There are quite a few ways to find a lost iPhone without the Find My feature. Using Google’s timeline features or GPS tracking apps certainly makes the search a lot easier. Or, you can rely on the Apple network if your iPhone was connected to your Apple Watch
Apart from these hacks, you can try calling your phone or using the IMEI number to find your lost phone as well. These are some obvious ways to find your iPhone, in case you don’t have the “Find my” option enabled.
Stick with us till the end as we dive into the details of each method here. You can get a clear idea on how you should approach each of these solutions.
- What Is Find My iPhone & How Does It Work?
- 5 Methods To Find Your iPhone Without Using Find My iPhone
- What To Do When You Lose Your iPhone?
- Frequently Asked Question
- Final words
What Is Find My iPhone & How Does It Work?
Find my iPhone is an iPhone feature that allows users to find their lost phone through iCloud and Apple ID credentials. You can enable the feature from the iPhone Settings menu or install the app available on the App Store. However, it usually comes pre-installed if you’re running the latest iOS version on your iPhone.
The app keeps track of all your Apple devices signed under the same Apple ID. However, you must have the find my iPhone feature turned on; otherwise, the device won’t appear in the list.
The Find My feature is used to locate all the connected Apple devices in different ways, including-
- Locating the device using the Apple maps
- Playing a sound to pinpoint the location
- Enable lost mode with a custom message using your contact details.
- Remotely erase your data to protect them.
These features will work with almost any Apple device you have as long as the option is turned on from your device and your Apple ID.
5 Methods To Find Your iPhone Without Using Find My iPhone
By now, it’s obvious that having to find my iPhone turned on is the easiest way you can find your lost iPhone. However, if you don’t have the option turned on, or it’s not working, there are other methods to try. Let’s get through those in detail.
1. Use Google Timeline
The first method you should always lean towards is the Google timeline method. Because Google uses device GPS for tracking devices in real time, the Google Timeline can show where your device is currently at. So you have a better chance to locate your lost device this way.
Since the timeline is usually private, it only allows you to access the data. So, when you lose your iPhone, you can simply go to Google timeline to see the last known location of your iPhone.
If the location settings on your phone are active at that time, you may even find the current location at that point. Here’s a quick guide to show you how you can access your Google timeline –
- First, you visit the Google timeline URL. If you already have your Google account logged in to your device, then the timeline will directly appear. Otherwise, you will need to login with your account.
- In the Google timeline, you will see all the locations your iPhone has been in the past.
- From the upper tab, you can filter the location of your iPhone based on time. If you select “oday” you can see the recent location of your iPhone.
- Once you select that, the tab will report the detailed location. You just have to scroll down to see the details.
- You can check the complete timeline to see the movement of your phone and where it has been, or whether it has moved at all.
This method should help you find the approximate location of your lost iPhone without too much difficulty. If you don’t have your Google account connected to your iPhone or your location services are turned off, try the other methods below.
2. Use Apple Watch
For any Apple watch user, finding your iPhone can be significantly easier. A specific feature on your Apple Watch lets you find your iPhone without going through a lot of hassle.
If the iPhone and Apple watch are on the same Apple ID, you can follow the steps below –
- First, ensure your iPhone and Apple watch are connected to the same network. Whether it’s to the same Wi-fi network or via Bluetooth doesn’t matter.
- Next, swipe up your Apple Watch and bring up its menu options.
- You will see several options from the menu window, including the pinging phone option.
- Tap on the ping button to ping your phone. It will make a noise and vibrate even when the phone is in silent mode.
- You can tap and hold the pinging option to flash alongside the pinging noise. It’s quite helpful in the dark.
Now, the thing with this method is that it’s only suitable when you have lost the iPhone somewhere near you. For example, if you can’t find it at your home or your hotel room or maybe at a restaurant.
If you have lost it somewhere far away then this method is useless. Still, you can cling onto the hope that the phone is under a familiar wifi network where someone will pick up the vibration and contact you later.
3. Using GPS Tracking Apps
GPS tracking applications can help you find your lost iPhone using the GPS technology integrated in your phone. There are two types of GPS tracking applications out there.
First, there are tracking apps that trace your iPhone using a registered account on the application. You have to have such an application downloaded on your phone. Then, you can visit the website of the tracking app to find your phone using their services.
Some popular tracking apps are-
Another type of tracking app uses your phone number to find out the location of your iPhone. One reliable application with that kind of feature is the Number Tracker Pro.
