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What To Do If Your iPhone Is Lost Or Stolen?

If your iPhone is lost or stolen, there are several steps you can take to protect your data and potentially recover your device. Here’s what to do if you misplace your iPhone.

Losing a phone happens to the best of us — perhaps you walked away from it by accident, or it slipped out of your pocket while jogging. Whatever the reason, being unable to locate something as important as your iPhone can be stressful.

If your iPhone goes missing, you have plenty of options thanks to Apple’s privacy and security features.

Attempt to locate your iPhone using Find My iPhone

As soon as you realize your iPhone is missing, use Find My iPhone to try to find it. If at all possible, do it before you start canvassing a huge area.

This not only reduces unnecessary searching but can also help you find your phone before someone else does. You’ll also be able to see where your iPhone is going if someone else already has it.

You can use Find My by signing into iCloud on the web here, or by using the Find My app on another Apple device you own, such as an iPad or MacBook.

Mark your iPhone as stolen

If Find My is the best tool you have, mark your iPhone as lost its best feature. Marking your iPhone as lost accomplishes several tasks.

First, it secures your iPhone with your passcode, preventing unauthorized access.

It also disables Apple Pay, preventing would-be thieves from purchasing anything, even if they were able to guess your passcode.

It lets you display a personalized message with a phone number on the Lock screen. This makes it much easier for any would-be good samaritans to return your phone to you, rather than leaving it at a random lost and found.

How to activate Mark As Lost on iPhone

  1. Open the Find My app on your Apple devices or the iCloud browser version.
  2. Tap Devices
  3. Tap your lost iPhone
  4. Scroll to the bottom and select Mark As Lost.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to enter a personalized message with contact information.
  6. Select Activate.

File a police report

After your device has gone missing, you should file a police report. This enables officers to keep an eye out for any lost phones turned in to the department. Furthermore, your carrier may require it for replacement claims, and Apple may require it for AppleCare+ claims.

To do so, you must contact the police department in charge of the area where you lost your iPhone. In our experience and based on reader feedback, what the police department does next when presented with “Find my” information varies depending on training and tech familiarity.

Submit a Theft and Loss claim

If you have an AppleCare+ plan that includes Theft and Loss, you can file a claim to have Apple replace your iPhone.

To do so, navigate to Apple’s iPhone Theft and Loss Claims page. Before filing the claim, make sure you’ve marked the device as lost, and it’s a good idea to file a police report just in case.

Remotely erase your iPhone

If you don’t find your iPhone in a reasonable amount of time or can’t find or track it using Find My iPhone, you’ll need to erase it remotely.

When you erase your iPhone, all of your data is erased from the device. This includes any media that has not been backed up to iCloud. However, it is the best way to ensure that no one can access your personal information on your iPhone.

The good news is that Find My will work even after you erase your iPhone in iOS 15 and later.

If your iPhone is running iOS 14 or earlier, you won’t be able to find it using Find My after you erase it.

If you have an active loss claim with your carrier or AppleCare+, you should wait until your claim is fully approved before erasing your iPhone.

How to Erase Your iPhone Remotely:

  1. Open the Find My app on one of your Apple devices or by visiting the iCloud Tap Devices browser version.
  2. Tap your lost iPhone
  3. Select Erase This iPhone.

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The above article was written by the BestTopReviewsOnline team, which consists of some of the most knowledgeable technical experts in the United States. Our team consists of highly regarded writers with vast experience in smartphones, computer components, technology apps, security, and photography, among other fields.

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