How to Track an iPhone: Best 5 Ways To Use

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Apple is known to provide really good integration between its devices, thus also making theirs one of the best ecosystems in the tech world. If you want to track your iPhone, whether that’s because you lost or simply forgot where you had put it, you have numerous ways to do that. You can take a look at the list of options below find and track an iPhone’s location.

Using Find My app

Earlier labeled as the Find My iPhone app, Apple’s Find My app combines the latter’s features with the Find My Friends app to not only help you track your phone but also remotely lock it, and erase all of the data on the lost device. One good thing about the Find My app is that it can be used from any of your other Apple devices or your friend’s devices. 

Prerequisites:

Before you wish to track your iPhone using the Find My app, you need to make sure that the Find My iPhone service is enabled on it. At the same time, it’s important to know that the Find My iPhone service and Find My app are two different things and you don’t need to install the Find My app on the phone you’re about to track to get started. 

You can enable the Find My iPhone option on your iPhone by opening the Settings app on your home screen and tap on your name at the top.

On the next screen, select ‘Find My’.

No, tap on the ‘Find My iPhone’ option.

On this screen, toggle on the ‘Find My iPhone’ option.

You will be prompted to enable Location Services in a dialog box that pops up on the screen. In this box, tap on ‘OK’ to enable location right away.

For better tracking, you can also enable the ‘Send Last Location’ option so that your iPhone sends its last location to Apple before the battery dies.

On another iPhone you own

If you have more than one iPhone and all your devices are linked to your Apple account, then you can use the Find my app on another iPhone you have to track the iPhone that you’re searching for. To do this, open the Find My app on your secondary iPhone and sign in with your Apple ID and password if you aren’t already signed in. 

After you’ve signed in to your Apple account, tap on the ‘Devices’ tab at the bottom of the app’s home screen.

You will be able to see all the devices that are linked to your account. Select the iPhone you want to track.

If the Find My iPhone service was enabled on the phone you’re tracking, its location should appear on the map.

If you’re in close proximity to the iPhone but you still can’t find it based on the location given on the map, you can play a sound on the lost device to locate it with better accuracy. To do this, swipe up from the bottom and select ‘Play Sound’ to make your iPhone hearable.

You will also have options to mark your device as lost and erase it in case you aren’t able to find your iPhone. 

On someone else’s iPhone

Apple lets you and your family members share access to Apple services like Apple Music, Apple TV+, and more using the Family Sharing feature. The feature also allows anyone in your family to locate someone else’s iPhone as long as they’re linked to the same Family Sharing account. 

Prerequisites:

Before you start tracking your family member’s iPhone, it’s a must that you have set up Family Sharing for the group and have added all of your devices and family members’ devices. To start a family group, go to Settings > your name > Family Sharing and select ‘Set Up Your Family’.

You will need to follow the onscreen instructions and add your family members to the group to be able to locate their devices.

In addition to this, you need to enable the ‘Share My Location’ switch inside the Family Sharing screen so that your location is shared with everyone in your family group.

How to track your family member’s iPhone 

When you have shared your location with members of your family group, they can track your location or the whereabouts of your missing iPhone. To locate your phone from your family members’ iPhone, open the Find My app and look for your name listed inside the ‘People’ section.

Select your name to know your iPhone’s location on the map. Similar to viewing your Apple devices, a member in your family will be able to help you track your iPhone by ringing it using the ‘Play Sound’ function. 

On an Android device

If you own a secondary device that runs on Android, you can still use the Find My iPhone service by logging in to your Apple account on iCloud. To track your iPhone, open a web browser (Chrome, Brave, or Firefox) on your Android device and go to iCloud.com

Here, sign in to your Apple account by entering your Apple ID and then your password.

After successfully logging in to your account, tap on the ‘Find iPhone’ option inside the iCloud home screen.

In the next page, select the iPhone that you want to track.

When you select your iPhone, its location will appear on the map. You will be able to pinpoint your iPhone’s location by tapping on the ‘Play Sound’ option. In case you aren’t able to find your iPhone, you will get options to mark it as lost or erase all data on it.

You can perform this method on a non-Mac computer as well after signing in to your Apple account. 

On a Mac

macOS also provides a Find My app that offers the same features as the Find My app on an iPhone. To track your iPhone, open the Find My app on your Mac device and click on the ‘Devices’ tab from the left sidebar. Inside the list of items under ‘Devices’, select the iPhone you want to track.

If the device has the Find My iPhone turned ON and is connected to the internet, it will appear on the map. The device will show the “No location found” message if it can’t be located. 

