Find My

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Find My
Find My iPhone icon.png
Find My iPhone (as then called) being used to locate a lost iPhone 4S on iOS 9
Find My iPhone (as then called) being used to locate a lost iPhone 4S on iOS 9
Developer(s)Apple Inc.
Initial releaseJune 15, 2010 (2010-06-15)
Operating systemiOS 5 and later
Size5.9 MB
TypeAsset tracking

Find My (before iOS 13, iPadOS, watchOS 6 and macOS Catalina called Find My iPad, Find My iPod touch, Find my Apple Watch, Find My iPhone (or Find iPhone on SpringBoard) or Find My Mac) is an app and service provided by Apple Inc. that allows remote location tracking of iOS devices, Mac computers, Apple Watch, and AirPods. Since March 2013, the service has been available for iOS 5 or later and OS X 10.7.5 "Lion" or later through iCloud.

The service itself is integrated into iOS and macOS, while enabled devices can be tracked using either an iOS app or the iCloud website. On iOS 8 and older, the app can be downloaded from the App Store free of charge. Starting with iOS 9, the app has been bundled with the operating system.[1]

For the app to work, both the tracker device and the device being located must be supported devices with the Find My iPhone app installed and Location Services turned on, and both must be connected to the same iCloud account.[2] The tracked device can also be located through iCloud on Windows, but cannot be used the other way around to locate the PC and on MacBook.


Find My iPhone allows users to locate their iOS devices using either the iOS app or iCloud on a computer (such as a desktop). In addition to locating a device, the service provides three additional options:

  • Play sound – makes the device play a sound at maximum volume, makes flashing on screen even if it is muted. This feature is useful if the device has been mislaid,[2] and is equivalent to finding a mislaid phone by calling it using another phone.
  • Lost mode (iOS 6 or later) – flags the device as lost or stolen, allowing the user to lock it with a passcode. If the device is an iPhone and someone finds the device, they can call the user directly on the device.[3][4][5]
  • Erase iPhone – completely erases all content and settings, which is useful if the device contains sensitive information, but the device cannot be located after this action is performed. Starting with iOS 7 or later, after the erase is complete, the message can still be displayed and the device will be activation locked. This makes it hard for someone to use or sell the device. An Apple ID password will be required to turn off Find My iPhone, sign out of iCloud, erase the device, or reactivate a device after a remote wipe.

The update with iOS 6 added the ability to check the device's battery level.[1]

Since the release of iOS 7 users have complained about the link between GPS, WiFi, and the app itself. Some handset owners have noted the app enables and disables itself when passing between cellular protocol bandwidths.[citation needed]


For the Find My iPhone app to work, the user must have set up an iCloud account to create the user’s Apple ID. Each device to be tracked must be linked to the same Apple ID, and the Location Services feature must also be turned on on each device to be tracked. Location is determined using GPS in the iOS device when Location Services are turned on, but the location of the iOS device is only approximate. To turn Location Services on, go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services, then selecting the Find My iPhone app in the list and selecting the “While Using the App“ option. To deactivate the app, select the “Never” option instead. The user can also track the device by signing in to

As of January 2013, Find My iPhone is supported on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Mac computers running OS X 10.7.5 "Lion" or later.[6] In addition to a compatible device, a free iCloud account is required to use Find My iPhone.[2] Users also can track their Find My iPhone enabled devices through iCloud on Windows, but cannot use it the other way around to track their PC.


Find My iPhone was released initially as an app in June 2010 for users of MobileMe. In November 2010 with iOS 4.2, Find My iPhone was available for free for such devices.[7][8] With the release of iCloud in October 2011, the service became free for all iCloud users. Also, the service was made available as "Find My Mac"[9] for Mac computers running OS X 10.7.2 "Lion" or later using iCloud. With the release of MacOS Catalina, the Find My Mac app was combined with the Find My Friends app to create the new Find My app.


