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Find your lost iPhone or iPad

Find your lost iPhone or iPad

Having a missing smartphone or tablet is the worst. Not only are they expensive, they likely have a lot of your personal information on them. It's enough to make you sick to your stomach.

Back in 2013, Consumer Reports noted that smartphone theft had risen 23% from 2011 to 2013, with 3.1 million phone theft victims in 2013 alone. But now, thanks to apps like Find My iPhone (and Android Device Manager for Android gadgets), smartphone theft is on the decline, by about one million thefts per year.

As mandated by law with the "kill switch" initiative, these apps come pre-installed on your smartphones and tablets and can help you locate your missing gadgets, assuming they are still powered on.

Find My iPhone

With Find My iPhone, you can remotely make the phone or tablet play sounds for a full two minutes if you think it is nearby, even if it's on silent mode. If your view is less optimistic, you can find your phone using its GPS coordinates.

The app includes Lost Mode, which locks your phone and displays a number to contact or custom message on the lock screen. Lost Mode will also keep track of your phone's location history.

Now you'll know exactly where you lost it or track the thief who took it.

find my iphone screenshot

Additionally, the app lets you wipe your device remotely. It might be too late to recover the gadget, but at least you can delete your sensitive data.

It was last updated for iOS 8, when Apple installed a new feature called "Send Last Location" that can help you recover your missing phone or tablet - even if the battery dies. You can also remotely see how much battery life is left.

Next page: Learn how to set up Find my iPhone
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