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Lost iOS Device

What to do when you lose your iPhone (or iPad)

You've misplaced your device. You don't know if it's lost or stolen. You need to act quickly and locate it, lock it, ping it, report it missing. If you don't get it back, you might even need to wipe its contents.

Your first steps

Keep your SIM card activated. Don't call your carrier and cancel service yet. First, remote lock your device so that no one else can access its contents.

WIthout cellular service, you could lose access to Find my iPhone and the MDM tool. You could also lose the ability to message your own device. If an honest person finds it, you want to stay connected. If you know it's been stolen, you may want to track it.

Under some circumstances, you should also refrain from wiping your device immediately for the same reason.

Locate and manage your device with iCloud

Use Find my iPhone to locate it on a map, secure its contents, and make contact with it. You need to already have an account set up on iCloud with your Apple ID so you can log in and use this feature.

  1. Log into iCloud. (You need your Apple ID and password, which is often your iTunes ID and password.)
  2. Tap Find my iPhone.
  3. Select your missing device.
  4. Choose one or more actions, as described below.

Lock your device through iCloud

Even if you don't have a passcode on your iOS device, you can immediately lock it and create a passcode in the process.  Write it down because you'll need it if you recover your device.

  1. In iCloud, tap Find my iPhone.
  2. Tap Remote Lock.

If you have a passcode on your device already, it will lock, and you can unlock it with your normal passcode.

If you don't have a passcode on your device, iCloud prompts you to enter a four-digit passcode online. If you retrieve your device, you will need this passcode to unlock it.

This shows the interface when you log into Find my iPhone

Find my iPhone offers a number of options through iCloud, as shown here.

Get notified through iCloud when your device goes back online

If someone else has your device and turns it off (or if the battery runs down), it won't appear on the map and you can't perform other actions on it. However, you can check the box that says "Email me when this [device] is found."

When the device gets turned on or recharged, and it's within range of a cellular or Wi-Fi connection, you will receive an email notification that the device is online. Then you can return to Find my iPhone and locate your device on a map, lock it, or send a message to it.

MDM: Manage your lost iOS device

If you enrolled your iPhone or iPad in the Stanford MDM service, you benefit from some additional management tools. You can look up your device specs (see above), lock it, or wipe just the Stanford data from it without removing the rest of your data from your phone. This might be a good step to take if you work with Restricted Data and you want to ensure that this data doesn't get into the wrong hands.

However, take note: when you wipe the Stanford Data, you also unenroll your device from the MDM service and your device is no longer managed. You can still use Find my iPhone to locate your device on a map.

The MDM Manage Device page enables you to lock your device, remove just the Stanford data, or remove all data. The passcode feature at the bottom left should be used only when you have the device and you forgot the passcode – not when you lose your device.

Last modified Tue, 31 Jul, 2012 at 15:51