Comprehensive Guide to Set Up And Use Find My iPhone

What are you going to do if you misplace or lose your iPhone?

Probably file a report saying you lost your iPhone, or tell your family and friends to help you find it.  In short, you are helpless and you started waiting that somebody would return your lost iPhone to your doorstep. But you know that seldom happens.

The good news is, there is something you can do to prevent or make the probability of finding your iPhone higher.

When iOS 4.2 was released, the “Find My iPhone” service was also offered free for iPhone 4 users. Previously, this service was offered $99 for annual subscription.

What’s in it for you?

Well, through “Find My iPhone”, you will be able to locate your iPhone easily on a map; you can also send a message like, “This is a lost iPhone. Please contact me through this number xxx-xxxx. Thank you.” The point is, at least, you can do something to retrieve your lost device.

Important Notes

Before we begin with the set up process, here are some things you have to consider.

1. You must have an Apple ID and Password.

2. You must have a MobileMe account.

3. Make sure that your iPhone is running the latest iOS 4.2. Otherwise, this will not work.

4. You have to install ‘Find My iPhone’ app first. You can get your copy from iTunes for free, or you can download it by following this link.

How to Create MobileMe Account and Set Up Find My iPhone

Not everybody has a MobileMe account, if you are one of them, this tutorial is for you.

Step 1: Launch “Settings” app from the Springboard, then tap on “Mail, Contacts, Calendars“.

iPhone-Mail-Contacts-Calendars

Step 2: Tap on “Add Account“, then “MobileMe“.

iPhone-Add-Account-Mobile-Me

Step 3: Enter your Apple ID and Password. If you’ve tried purchasing any items from iTunes before, you must have your ID and Password. Otherwise, just tap on “Create Free Apple ID” to acquire one. Also, remember to verify your account after you signed up.

iPhone-Login-MobileMe

Step 4: Now, return to MobileMe’s screen, and simply switch “Find My iPhone” button ON, and confirm your action.

Turn-On-Find-My-iPhone

Basically, that’s how the setting up of “Find My iPhone” app goes. The installation is very straightforward, so you’ll find it easy to follow.

How to Use Find My iPhone

After doing the steps above, you are now ready to use or to test your if “Find My iPhone” really locates your iPhone’s location.

Step 1: Launch a browser in your computer or laptop and point to http://www.me.com/find. MobileMe will automatically locate your iPhone on the map and through that page, you will be able to do the following:

iPhone-Mobile-Me-Login-Page

Step 2: Display a message and Play Sound. You can customize the message to convince the person to call or return your iPhone. Also, you can play a sound for two minutes should you have a feeling that you just misplaced your gadget.

iPhone-Send-Message

Step 3: Remotely Lock your iPhone. This is very important especially if you have personal information stored in your gadget. This way, the person who finds your iPhone will not be able to access it.

iPhone-Remote-Lock

Step 4: Remotely Erase all the Data. This is, by far, the last resort you can do to protect your privacy. You can wipe all the data out of your iPhone so that even if you cannot retrieve it, at least, the person who can find your iPhone will never know personal info about you.

iPhone-Remote-Wipe

iPhone is just one of the media you can use “Find My iPhone“. If you have an iPad or iPod (4G) this app will also come handy. So, what do you think about this app?

iPhone-Map-Location

Of course, it is still very important to make your iPhone secure at all times. Take good care of it and do not put it in places you can hardly remember. More often, it is out of carelessness that you’ll lose your gadgets. Think of it as a person who knows more about you and all your secrets especially if you are keeping personal information.

Image credit: Mat Honan