How to Activate a Tracking Device on an iPad

By Tom Ianello

The iPad is a tempting target for thieves.
i Doug Pensinger/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

Every generation of iPad has built-in settings for tracking the device if it is lost or stolen. This feature, called Find My iPad, is part of the Apple's cloud storage and computer service known as iCloud. By default, iCloud is disabled when the iPad is first activated; you are given the option of enabling the service during the initial setup. For Find My iPad to function, iCloud and Find My iPad must first be enabled on the device; the feature cannot be activated remotely. The iPad must also be turned on and have an active data plan or connection to a Wi-Fi network.

Step 1

Check the status of iCloud on your iPad by tapping the "Settings" button on the Home screen and selecting "iCloud" in the settings menu. If you activated iCloud when you first set up the iPad, you'll see a list of iCloud services and settings. If it hasn't been activated yet, you'll be prompted to enter your Apple ID to register your iCloud account.

Step 2

Locate the Find My iPad option in the iCloud services and settings menu. Move the slider to the "On" position. Tap "Allow" to confirm your selection.

Step 3

Test the Find My iPad service by going to on a computer and entering your Apple ID and password. Click on Find My iPhone. Select the iPad from the My Devices list that appears. As long as the iPad is turned on and connected to a cellular or Wi-Fi network, the service can track it. Once your device is located, it will appear on a map as a green circle. The smaller the circle is, the more accurate the location.