What to Do When You Lose Your iPhone

It’s a nightmare we all hope to completely and utterly avoid. But we’ve also all experienced at least momentary panic when we’ve misplaced our phones. We truly feel we’d be lost without our phone! So much of our lives exists on this device, from phone numbers we no longer bother to memorize to calendar reminders and too many apps to count.

But what should you do if you really did lose your iPhone? Maybe your purse got stolen and your phone was inside. Or perhaps it fell into the ocean and got swept away in the blink of an eye. Here’s the steps you can take to try to recover your phone or your information.

Try Not to Panic

Okay, it’s easier said than done, but it is important to try to do. Try to keep a clear head in order to accomplish the task at hand, or ask a friend for help.

Retrace Your Steps

If you have no idea what happened to your phone, start by retracing your steps. The sleek design of an iPhone means it can easily slip into cracks in your car, for example. Check every nook and cranny!

Use Find My iPhone

iPhones come with a nifty tool to solve this problem altogether, and it’s a GPS-powered app called Find My iPhone. But the crucial point to remember is that you must set this up while your iPhone is still in your possession. Don’t think you can wait until it’s too late, because it will do you no good.

All you have to do is sign in to icloud.com/find or use the Find My iPhone feature on another Apple device, such as an iPad or another iPhone.

Hopefully, it will show that you left it at your aunt’s house earlier in the day. But if, for example, it fell behind your aunt’s sofa and you still have no idea where it is, the Find My iPhone feature will allow you to tell your iPhone to make a really loud sound to help you track it down once and for all.

Turn on Lost Mode

Using iCloud on another device, you can turn on Lost Mode for your iPhone. This locks your phone, disables Apple Pay and displays a message such as “This iPhone has been lost. Please call …” followed by an alternative number where you can be reached. This way, if you left your phone behind at a restaurant or store, for example, staff or good Samaritans can help you reunite with your device.

Erase Your iPhone

As a last resort, you can erase all of your personal information and data from your iPhone via a different device. This completely protects you in case your phone ended up in the wrong hands or someone intends to sell your iPhone X.

Hopefully you’re in the habit of regularly backing up your iPhone to the cloud so that you do not completely lose important information after erasure.