What to Do If Your iPhone is Lost or Stolen

Discussion in 'Guides, How Tos and Reviews' started by MacRumors, Apr 13, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    iPhones are lost and stolen every day, but luckily Apple has robust tools built into iOS that will keep your data safe and your device unusable if it's misplaced or snatched by a thief.

    With Find My iPhone, you can locate lost devices, disable them, and even fully erase them, but unless you've been in a situation where you've needed these services, you may not know exactly how they work, what they do, or what information someone can access when they have your device.


    This guide covers the ins and outs of losing your iPhone (or iPad), including settings that should be enabled beforehand for security purposes, how to use Apple's tools to look for your device, and what happens when it's in someone else's hands.

    Click here to

    Article Link: What to Do If Your iPhone is Lost or Stolen
  2. volcom883 macrumors regular


    Sep 29, 2008
    thanks for the guide! i lost my iphone twice and found it thanks to find my iphone app!
    but i still believe the iphone should ask a password for turning the phone off! this way we can track it!

    also i have heard that even when locked or wiped people can hack the phone and install an android os and use it this way...
  3. C DM macrumors Sandy Bridge

    Oct 17, 2011
    Android or anything like that can't be installed.
  4. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    A quick DuckDuckGo search shows these two results for installing Android on iOS:

    Each looks a bit dated (the first one mentions the iPhone 3G while the second mentions iOS 7) but I imagine that any device that can be jailbroken can have Android run on it.
  5. DominikHoffmann macrumors regular


    Jan 15, 2007
    Commonwealth of Virginia
    While Activation Lock prevents a stolen phone from being useful, it can still be sold for parts. It might well be worth more, if you can sell all of its parts individually, although, I haven’t priced that out.
  6. Felix01 macrumors regular

    Oct 22, 2008
  7. C DM macrumors Sandy Bridge

    Oct 17, 2011
    One is not really Android and it's really on old devices with a project that doesn't even seem to exist. The other one seems to mention that it was an April Fools prank.
  8. Felix01 macrumors regular

    Oct 22, 2008
    That was an April Fools joke. Sorry, can't be done.
  9. iThingsGurl macrumors 6502a


    Dec 3, 2014
    Quite a comprehensive walk-through. Thank you! Would surely help a lot of people.

    While Android may be installed on an iPhone, it is absolutely impossible to install it on a locked iPhone - especially one with lost mode turned on.
  10. Rafagon macrumors regular


    Jun 19, 2011
    Miami, FL
  11. Nunyabinez macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2010
    Provo, UT
    Nice summary of the features. I sent a link out to all my family members (who I am the tech support for). I did find it humorous that the author says that "Play Sound" and "Erase iPhone" are self-explanatory and then explains them :D.
  12. akadafni macrumors regular

    Nov 8, 2015
    Couple things to remember about Find My IPhone

    1. Apple cannot remotely activate the feature. If the feature is not turned on before its lost or stolen, you're out of luck.
    2. Apple cannot track your device, even if Find My IPhone is enabled.
    3. Know your APPLE ID AND PASSWORD
  13. jclo Editor


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2012
    Whoops! Tweaked that line a little so I'm not contradicting myself. :)
  14. sludgepickle macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2016
  15. \-V-/ Suspended


    May 3, 2012
    I use this quite a bit when I can't find my phone. I like that you can have it make sound even if it's on vibrate. Very helpful.
  16. sludgepickle macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2016
    A few months ago my iPhone fell out of my pocket after sitting in a chair at a gym, then it was stolen a few minutes later when I stepped away. I saw it's 'last gasp' ping going down the road (opposite way I drove) on iCloud about 15 minutes later. Security cameras were "just out of view" of the chair. Great. Pretty sure I saw it on Craigslist the next day, seller wouldn't respond, but his listing said he "had to sell it fast because he was going out of state" (so??!!). A few weeks later, I get a call from a lady who thinks she has my phone. Turns out she bought it off a table at a swap meet for $300 in AZ (I'm in CA). The guy had reset it so the screen showed "Welcome to iPhone." Lady didn't verify it was unlocked, which it wasn't, obviously. So her husband connected to their wifi at home during the setup screens and then saw my lost phone message with my wife's cell #. Happy to say it's back in my hands now!!! If we could only find the jerk with her $300 so both she and I can post his picture online and shame his pathetic arse.

    Morals of the story, turn ON find my iPhone, keep it locked, keep data backed up in real-time, and don't buy a phone without verifying it's not blacklisted!
  17. Textime macrumors member

    Jan 25, 2016
    Do you know what the most stupid part about this is?
    If you activate "Find my iPhone" and your phone turning it into the lost mode, the thief can just shut off your phone and you aren't anymore able to locate it. Congratulations Apple!
  18. C DM macrumors Sandy Bridge

    Oct 17, 2011
    Pretty much any electric device will basically have that.
  19. Textime macrumors member

    Jan 25, 2016
    Come on. You didn't get the point. If the lost mode is activated the sleep button should be deactivated/inactive. So the only way which would turn off the device would be due to running out of battery.
  20. shareef777 Suspended


    Jul 26, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Until there's a way to require a passcode/touchid when going to airplane mode or turning off the phone, this won't stop thieves. Additionally, we need digital SIM cards, as thieves can just pop out the SIM card to prevent the phone from sending its location.
  21. C DM macrumors Sandy Bridge

    Oct 17, 2011
    There's still going to be a hardware reset method as it's something basically fundamental to computing devices which could be used to turn the device off.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 13, 2016 ---
    I get the point, but with a computing device a hardware reset method is basically built in and disabling it isn't something that's done in the industry.
  22. macs4nw macrumors 601


    Terrific weight for her height tho.... :D ...Good things come in small packages.....
    No presumptions intended Juli... love your articles :)
  23. Nunyabinez macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2010
    Provo, UT
    Wasn't meant as a criticism :).
    And thanks for the article.
  24. Cwolk macrumors regular


    Jun 3, 2015
    NJ, USA
    Haha. "Before you lose your phone"
    --- Post Merged, Apr 13, 2016 ---
    Great article. I left my phone in my friend's car a couple weeks ago and thought I lost it. But the worst part was I had to go to...shh... Macworld (!) to get advice. Can you believe it?
  25. sudo1996, Apr 13, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2016

    sudo1996 Suspended


    Aug 21, 2015
    Berkeley, CA, USA
    Even better, my dad left his iPhone in a taxi with a tracking app running in the background that uploaded a series of locations tracking where the phone went. Looks like the taxi driver or another passenger took it to a used car lot, where it sat for a day before being shipped somewhere in China.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 13, 2016 ---
    They can't wipe it without your passcode and iCloud password to disable Find My iPhone. They can't get in with a passcode set on it. I think it also locks itself once it connects to the Internet and sees that you put it in "lost" mode. The phone is useless except for parts... In other words, it's useless unless you can scam someone into buying a locked device. So it's harder to make money by stealing it. That's what deters thieves.

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