In today’s world where smartphones rule, losing or having your iPhone stolen can be a real pain. The iPhone isn’t just costly, but it’s also packed with important data that could end up in the wrong hands or be lost for good. So, it’s smart to keep some handy apps ready that can assist you if your iPhone ever goes missing.
For this article, we’ll cover 5 top apps that can help track and retrieve your lost or stolen iPhone. We’ll kick things off with apps that come pre-loaded on your iPhone (native iOS apps) and then dive into some of the best third-party apps from other developers. Let’s jump right in.
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1. Find My
Apple’s Find My is a built-in app that helps you locate your lost or stolen iPhones and iPads. It uses the most recent location of your device to show where it is on a map. One cool feature I like is “Mark As Lost,” which secures your device and shows a message you’ve created.
Much like Google’s counterpart for Android, Find My gives you a bunch of options beyond just locating your device. You can make your device play a sound, lock it, show a personal message, look at where it’s been recently, get directions to its location, and even erase all its data remotely if need be.
Turn on the ‘Find My’ feature by following these simple steps:
- Start by opening “Settings” on your iPhone.
- Tap on your name or Apple ID, which you”ll find at the top of the screen.
- Look for “Find My” and tap on it. Then, tap on “Find My iPhone“. Inside, ensure “Find My iPhone” is switched on.
And that”s it! Your iPhone can now be tracked using the “Find My” feature.
Find My Friends is another app from Apple that lets you find your friends and family members. It allows you to locate your lost or stolen device as well – using a simple trick. The trick is to ask one of your friends or family members to track your iPhone to find its location using their device.
Its features include sharing your location, following your friend’s location and hiding your location with just a single switch. You can also set up location-based alerts to notify you about your contacts’ locations and vice versa.
You need to do the following to set up Find My Friends on a device:
- Open the app on your iOS device and click “Add Friends”.
- Select one or more contact(s) from the list and tap Send.
- In the time option, select “Share Indefinitely” to never stop sharing.
- Ask your contacts to accept your location sharing request.
- Toggle on “Share My Location” to activate sharing your location.
When you need to find your device, you can follow the below steps:
- Open “Find My Friends” in one of your contacts’ iPhone or iPad.
- You can check your device’s location on the given map.
Prey Anti-Theft is a third-party app built to assist you in finding your lost or stolen device. It makes it extremely easy to find a missing device whether it is your iPhone, iPad, or MacBook. You can connect and see all your devices in its single interface for a comfortable experience.
Prey Anti-Theft includes superior features than both Apple’s Find My iPhone and Google’s Find Device for Android.
For example, it can take a picture of the person holding your device, alert when the device enters or leaves an area, disguise itself to encourage the thief to interact and get caught, and do a lot more.
Please follow the below steps to secure your device using Prey Anti-Theft:
- Install the app on your device and open it.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to set it up on your device.
To find your device using Prey Anti-Theft, follow the given steps:
- Open Preyproject in a browser and log in to your account using your account credentials.
- Among the list of devices, click the device that you want to locate.
- Toggle on the option named Missing for receiving reports in your inbox.
- You will also see other options to gather information or perform actions on your device. For example, you can enable them to collect geo and network info, trigger an alarm or alert, lock your device, or secure-erase it entirely.
FoneHome is another third-party app that makes it very easy to retrieve a stolen iPhone or iPad using its many features. Also, you can track unlimited devices using its one account.
Where I found it better than Find My iPhone is in the feature of storing 100 last locations, which means you get a comprehensive location history of your device.
I am a fan of its “lost mode”, which provides high-accuracy location updates of your device once every minute. Also, it can snap a photo of the thief and play a loud siren as well.
To set up FoneHome on your iPhone or iPad, follow these steps:
- Set up an account on the device you want to secure first.
- Allow FoneHome to access your front-facing camera on your phone, use your location in the background and send you notifications.
In case your device is misplaced, you can follow the below-mentioned steps:
- Go to My Fone Home and log in to your account.
- Select the device you want to track, and you will see its location on the map.
- Along with the map, you will see various options near the right-top corner, which you can use to perform additional actions like activating the lost mode, sending a push message, sound the siren, view the device’s location history, etc.
Device Locator helps to know your family or friends’ location and find your lost device as well. Also, like FoneHome, it allows tracking an unlimited number of devices from a single account.
It can make your device to sound an alarm, send a message to your device, show its location on a map, request a location update, and collect location information on every switch of network towers. Though its feature set is enough yet I found it misses few excellent features offered by FoneHome and Prey Anti-Theft.
To setup and use Device Locator, you must do the following steps:
- Install this app on your phone and all the phones you want to track.
- Sign in with your account (create if you do not have one) on those devices.
- Add locations in the Places tab that you or your family members visit such as home, work, school etc. so that the app can quickly mark that they are there.
Whenever you need to find a lost or stolen iPhone or iPad, you can do the following steps:
- Using a different iOS device, open the app and log in to your account.
- You can find your device’s location by checking it out in the Devices tab or view its complete history under the tab named “location History” in the app.