Getting Started with Find My iPhone & iCloud

find my iphone tutorial

If you read my post about how this app and hidden gem in the services provided by iCloud saved a lot of heartache then you’re more than aware what this is all about. If you haven’t read that, click here. If you’re not really bothered, we’ll continue.

Find My iPhone, has actually been around since about mid 2010. It was introduced with iOS 3 and at the time was a part of the MobileMe offering. Back when MobileMe had a free level this was one of the applications that was free to all users.

To get started with the app today thought you will need to be using iCloud. (That’s easy considering the MobileMe has been shut down now.)

So let me take you through the process of what you need to do.

Step one, make sure that your device has up-to-date software. 

You should be doing this on your iDevice anyway, as it makes sure that you have the most secure and up-to-date device possible.  To check this go in to the Settings app, scroll to ‘General’, tap it, then tap ‘Software Update’. (If you do not see ‘Software Update’, you’re using a really old version of iOS, so you’ll need to plug in to your computer with iTunes to get it updated.)

Step two, download the Find My iPhone app.

Here is the link to the iTunes Store.  It’s a free app so dive right in!

Step three, running the app for the first time.

The first time you use the app it will ask you to sign in to your iCloud account.Do so.

It will then ask you if you would like to use ‘Find My iPhone’ – Some times it says ‘Would you like to let Find My iPhone use your location’, tap Yes.

On some instances, it says, ‘If you would like to use Find My iPhone, please activate it in the iCloud settings’.

This is done by going in to your Settings app, then in to iCloud and then sliding the switch to the ‘On’ position (It’s the last option in the list).

Step four, finding your iPhone.

Get yourself along to and log in with your Apple ID (same one you put in the app). Click on the Find My iPhone icon.Find My iPhone icon

What will then appear is a full screen Google map with a box in the top left displaying the devices that you have registered on your account. This can include iPod touches iPads as well as Mac computers.

Pick the device that you’ve just registered and it will appear on the map. I little info-bubble comes up with the name and the last time its location was checked.Find My iPhone info bubble

If you click the information symbol (a white letter ‘i’ on a blue, circular, background) there is another dialogue window with options. These include Play Sound or Send Message, Remote Lock and Remote Wipe.

From here you can do as I did and remotely lock the device with a four digit code.Find My iPhone info bubble options

You can send a message to be seen on the screen.

You can send a message and play sound which can only be turned off when the device is found.

In the worst case scenario you have the Remote Wipe option, which removes all sensitive data on your iPhone.

There you have it.

One of the hidden wonders of iOS and modern Apple computers. As mentioned this is a free service, you get this with your Apple ID/iCloud account and you’d be quite silly not to set this up considering all the hassle it can save.

To use this on you Mac, go to the Apple logo in the top left corner of the screen, click it and then click System Preferences. If your software is up-to-date, in the third row of options the first option should be for iCloud (If it isn’t, click the Apple logo again and select software update – guess what that does).

Click it, scroll to the bottom of the list and check the status of Find My Mac. There is a chance that there is going to be a warning sign over the top of the icon. This means that you need to change your energy-saving preferences to allow the computer to allow for ‘Wake for network access’. The computer will guide you through this if you click the ‘More’ button to the left.

For Apple’s own information on how to use this service, click here.

Hopefully this article has given you any easy to understand breakdown of one of the best features that you never knew about.

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