This post is part of a series on how to locate devices on any of the four major smartphone operating systems. If this isn’t the right guide for your device, you can go back to the main article for links to the others.

Apple’s ‘Find my iPhone’ service has been available to iPhone users since 2010 and has recently become available on iPads and Mac computers as well. iPhones and iPads with active cellular connections will be able to locate themselves using the cellular networks, WiFi only iPads and Macs will need to connect to a WiFi network for their location to be mapped.

Features

  • Play Sound – Forces your device to play a ringing sound that steadily increases in volume regardless of whether the sound it is muted. It’s fantastic if you’ve misplaced your phone in your house.
  • Lost Mode – Allows you to lock your device with a passcode and a message that you can use to ask someone to contact you if they find the device. In the case of a lost an iPhone the person who finds the device can call you directly from the message (required iOS 6 or later).
  • Erase iPhone/iPad/Mac – Completely erases all content and settings on the device, but beware the device cannot still be located after this action is performed. If you have a device that has iOS 7 or later installed then your iDevice has a feature called Activation Lock which is designed to prevent anyone else using your phone once it has been wiped. This makes it hard for someone to use or sell the device by requiring your Apple ID username and password to turning off Find My iPhone, sign out of iCloud, erase the device or reactivate the device after it has been remote wiped.

How to set it up on an iOS device:

  • On your device’s Home screen, tap the Settings icon, then tap iCloud.
  • If you’re asked to sign into your iCloud account enter your Apple ID details if you don’t have one then tap ‘Get a Free Apple ID’ and follow the instructions.
  • If ‘Find My iPhone’ (or ‘Find My iPad’ or ‘Find My iPod’) is turned off, tap to turn it on.

How to set it up on a Mac:

  •  On your Mac, click the Apple menu in the top left corner, select System Preferences and then click iCloud.
  • If you’re asked to sign in, enter your Apple ID or, if you don’t have one, click Create new Apple ID, then follow the instructions.
  • If Find My Mac is turned off, select it to turn it on.