How to Find a Lost iPhone – When our iPhone is lost the first step we have to do is try to track its location using iCloud.
If the iPhone is still online then we will immediately see its location in real-time.
But what if the iPhone is offline or even dead? Can we still trace it?
The answer is that we can, but we can’t do real-time tracking.
We can use the history of its location or recent location as a clue where to look for it.
Why can’t an offline iPhone be tracked in real-time?
When it’s off, any brand of cellphone including iPhone can’t transmit the signal. Its status is the same as other inanimate objects such as stone or wood.
So tracking a lost cell phone in a dead state definitely can’t be done in real-time.
It’s a different story if the iPhone has been planted with a GPS tracker that has an independent power source, so that even if the iPhone is off, the GPS tracker still transmits signals so that its location can be tracked in real-time.
Likewise, when the iPhone is disconnected from the internet (offline), then all tracking features using either iCloud or Google will not be possible because such GPS tracking systems require an internet connection.
So is a lost iPhone that is off or offline can’t be traced at all?
We can still track the location history and its last location before it died or was disconnected from the internet.
How to? Check out the explanation below.
How to track an offline or dead iPhone
There are at least two ways to track an iPhone that is off or offline that I know of, the first using iCloud and the second using Google Maps.
1. Using iCloud
The first way is to use Find My iPhone which is one of the features of iCloud. This feature allows us to track a lost iPhone whether it’s on (realtime) or off or offline.
To make sure the iPhone can be tracked even though it is offline or dead, we need to turn on this feature along with the Send last location feature.
When Send last location is activated, the iPhone will send its last location when the battery starts to run low, so we can know the location where the iPhone is dead.
- How to activate it:
- Open Settings
- Tap the name
- Choose iCloud
- Select Find My iPhone
- Tick Find My iPhone
- Check Send Last Location
After the Find My iPhone and Send last location features are turned on, we can track their location when they are lost even when they are turned off or offline.
We can use other Apple devices such as iPhone or iPad and can also use a laptop (browser).
How to track iPhone offline with apple device:
- Open Find My iPhone
- Sign out of the account of the owner of the apple device that we borrowed
- Login with our apple ID account (which is linked to the lost iPhone)
- After logging in, you will see a list of the devices we have
- Select the lost iPhone
- iPhone location will be visible on maps
Using a laptop (browser)
- Open the browser, go to the page “Icloud“
- Login with apple ID account
- Select Find My iPhone
- Choose the name of the lost iPhone
- See location on maps
2. Using Google Maps
The second way to track a dead or offline iPhone is to use Google Maps.
We can use this method if we don’t activate the Find My iPhone and Send last location features on the lost iPhone.
But in order to use Google Maps, we must have turned on the Location history feature on the missing iPhone because this location history will be used.
How to turn on Location history on iPhone:
- Open the Google Maps app
- Select Menu
- Select Settings
- Select Location history
- Tap on Enable the device
Location history is one of the features of Google Maps that will record where your device has moved from time to time.
When the iPhone dies because the battery drops or is turned off by the person who found it, we can still see where it was last located.
This can be useful for tracking an iPhone that is dead or offline, so we can get a clue where it was last located before it died as well as see where it moved after it disappeared from our hands.
How to view iPhone Location history on Google Maps:
- Open the browser and go to the page: “Googlemaps“
- Login with Gmail account connected to lost iPhone
- Click Menu
- Select Your timeline
- iPhone location history will be visible in Maps
There will be seen wherever our iPhone moves, see the description of the time, the last time seen on the map is the last position before death.
From the history of this location maybe we can get a clue where to look for it.
Tips To Do When iPhone is Lost
There are several steps we can take to secure the lost data and information on the iPhone so that it is not misused by irresponsible people.
1. Enable Lost Mode
When activating Lost Mode, the iPhone will be automatically locked remotely with a password, on the screen a message will also appear on the owner’s phone number so that whoever finds it knows who to contact.
If your iPhone is connected to a debit, credit, or Apple Pay card, your account will be suspended and you won’t be able to make transactions.
2. Clear data in memory
We can also delete data in iPhone memory to prevent unauthorized people from accessing our data.
After deleting data, all information including debit card accounts, credit cards, and Apple Pay will also be deleted.
We can also no longer track it using Find My iPhone and the iPhone lock will be turned off.
Do this step in an emergency if the data on the lost iPhone is really important and needs to be secured.
3. Report to The Authorities
If you believe your iPhone has been stolen, don’t look for it alone. But better report it to the police.
Also report to the provider so that the number on the iPhone is blocked and not used for harmful things.
That’s how to track a lost iPhone that is offline or dead and some of the tips we can give you. I hope this helps!