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Can You Use Find My iPhone If The Phone Is Powered Off?

Find My iPhone is a brilliant feature that allows you to track your missing device.

As you probably know, you can track the device if it is switched on, and has a cellular or WiFi connection.

But what if your device runs out of battery, or is turned off? Or if your iPhone has the SIM card removed, or is in a location with no cellular signal?

Will you still be able to track your phone’s location?

Read on to find out if Find My:

  • Works when the battery is depleted.
  • Sends location data in airplane mode.
  • Operated properly with no SIM card.
  • Works when your iPhone is out of cellular range or has no credit.

We also describe how to use Find My iPhone so you can find your missing device – even after it is turned off.

Can You Use Find My iPhone If The Phone Is Off

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Does Find My iPhone work when the phone is off?

On iPhone 11 or newer

If you own an iPhone 11, 12, or 13 and have iOS 15 or newer installed, you will be able to track it using Find My after it runs out of battery or has been switched off.

This facility works as long as you have turned on the Find My network feature on your iPhone before it was lost. This means your iPhone’s location will remain visible in Find My even if it is powered off.

The Find My network feature also works on devices that don’t connect to the internet, such as Bluetooth headphones. The new technology uses Bluetooth wireless technology to report the location of the missing item to the owner. Apple claims this process is anonymous and secure.

On an iPhone XS or older

On an iPhone XS, or older you won’t get up-to-date location information after the device is off. It also won’t work if you have iOS 14 or older installed on your phone. However, Apple does provide some help so you can track the device.

On legacy iPhones, the last known location is sent to Find My just before the phone is turned off or runs out of battery. If your device remains in the same place you should be able to find it. But if the device is moved then the tracking information on Find My will be out-of-date and your phone will be lost.

To help in this situation Apple has created a Notify When Found feature that sends you an email if the phone is ever turned on again.

To enable Notify When Found do the following:

  1. On another Apple device start the Find My app.
  2. Click Me.
  3. Click Help a friend.
  4. Sign in to iCloud with your Apple ID.
  5. Find your missing iPhone on the map, and click the device.
  6. Scroll up the tab to see more options.
  7. Toggle Notify When Found on.

Does Find My iPhone work when the device is in airplane mode?

On iPhone 11 or newer

The Find My network allows the tracking of newer iPhone models when they are in airplane mode. This will work if:

  • Your lost device is an iPhone 11, 12, or 13 series model.
  • You have iOS 15, which was released in 2022, installed.
  • You have turned on Find My on your device before it was lost.

Steps to turn on Find My Network on an iPhone 11 or newer:

  1. On your iPhone, tap Settings.
    tap settings
  2. At the top, tap [your name] Find My iPhone settings
  3. Next, tap Find My.
    Find My iPhone options
  4. Then, tap Find My iPhone.
    Find My iPhone enabled
  5. Toggle on Find My iPhone and Find My Network.
    Find My network

On an iPhone XS or older

On an iPhoneXS or older, or a phone with iOS 14 or older installed the Find My Network will not work. But you can still track your iPhone when airplane mode is enabled using iCloud.

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To track an iPhone in airplane mode do the following:

  1. On a web browser go to iCloud.com/find.
  2. Sign in with your Apple ID and password.
    iCloud signin
  3. On the top menu, click All Devices.
    Select device
  4. In the drop-down menu, select the missing iPhone.
  5. Your device will be tracked and the location will be shown on the map. You will be able to see the last location even if your iPhone is on Airplane mode.

Does Find My iPhone work when the phone has no SIM card installed?

If your iPhone has the SIM card removed it can still be tracked via WiFi.

If you have an iPhone 11 or newer it can also be tracked via the Find My network – even without a SIM card -making it easy to see exactly where it is.

An unauthorized person does not have the ability to turn off Find My. If they try, the device will connect to the internet and ask them to sign in with your Apple ID and password. When performing this process, the device will report its location allowing you to track it regardless of whether it has a SIM card installed or not.

If the unauthorized user then resets the device and wipes the data then Find My will enable the iPhone Activation Lock preventing them from using the device.

Even after a factory reset the iPhone can still be tracked using Find My from your iCloud account.

Does Find My iPhone work when the phone has no cellular signal?

