O Search is an app that helps you track lost iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch or AirPods. The tool, which is also known as Find My, offers features to verify the location of the device, and can be useful for remotely erasing a stolen cell phone. Discover, in the following step-by-step, how to use the native service on devices with iOS, iPadOS and macOS.
Tracking a device using the Find My app
Necessary time: 5 minutes.
- Sign in to iCloud
Open your browser and go to: icloud.com🇧🇷
- Sign in with your Apple account
Log in with your Apple ID email and password to retrieve your lost device.
- Go to Search
- choose a device
Open the device list and select the device you want to track. It is possible to choose several Apple products, such as iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches and Macs, for example.
- Wait for the location to appear
Wait for the website to finish tracking your device. When the device is found, the following screen will be displayed.
- Get more information
You can use the commands 🇧🇷 or 🇧🇷 on the map to display more information about the cell phone’s location, for example.
The greater the zoom, the more detailed the information about the location will be, being able to display the neighborhood, street and approximate numbering of where the device is located.
Can I track a powered off iPhone or other device?
Yes, but only on phones running iOS 15 and later. Also, you must have an iPhone 11 or newer to use tracking with your phone turned off.
In addition, the Buscar app uses a system called “crowdsourced location”, which allows you to find devices offline, as long as they have iOS 13, iPadOS 13, macOS Catalina or higher installed. You can see how this system works in the article about How Apple Can Locate an iPhone Offline🇧🇷
Play sound to find a device
iCloud emits an audible alert to search for an iOS device and other Apple devices in the vicinity. Thus, you can follow the sound that will be emitted in the device until you find it. Learn how to enable the following warning:
- Access the Search platform at: icloud.com/find
- Choose a device or item you want to find.
- click in “Play Sound”🇧🇷
The sound will be activated shortly afterwards. But to use it, your phone needs to be connected to the internet.
You AirTags out of Bluetooth range do not beep.
Find out, in the step-by-step below, how to activate Lost Mode on your cell phone or other Apple devices:
- Access the Find platform at: icloud.com/find
- Choose the lost device or item from the device list.
- In the floating window over the map, click on the option “Lost Mode”🇧🇷
- If you want, enter a phone or cell number that will be displayed on the lock screen.
- click in “Following”🇧🇷
- Write a message that will be displayed on the lock screen (optional).
- press on “OK” to complete.
What happens when I activate Lost Mode?
Lost Mode activates a remote lock on the device. Thus, it is possible to prevent other people from using your smartphone in case of loss or theft. The method helps protect your social networks, bank apps, documents and other personal data stored on your mobile device.
Users even receive a report of sorts by email. The alert is sent to the owner whenever the device’s location changes. But for notifications to be sent, your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch or Mac must be connected to the internet.
In case of AirTagyou can bring the tracker close to an NFC-enabled iPhone or Android phone to access more information about the lost device.
How to disable Lost Mode?
You can also cancel Lost Mode via Find My if you recover your device. To unlock the cell phone through Find My, just perform the following steps:
- Go to the Find My app at: icloud.com/find
- Choose the cell phone or lost item you want to find.
- select the option “Lost Mode”🇧🇷
- click in “Stop Lost Mode”🇧🇷
How to Erase All Data from a Device
The option to erase all data from a device is irreversible. Also, if the lost device is linked to an AppleCare+ plan with loss and theft coverage, the user should not erase the device, but register the case with the Apple service🇧🇷
If you are sure your device has been lost or stolen, you can remotely wipe all data on your device from Apple to ensure your personal information is safe:
- Access Find at: icloud.com/find
- Select the desired device from the device list.
- click in “Erase iPhone” and confirm in “Delete”as shown in the screenshot below.
What happens when I delete a device?
The function “Delete” does exactly what its name says: it sends commands to delete all personal data available on the device. This includes Apple Pay-enabled apps, files, and even credit or debit cards. Open browser sessions and emails will also be deleted from your iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple Watch.
After erasing a device, you will no longer be able to find it. The exception is for iPhones with iOS 15 or later and iPads with iPadOS 15 or laterwhich still keep Find My enabled to locate the device or play a sound on it.
According to Apple, “You may still be able to locate your Mac or Apple Watch if it’s near a previously used Wi-Fi network.”
How to track an iPhone from Android
Yes, in addition to using the Buscar em smartphone platform by browser, such as Google Chrome, you can track an iPhone from Android using Google Maps timeline🇧🇷 On the other hand, the tool Find My Devicenative to cell phones with the Google system, cannot locate an Apple device.
I was unable to locate a lost device. What to do?
Despite being able to show the exact location of a lost device, Apple’s native platform doesn’t always work. This can happen when the service is disabled in system settings. In that case, Find My won’t be able to reveal where your phone, iPad, Mac, or Apple Watch is.
There is also additional information to note:
- You won’t be able to see the location if your device has gone more than seven days since you sent the last update to Apple. That is, it is important to keep the device connected to the internet frequently, even if it is an old cell phone.
- The web version of the Buscar platform has some restrictions. According to Apple, you will not be able to see the location of your cell phone or other Apple product if it is turned off. In other words: the app available for iOS and Mac is worth a look.
More options for those who had their cell phone stolen
In cases of robbery or theft, there are additional actions that should be considered to preserve app and credit card credentials, among other sensitive information. See a complete guide with procedures to ensure the protection of personal data on a stolen mobile phone🇧🇷