How To Find A Lost iPhone That’s Turned Off Or Offline

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Summary

  • Apple’s Find My network can be used to track a lost or stolen iPhone, even if it’s been turned off or offline.
  • For this to work, Find My Network will need to be enabled on the iPhone before it’s lost. The feature is only available on the iPhone 11 and later models.
  • If users can’t locate the iPhone on the Find My map, they can activate Lost Mode to display their contact information on the lock screen if it’s found and charged.


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iPhone users can track their lost or stolen device using the Find My network, but there’s also a way to find an iPhone if it’s been switched off or offline. Apple’s Find My network lets users locate other devices like iPads, Macs, Apple Watches, AirPods, AirTags and more. By using the Find My app or signing in to iCloud on a web browser, users can view the location of their device, play a sound to help find it, and even remotely erase it if it can’t be recovered.

Apple took its Find My network a step further by enabling select iPhones to display their location even when turned off or offline. This is particularly useful when a person misplaces an iPhone that runs out of battery, or if their iPhone has been stolen and turned off or put in Airplane mode. It’s worth noting that this feature can only be used if enabled on the iPhone before it’s lost, since there’s no way to locate an iPhone without Find My enabled.

Related: Can You Find Lost AirPods With A Dead Battery?


Find An iPhone If It’s Turned Off

Apple Find My app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac

To set up Find My, open the Settings app on an iPhone and click on the user name at the top. Tap on ‘Find My‘ and then ‘Find My iPhone‘. Enable the toggles next to ‘Find My iPhone,’ ‘Find My Network,’ and ‘Send Last Location.’ The Find My Network option is the feature that lets users locate their iPhone when it is switched off. Once these options are enabled, users will see a banner when switching off their iPhone that says ‘iPhone Findable After Power Off‘. The iPhone will then be visible in Find My on the user’s other devices, as well as by those the user has chosen to share their location with through Family Sharing.

To locate an iPhone that’s been switched off, open the Find My app on another Apple device, like a Mac, iPad or another iPhone. A map will appear displaying the location of the iPhone, and the user can then get turn by turn directions to the device. The ability to find offline iPhones is only available on models that support Ultra Wideband. These include the iPhone 11 and later models, but not the iPhone SE. It’s important to note that users can only locate an iPhone for up to 24 hours after it is powered off, or for up to five hours when it’s in power reserve mode.

Set Up Lost Mode On iPhone

iPhone in Lost Mode displaying custom message

If an iPhone can’t be found on the Find My map, it’s worth setting up Lost Mode which can help someone else contact the owner. To do this, open the Find My app on another Apple device (or sign in to iCloud in a browser) and select the iPhone in the ‘Devices‘ tab. Scroll down to ‘Mark As Lost‘ and tap ‘Activate.’ If the iPhone doesn’t have a passcode enabled, there will be an option to create one. Users will then need to enter the contact information and message they want to display on the lock screen. Tap ‘Activate‘ again to enable Lost Mode.

If the iPhone is offline, ‘Pending‘ will appear next to it in the Devices tab on the Find My map. If someone else finds the iPhone and charges it, the custom message will be displayed on the screen when it turns on. When an iPhone is in Lost Mode, it will not display or sound any alerts for notifications or alarms. However, any calls or FaceTime calls can still be received. Once the iPhone comes back online, users will be able to see its location on the Find My app. However, Lost Mode will prevent the finder of the iPhone from accessing any information stored on the device.

Source: Apple