Solutions for Finding a Lost iPhone

It’s a panic we’ve all been through, when you turn around to pick up your iPhone and realize you have no idea where it is. You check your pockets and to this side or that side, and women check their purse. It’s not there, though, as your pulse starts to pick up. After randomly searching everywhere you can think of, you ask someone you know to call it, hoping to hear that familiar ringtone identifying the phone as your own … but instead you hear silence.

Luckily, there are a few apps out there to help you out. One of them is a native app to iOS, Find My iPhone, and the other is a third party app, Fownd. They will both help you find your iPhone, but do it in very different ways. Because of their differences, using both apps seems like it would provide you double the protection.


Fownd Contact info

Fownd performs a double duty here. It keeps track of your phone through GPS and also gives anyone that finds your phone information to to report it as “Fownd.” After downloading and signing into the app through Facebook, it pops up with a screen to insert your contact info. It’s important to give alternative contact info since you obviously won’t have your phone. The app will contact you through either text or email letting you know that someone has found your phone.

Fownd Lockscreen

The app then allows you to create a custom lock screen. It’s the same as any other lock screen image, but includes info for someone finding your phone to report it as found. It directs you to your stored photos and allows you to choose one for the lock screen image, then saves it with a line of text directing the finder to text the information in order to report it found. This way they don’t have to search around on your iPhone looking for your contact information. The app explains it has GPS information to show where your phone is, but there’s no way to access it without your phone being lost, so it’s something you can’t “test.”

Fownd Tags

Additionally, while the app is free, it allows you to purchase “Fownd” tags. These are tags with the texting information on them that look to be the same size as the courtesy cards you place on your keychain. You can affix these to any item you don’t want to lose, such as your keys, other electronic equipment, wallet, etc. They will direct the finder to texting information that will report it found.

Find My iPhone

Find My iPhone All Devices

Find My iPhone is included with the iCloud service for iDevices. When you are first setting up the iPhone or iPad, it will ask if you would like to use it. If you decline at this point, you can always go back and add it in the iCloud option in the Settings app. It will still need to be downloaded from the App Store regardless of your initial response. Opening it and signing in with your Apple ID brings up a list of all your registered iDevices. You can see from this list that it includes my current iPad and iPhone, as well as my previous ones. If your phone is lost, you can access all of this information by signing in on a separate device or by going to on a Mac or PC.

Find My iPhone Maps

Clicking on an individual device brings up a map with the exact location of that device. It allows you to send a sound to the device to help you locate it, put it in Lost Mode, or Erase the Phone. Lost Mode locks the phone with a four-digit passcode and displays a message on the screen with your contact information. While in Lost Mode, the phone will continue to keep updating its location. Erase the Phone is obviously a last-ditch option, but helpful if you have sensitive information that you don’t want anyone to find. However, the app and settings will be erased, so it will no longer be of help to you.

Find My iPhone works with all iOS devices, while Fownd works with iPhones. It is also downloadable to iPads, and appears to work, but creating the lock screen doesn’t work. It appears to at first, but doesn’t include the information for texting. For iPhones, both work appropriately, and if using both services, you will have every chance possible at finding your lost phone.

Laura Tucker
Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site's sponsored review program.

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