For locating your iPhone or to keep it safe, you will get additional options like Notify When Found, Play Sound, Directions, Mark as lost, and Erase device. You can access this by clicking the ‘i’ button inside the iPhone balloon on the map view.

Notify When Found will send you a notification when the location is available.

Play Sound can be used to ping your iPhone’s speakers with sound so that you can pinpoint its location when you are near it.

Select Directions to get a turn-by-turn guide to get to your iPhone physically. 

Click on ‘Activate’ under Mark As Lost to lock your data and keep it safe from being exploited.

Use Erase This Device only when you’re sure you won’t be able to track your iPhone and you don’t want the data inside of it to get on anyone else’s hands.  

Using Google Maps Timeline

Similar to Apple, Google can also help you track the physical whereabouts of all your devices using the Google Maps app. The app has a timeline feature that gives you an overview of all the places you’ve been with your phone. If location history is enabled on your iPhone, you can check where exactly you might have last used your phone, whether or not is it still active and when and where was it last active from. 

Prerequisites:

You need to have the Google Maps app installed on your iPhone (the one you want to track) and enable Location Services and Location History on your Google account. After installing the Google Maps app, tap on your profile picture at the top right, and select ‘Settings’.

In the Settings screen, tap on ‘Personal content’ under the ‘Account Settings’ section.

Make sure that you enable ‘Location Services’ and ‘Location History’ inside the ‘Personal content’ screen.

How to track your iPhone 

Once you’ve taken care of the above prerequisites, you will be able to track your iPhone at any time as long as it’s connected to the internet. If your phone went missing, go to Google Maps Timeline using a web browser (on a phone or computer) or ‘Your timeline’ (inside the Google Maps app on a smartphone) and select the date you last had your device.

If you are tracking your iPhone’s current location, click on ‘Today’ at the top of the left sidebar. If your phone went missing sometime before today, select the date that was last recorded in the Maps timeline.

Scroll down to the last location that was registered from your iPhone. This will be when your phone was last online or where you might have lost it.

Using your Apple Watch

You can use your Apple Watch to track your iPhone but only when it’s within the proximity of your Watch’s Bluetooth range or the WiFi network. Tracking with the Apple Watch is done using the ping feature that will start ringing your iPhone for a brief period. 

To use your Apple Watch to track your iPhone, turn on the watch’s screen by pressing the digital crown. 

When the watch screen wakes up, swipe up from the bottom to open the ‘Glances’ screen. 

Swipe right on the Glances screen until you reach the ‘Settings’ screen. 

Tap on the Ping button that will be positioned under the Airplane Mode, Do Not Disturb, and Silent Mode options on the screen.

When you tap on the ping button, your iPhone will ring out a sound for a brief time so that you can locate it physically. The ping function will play a sound on your iPhone, even if the device is in Silent mode. 

You can tap on the Ping button as many times as you want to locate your iPhone.

For better aiding your iPhone tracking, you can tap and hold the ping button on your Apple Watch. This will start flashing your iPhone’s LED light so that you can locate it during the night or when you don’t want your phone to make a sound. 

Using Live location sharing

The following method can be used to track your iPhone from someone else’s iPhone and also makes use of Apple’s Find My iPhone feature. However, unlike the method mentioned above, the iPhone that’s tracking your device need not be a member of your family. Tracking is possible using live location sharing that’s done using the Messages app. 

Prerequisites:

Before you start tracking your iPhone, open the Messages app on your iPhone and start a conversation with the person you want to share your iPhone’s location with. 

Now, tap the name of person you want to share location with and then tap on ‘Info’.

On the next screen, tap on the ‘Share My Location’ location and select the duration for which you want to share your location for.

You can choose from these three options – Share for One Hour, Share Until End of Day, and Share Indefinitely.

Choose ‘Share Indefinitely’ to share your location for the longest duration. 

How to track

Your friend will now be able to locate you in their Find My app. To locate your iPhone from this person’s iPhone, open the Find My app on their phone, and select your device from the ‘People’ section. You will now be able to view your iPhone’s current or its last reported location.

Using a third-party tracker app

Besides Apple’s own searching techniques, you can track your iPhone using a GPS tracking app. There are third-party apps that you can use to locate your iPhone and these will offer additional features like geofencing, location history, panic button, chat functionality, and more. You can choose from the following apps to track your iPhone better:

These are all the ways you can track your iPhone. Did we miss anything out? If yes, let us know what you use to locate your iPhone. 

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