here are some of the solutions that you can follow to unlock your lost iPhone after finding it:

  • Use your device's passcode or the one you've set while enabling the Lost Mode.
  • Disable Lost Mode on your iPhone using iCloud.
  • Use iTunes to restore your lost iPhone to its default settings.
  • Contact Apple Support to discuss the issue and get a definitive solution.

Does Applecare cover lost iPhone?

Submitting a lost iPhone claim is only possible if "AppleCare+ with Theft and Loss" covers your missing device. Does Applecare cover lost iphone? It depends if you have the right cover. A call to Apple customer service can give you the answer.


If you find yourself in the how to find my lost iPhone situation, don't worry, there are ways to track my lost iPhone or it has been stolen. Have preventative measures in place, such as never leaving your phone unattended to avoid theft.  But in addition to the above, remove all your debit and credit cards from your device and inform your relatives about your situation as soon as possible.

Even if your iPhone is not in a compromising situation, this will act as a preventive measure.



Author: Hollie Spooner

Professional Content Creator

Hollie is a technical writer with over 15 years of experience specializing in creating content to help keep the rest of the world informed and updated on all tech-related subjects. Hollie has created content for many writing platforms in the tech and IT industry, and her passion for turning words into helpful articles is still growing. Hollie holds several certifications, like "Professional Article and Blog Writing", "Writing Editing and Publishing", "Creative Writing" and "Technology Digital Solutions" by Open Education and Thompsons Education Direct. When she isn’t creating content for the web, she is enjoying a crazy life with her family and friends.


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