Yes, you can still track your iPhone using Find My when it has no cellular signal. The phone simply needs to be connected to the internet via WiFi.

When the phone is connected via WiFi it will send its location to Find My allowing you to track it again.

How to use Find My iPhone to track a lost or stolen device

Set up Find My iPhone last location

  1. On your iPhone, tap Settings.
    tap settings
  2. Tap [your name].
    Apple ID settings screen
  3. Next, tap Find My.
    Find My
  4. Then, tap Find My iPhone.
    Find My iPhone
  5. Toggle on Send Last Location, which will automatically send the location of your device when the battery is low.
    Find My iPhone send last location

It is also important to know how to turn off Find My.

Use Find My iPhone from a friend’s device

If you lose your device you can use a friend, or family member’s Apple device to track it down using the following steps:

  1. On your friend’s Apple device open Find My.
  2. At the bottom, tap Me.
  3. Scroll down at tap the Help a friend link.
  4. When prompted, sign into your iCloud with your Apple credentials.
  5.  On the map, locate your missing iPhone.
  6. Tap Directions for directions to your missing iPhone.
    Find My iPhone directions
  7. When you are nearby, click Play Sound to get an audible alert to direct you to your device.

Use Find My iPhone via the iCloud website

You can use a Mac or Windows computer to track your missing iPhone via the iCloud website.

If you don’t have your own computer use a friends, or go into an Apple Store and ask them for help.

Once on a computer use the following process to track your iPhone:

  1. Open a web browser and go to iCloud.com/find.
  2. Sign in with your Apple ID and password when prompted.
  3. Click All Devices.
  4. From the list select your missing iPhone.
  5. Your device will be located and shown on the map.

Use Lost Mode via the iPhone Find My app

Find My iPhone has a feature called Lost Mode.

The Lost Mode system is used to protect your iPhone from unauthorized access by locking it with your passcode. This prevents people from seeing your personal data and accessing Apple Pay and other sensitive information.

To enable Lost mode using the Find My app, do the following:

  1. Open the Find My app
  2. Tap on your missing iPhone.
    tap missing iPhone
  3. Scroll up from the bottom of the screen to open more settings.
    Find My swipe up
  4. Under Mark as Lost, tap Activate.
    activate lost mode
  5. You have the option of supplying a contact number, then click Next.
    enter phone number
  6. You can then add an optional message that appears on the screen of your lost device, then click Next.
    enter message
  7. To get email notifications about your missing device, turn on Receive Email Updates. To mark the device as lost, tap Activate.
    lost mode on

Use Lost Mode via iCloud.com

If you can’t rung the Find My app, then you can enable Lost Mode using the iCloud website by doing the following:

  1. Go to iCloud.com/find.
  2. When prompted, sign in with your Apple ID.
  3. On the top menu, click All Devices.
  4. From the list, select your iPhone. The location will be shown on the map.
  5. In the window at the top left, click Lost Mode.
  6. You have the option of supplying a contact number, then click Next.
  7. You can then add an optional message that appears on the screen of your lost device, then click Next.
  8. To get email notifications about your missing device, turn on Receive Email Updates”.
  9. To mark the device as lost, tap Done.

How to Recover a Lost phone without Find My iPhone

If you didn’t enable Find My before you lost your iPhone you won’t be able to track it on a map. Your only option is to retrace your movements to see if you can locate your device.

One tool you may be able to use to help you retrace your steps is Google Maps. If you have your location history enabled you can use your Google Maps timeline to remind you where you have been.

If you have this feature enabled do the following to retrace your steps:

  1. On a web browser go to www.google.com/maps/timeline.
  2. Sign in with your Google account.
  3. Pick the date your device disappeared.
  4. Have a look at the locations you visited.
  5. Go to each of the locations and see if you can find your phone.

Use a passcode

If you lose your iPhone one of your main concerns should be keeping your data secure and private. When you consider all the information you keep on your devices such as Apple pay, credit cards, pictures, text messages, your home address, and more it is obvious that security is vital.

Would you want a stranger to have access to all this information?

This makes using Face ID, Touch ID, and setting a passcode vital in keeping your data private. Of course, you also need to know how to reset a forgotten iPhone passcode so you don’t lock yourself out of your own device.

 

 

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