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How to Use Find My iPhone to Locate Lost iPhone

As you know, along with the release of iOS 4.2, Apple made the “Find My iPhone” service free for all iPhone 4, iPad and iPod touch (4G) users. Originally bundled in the paid MobileMe service, which costs $99 per year, the “Find My iPhone” service lets you locate your iPhone on a map when you’ve lost it.

Through the service you can also send a message (say, “Hey, this iPhone is lost. Please call me at xxx-xxx if found.) to your lost iPhone. You can also play a sound on the lost iPhone (even it’s set to silent mode). So, when you find your iPhone is nearby but you just can’t locate it, this feature will help. To prevent your iPhone from unauthorized access, you can remotely set a passcode on the device.

After all, your iPhone is an awesome device. The one who picks up your phone may not want to return it to the owner. Even you have no chance to get back your iPhone, you don’t want your personal data (like contacts, note, email) being accessed by a stranger. To protect your privacy, the “Find My iPhone” service also allows you to remotely wipe the device and erase all personal data permanently.

The “Find My iPhone” is a cool service that you’ll definitely find it useful. If you love to try it on your iPhone or other iOS devices (running iOS 4.2), here is a simple guide to walk you through the setup process and show you how to use the feature.

How to Setup Find My iPhone

To use the service, first you’ll need to install the “Find My iPhone” app on your iPhone. The app is now available in App Store at no charge and you can download it via this direct iTunes link.

Before you can use the app, you need to first register MobileMe account on iPhone. The registration process is very straightforward. Go to “Settings” -> “Mail, Contacts, Calendars” and tap “Add Account…”. Select “MobileMe” and key in your Apple ID/Password. Usually the Apple ID is the account you used to login the App Store. If you do not have one, simply create a new one by tapping the “Create Free Apple ID” button.

Setting Up MobileMeMobileMe - Allow to Enable Location

Once you register the MobileMe account and confirm the Term of Service, you can enable the “Find My iPhone” service on iPhone.

As long as you keep the “Location Service” enabled, the “Find My iPhone” service will keep running in background.

How to Use Find My iPhone

In case you lose your iPhone and need to locate it, simply point your browser on your desktop/laptop to me.com/find. Log into the website with your registered Apple ID and password. The MobileMe will then locate your lost iPhone on a map.

Through the web interface, you can also display a message on your iPhone.

Find My iPhone - MobileMe Display MessageFind My iPhone - Display Message via MobileMe

If you’d like to set a passcode to prevent unauthorized access, simply hit the “Lock…” button and key in the passcode. MobileMe will remotely lock the device with your passcode.

As the last resort, you may want to erase all personal data on your iPhone. You can then use the “Wipe” feature to remotely remove all data.

The MobileMe web interface is just one of the channels you can use the “Find My iPhone” feature. If you have an iPad, iPod touch or another iPhone, you can also use the Find My iPhone app to locate your phone on a map.

That’s what you need to know about Find My iPhone. Now you should know how to setup and locate your iPhone. Personally, I love the Find My iPhone feature. Best of all, it’s now available at no charge. So why not give it a shot?

About Simon Ng

Founder, developer and chief blogger of simonblog.com

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  • Joikaduy

    What if a person that found the iPhone and turn the iPhone off can the ownner still track it?

  • Jasper

    I want to know the answer too

  • Keith Lim

    Basically the answer is no.

  • http://itsmyi.com Bibson

    The answer is No. it will return a ‘No location available’ if the lost/stolen device is switched off.

  • Micahel

    Find my I phone is offered to all I phones in addition to I phone 4 with ios 4.2 , such as 3Gand 3GS .
    lock your I phone with password so no body could switch off locate my I phone

  • http://www.intel.com/en_uk/Consumer/Products/Processors/corei5.htm Janey

    Either way, this is pretty cool, as i have a nasty habit of leaving mine in txis when i’m drunk :)

  • ramel

    what if you already turned it off then you lost it? do you have any luck at all?

  • rajan

    when your ipod is turned off and you try to send a message to it would it still go?