How to set up Find My iPhone on your iOS device

Remember last week when you thought you lost your iPhone? Wouldn't it have been easier if you could have made it play a sound while you tried to locate it? Well, you could have. Find My iPhone is your answer.

Courtesy of Apple

Find My iPhone is a powerful utility that every iOS device owner needs to take advantage of. Whether you have gone through the experience of losing your beloved Apple device in the past, or you just want to err on the side of caution, setting up Find My iPhone will save you headaches and hassle down the road.

Don't let the name, Find My iPhone, fool you. Apple has made creating a Find My iPhone account available for iPhone 4, 4th generation iPod touch and the iPad running iOS 4.2 or later, best of all, it's free! Let's get started.

1. Download and install the Find My iPhone app [iTunes Link]. It's a universal binary, meaning it will run on both the iPhone/iPod touch and iPad alike.

2. Go to Settings -> Mail, Contacts, Calendars -> Add Account

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

3. Select MobileMe from the list. (Your list may look different from what is shown above, that is OK.)

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

4. Enter your Apple ID e-mail address and password. Tap on Next when done

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

5. Turn on Find My iPhone. If you are using a true MobileMe account, it will be at the bottom of the list. If you set it up using your Apple ID, it should be the only option listed.

When prompted to allow Find My iPhone to access your location, select Allow.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

To find a device you can either run the app on another iOS device, or through a Web browser at Me.com. Login using the same information you entered during Step 4, you will then see a list of all devices you have set up Find My iPhone on.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

When viewing a device you have several ways to interact with the device:

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

  • Lock the device, setting a new passcode.
  • Display a personal message, as well as have the device play a sound for 2 minutes.
  • Wipe all information and settings from the device. Keep in mind, if this option is selected, you will no longer be able to track the device.

Of course your device will have to be turned on, and have some sort of data connection. If your device doesn't have a connection when you send a command, you will receive an e-mail alert once the device is back on and the command has been received.

You can set up Find My (insert device name here) on as many devices as you wish; just repeat the steps above on each iOS device. The next time your iPhone falls behind the couch cushion, or some stranger makes off with your iPad after leaving it on your table in a coffee shop, you have the ability to not only find the device, but also prevent anyone from accessing your information.

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About the author

Jason Cipriani has been covering mobile technology news for over five years. His work spans from CNET How To and software review sections to WIRED’s Gadget Lab and Fortune.com.

 

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