1.0 June 15, 2010 Initial release
1.0.1 September 7, 2010 Support for iPod Touch 4th generation
1.1 November 22, 2010 Released for free for supported devices running iOS 4.2
1.2 June 6, 2011
  • If device was offline when the user attempt to locate it, an email will be sent when it comes online and is located.[10]
  • Ability to remove a device that is offline[10]
1.2.1 August 8, 2011 Stability improvements
1.3 October 12, 2011
  • iCloud support
  • Find My MacBook
  • Ability to request an email when a device is located that was previously offline
1.4 March 7, 2012 Support for iPad (3rd generation)
2.0 September 19, 2012
  • Lost Mode for iOS 6 or later[3][4][5]
  • Battery charge indicator[3]
  • Forever login for iOS 6 or later[3]
2.0.1 December 11, 2012
  • Driving directions to the device's location for iOS 6 or later[11]
  • Several buttons ("Play Sound", "Lost Mode", and "Erase Device") were moved to a separate screen from the map view
2.0.2 March 21, 2013 Bug fixes and stability improvements
2.0.3 August 22, 2013 Bug fixes and stability improvements
3.0 October 22, 2013 New design for iOS 7 devices
4.0 September 17, 2014 Support for iOS 8 and Family Sharing


  • In November 2011, police in Los Angeles, California were able to find an armed robbery suspect by using Find My iPhone on the victim's stolen iPhone.[12]
  • On September 14, 2012, two suspects were arrested in Atlanta, Georgia for robbing five women at gunpoint. Police were able to locate the suspects by using Find My iPhone to find one of the stolen iPhones.[13]
  • Since early 2011, some Sprint users who used the app to find their lost device were sent to a 59-year-old man's house in Las Vegas, Nevada. Multiple people insisted that he had their device and the police were called multiple times. The man eventually had to put up a sign by his door saying that he had "no lost cell phones".[14]
  • On January 16, 2015, a Langley, British Columbia woman had her iMac stolen during a break-in at her home. Nearly a month later, she received a notification on her phone then contacted police who found and arrested two men just as they were attempting to escape out a back door.[15]
  • In November 2016, the husband of Sherri Papini located her cell phone and ear buds on a street corner, where his wife was kidnapped.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Find My iPhone – iOS App Store". Apple Inc. Retrieved 2017-02 -12. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  2. ^ a b c Gilbert, Jason (October 13, 2011). "Find My iPhone – Huffington Post". Huffington Post. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d "iCloud – Find My iPhone". Apple Inc. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
  4. ^ a b "Mac World – Find My iPhone update". Retrieved November 8, 2012.
  5. ^ a b Benjamin, Jeff. "Find My iPhone Lost Mode". Retrieved November 8, 2012.
  6. ^ "iCloud: Find My iPhone". Apple Inc. January 17, 2013. Retrieved January 28, 2013.
  7. ^ "Find My iPhone is now free... – 9to5Mac". Retrieved November 8, 2012.
  8. ^ Aamoth, Doug (November 23, 2010). "Find My iPhone "App of the Week" – Techland – Time". Time. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
  9. ^ "Find My Mac Coming in OS X Lion – 9to5Mac". Retrieved November 8, 2012.
  10. ^ a b "Find My iPhone gets email notifications and offline device removal – 9to5Mac". Retrieved November 8, 2012.
  11. ^ Wong, Raymond (December 11, 2012). "Apple Updates 'Find My iPhone' App With Handy Driving Directions". BGR Media, LLC. Retrieved December 15, 2012.
  12. ^ Winton, Richard (November 22, 2011). "'Find My Phone' iPhone app leads police to armed robbery suspect". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 28, 2013.
  13. ^ Etherington, Darrell (September 14, 2012). "Find My iPhone Leads To Arrest Of Suspects In Atlanta Armed Robbery Case". TechCrunch. Retrieved January 28, 2013.
  14. ^ Bishop, Rollin (January 15, 2013). "Find My iPhone Keeps Sending Sprint Customers to 59-Year-Old Retiree's House". TechCrunch. Retrieved December 9, 2013.
  15. ^ "iGotcha: Police recover stolen computer thanks to 'Find My iPhone' app". February 11, 2015. Retrieved February 11, 2015.

External links[edit]