The ability to remotely activate an iPhone’s Find My iPhone service is a great safety feature. If you ever lose or have your device stolen, you can use the remote activation feature to track it or lock it to prevent further usage.
But what if you can’t find your phone but know it’s nearby? How do you activate Find My iPhone without being able to see the screen?
It turns out that there are multiple ways. Here are several methods for starting to Find My iPhone on your lost or stolen device from anywhere in the world.
Can you turn on Find My iPhone remotely?
While your iPhone’s location will appear on the map, even if you remotely turn on Find My iPhone, it will not sound an alarm.
If you want your device to start ringing loudly (or playing a custom sound you’ve uploaded) when it’s lost, you need to turn on the “Where are you?” switch.
You can also remotely wipe your device to delete all its data. If you wipe your device remotely, it will not appear as an item you can tap on the map. You can also remotely lock your device, keeping someone else from accessing it, even if they have your passcode.
You cannot remotely change your device’s settings. If you want to turn off your device’s sound, you’ll need to do it while you still have your phone.
Additionally, you can’t log in to your Apple ID from a computer to remotely access Find My iPhone. If you want to use Find My iPhone remotely, you’ll need to do it from another device.
Can you turn on Find My iPhone without the phone?
While turning on Find My iPhone with a computer is possible, the easiest way to do so is with your cell phone. While it’s unfortunate that you lost your device, at least you’ll be able to track it down.
Find My iPhone is available on any device running iOS 9 or later, as well as any computer running macOS 10.10 or later. This includes both iPhones and iPads, as well as Mac computers.
To turn on Find My iPhone, you’ll need to be logged into your iCloud account. If you have multiple devices, such as an iPhone and an iPad, you’ll be able to see all of your devices on the same map.
You can download the iCloud Android app to use Find My iPhone if you have an Android device. While you can turn on Find My iPhone remotely from a computer, you won’t be able to see your device’s current location. Instead, you’ll be given its last known location.
If you want full remote access to Find My iPhone, you’ll need to do so from an iOS device.
4 ways to remotely turn on Find My iPhone
If you don’t have access to another device, or you don’t have your device, but you’re at a computer where you can log into iCloud, you can turn on Find My iPhone.
- Log into iCloud on any browser, select the gear icon in the top right-hand corner, and click “Find My iPhone.”
- Click “Turn on,” enter your password, and click “Got it.” You can also do this on the iCloud website.
- Once you have turned on Find My iPhone, you can log into the iCloud website and click “Find My iPhone” to see your device’s location on a map.
You can also click the “Play Sound” button and remotely activate the sound on your lost device.
Using the Find My iPhone iOS App
In case you have an iOS device, you can use the Find My iPhone app to remotely turn on Find My iPhone.
- Open the app.
- Tap the “Log in” button in the upper right-hand corner, and log in to your iCloud account.
- Once logged in, click the “devices” tab and select the device you want to track remotely.
- Click “Activate” and “Activate Remotely” to log into your iCloud account. You can click “Where is my iPhone?” to see your lost device’s location on a map.
The app also allows you to remotely sound an alarm on your device, lock it, or wipe it. If you close your device remotely, it will not show up on the map as an item you can remotely wipe. However, you can still wipe your device’s data.
By Calling Apple Support
If you don’t have any other computer or device to log in to your iCloud account remotely, you can call Apple Support. If you want Apple Support to wipe your device remotely, you must have your iPhone, iPad, or iPad.
You can have Apple Support remotely log in to your iCloud account and turn on Find My iPhone for you, but you won’t be able to see your device’s location on a map using the iCloud website.
If you want to see your device’s current location on a map, you must log into the iCloud website. You may also need to provide Apple with your login information for your other devices.
With a Recovery Password
Another scenario is that you already have a recovery password saved on your computer or iCloud account, you can use that to log in to your account and turn on Find My iPhone remotely.
- If you don’t have a recovery password saved, you can create one by going to iCloud.com and clicking the “Account” tab in the upper right-hand corner.
- Click “Manage Apple ID,” log in with your email address and password, and click “Edit.”
- Click “Create Password,” enter a password, and confirm it.
- Click “Done” and “Done” again to log out of your account.
You can have full remote access to Find My iPhone by logging back into your account and clicking the “Find My iPhone” icon in the iCloud toolbar.
Remotely activating Find My iPhone can be helpful if you ever lose your device or have it stolen.
If you have your device with you, you can turn on Find My iPhone remotely as a way to track it or to delete your data if you think your device has been compromised.
And if you don’t have your device with you, you can still turn on Find My iPhone remotely as a way to track your device or as a way to wipe all the data on your device if you think it has been compromised.
There are several ways to remotely activate Find My iPhone, regardless of whether you have your device with you or not.