The working mechanism of Number tracker pro is simple. First, it creates a tracking link with a custom message. Then, it uses your number to send a message including that link.
When someone clicks on the link from the message, the tracking process starts and it reveals the location on the map.
Here’s how you can use the application –
- Start with visiting Number Tracker Pro and creating an account.
- From there, you will need to buy a credit pack as it’s a paid service.
- Now, input your phone number on the search bar of the website homepage to look for your number.
- Next, you will see an option saying, “Request live location”. Click on that option.
- After you do that, you have to type in a custom message with the tracking link that Number tracker pro will provide.
- Then, send the custom message to your number with that link.
- Once the receiver clicks the link and allows all permissions, Number tracker pro will start tracking the location.
- Finally, after a successful tracking you should see the location of your iPhone on the map.
It’s a great way to find your lost iPhone if you don’t have to find my iPhone or any similar GPS tracking app setup. However, if there is no sim card in your phone then the method won’t work out for you.
4. Call Your Phone Number
Well, this is a pretty obvious method to find a phone. You simply call your number and see whether it is ringing or not.
If it’s somewhere close to you will probably hear it. But if it’s far, then someone will eventually pick up the call.
However, if no one is answering the call, then either it’s lost at a non-accessible place, or it’s stolen. In that case, you will need to try out the other methods.
5. Use the IMEI number
The IMEI is a unique 15-digit number assigned to every authorized smartphone that can be used to track lost or stolen devices. There are two ways to use the IMEI number to find your lost iPhone.
You can use various tracking apps or websites where you need to put your IMEI number, and it will locate your phone. Or when you go to any local police station, you must give them the IMEI number.
One of the most common online directories you can try out with your IMEI number is Lostphone.org. It’s a large database with IMEI numbers listed where you may find your device and its location. You can also try out trackimei.net to look for your missing phone.
As for going to the police station, they will need your IMEI number to track the phone. Since the police will have access to more powerful tracking systems, they can easily find your iPhone using the IMEI number.
You can find your IMEI number on the manual or the back of your phone box. Or you can always find it by putting the *#06# code in your dialing pad.
What To Do When You Lose Your iPhone?
The first thing to do after you have lost your phone is to stop panicking. Recollect your thoughts and try to look into it objectively. Losing your phone isn’t the end of the world, as you can still find it.
Here are some tips you can follow when you lose your iPhone.
- First, try finding your device through the “Find my” app or feature on your iPhone. You can visit iCloud for that.
- Next, your priority with a lost phone should always be to protect your data. Especially when you suspect the phone is stolen.
- Contact your carrier and inform them about your missing iPhone. They will disable your account to prevent further complications.
- You can mark your iPhone with the Lost Mode as lost, which automatically locks the phone with a passcode remotely.
- If you are sure of theft, then reporting your lost iPhone to the local police station or any other law enforcement is a necessity.
Aside from all these, you can claim an iPhone replacement if you have your iPhone registered in AppleCare+. It’s a theft and lost claim from Apple. However, the AppleCare+ service is limited to some selected countries only.
Frequently Asked Question
Until now, we have answered most of your queries about the “Find my iPhone” function alternatives. Now, let’s unveil some popular questions regarding the issue that we are yet to answer.
Yes, the find my iPhone feature still works even if your phone has no sim card. Since it uses GPS tracking and Wi-fi signals to locate your phone it’s not necessary to have an active cellular network for the feature to work.
Yes, you can find a lost iPhone with another iPhone. Every iPhone is usually equipped with a tracker inside. And there is an app called “find my friend” which allows you to find iPhones with an Apple ID using your iPhone.
No, the chances are pretty slim that you will find a lost iPhone without any cellular or Wi-fi connection. Because most of the tracking feature on an iPhone uses the cellular network or Wi-fi. You may know your phone’s last location but not the current one.
Yes, if you turn on the option in your iPhone, it should still work even when the phone is dead. It may not provide you with the current location, but it will give you the last known location of the phone when it was on.
You now have a complete idea of how to find a lost iPhone without my iPhone being turned on in your phone. There are several things to keep in mind while following those methods.
A top tip I will be leaving here is to always install a GPS tracking app on your phone. Even if they find my phone isn’t working or turned off, such apps can be lifesaving. You can easily track your phone using those apps.
Stll, keeping the find my iPhone feature turned on is possibly the best and easiest way to get your lost phone back. But if you can’t have that on, you can try out the methods we discussed individually.