Skip to Content
© Savconstantine | Dreamstime.com
Smartphones & gadgets

How to find your lost iPhone, even if it’s powered off

Losing your things has become less of a worry as devices add tools and features to help you find your missing phone, tablet, headphones, laptops and more.

Ever leave the house not realizing you left something behind until it’s too late? Apple introduced a new feature with iOS 15 that alerts you when you leave your iPhone, iPad or Mac behind. This also works for AirPods Pro, which are much easier to misplace or forget. Tap or click here to activate separation alerts on AirPods Pro.

With iOS 13, Apple updated its Find My tool to function even when a device doesn’t have a signal. If your iPhone goes missing, it can use Bluetooth to connect to nearby Apple devices and relay its location to you. With Apple’s latest OS comes another feature that makes it even more likely that you’ll find your lost iPhone.

Powered down, but not out

Apple has been showing off the fancy new tricks iOS 15 can pull off since before its introduction, such as updated privacy features, more FaceTime tools, camera upgrades, more sharing options for streaming and more. Tap or click here for our rundown of Apple’s latest OS.

Among the lesser-known features is an update for the Find My app that allows an iPhone to be tracked, even when it’s off. This is thanks to Ultra Wideband technology found in the U1 chip built into the last few iPhone generations.

What this means is if a stolen or missing iPhone is low on battery or powered off, it can still be found through the Find My network. This feature will work on the following models:

  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12 mini
  • iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 13
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max

Apple’s Find My feature

To take advantage of Apple’s Find My feature and locate a lost iPhone, you first need to connect it to your Apple ID. Doing this also allows you to receive notifications if you leave your iPhone behind.

Here’s how:

  • On your iPhone, open Settings > [your name] > Find My. If you’re asked to sign in, enter your Apple ID. If you don’t have one, tap “Don’t have an Apple ID or forgot it?” then follow the onscreen instructions.
  • Tap Find My iPhone, then slide the toggle next to Find My iPhone to the right to enable it. (NOTE: This should be enabled by default.)
  • You can also turn on or off either of the following:
    • Find My network: If your device is offline (not connected to Wi-Fi or cellular), Find My can locate it using the Find My network. On a supported iPhone with iOS 15 or later, turning on the Find My network allows you to locate the device for up to 24 hours after it’s turned off.
    • Send Last Location: If your device’s battery charge level becomes critically low, its location is sent to Apple automatically.

You can now locate your iPhone with the Find My feature. There are a few ways to do it. You can see the different options from Apple here.

RELATED: Samsung Galaxy users have not been left out, at least in the case of a phone that’s offline.

Ask me your digital question!

Navigating the digital world can be intimidating and sometimes downright daunting. Let me help! Reach out today to ask your digital question. You might even be on my show!

Ask Me