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Can I Track My iPhone Via Computer?

by Matt Skaggs

Your iPhone contains a great deal of important information about you, such as your contacts, personal notes and access to your Apple account. If you discover that your iPhone is lost or possibly stolen, locating it quickly is very important to ensure that it and your data are safe. Apple does provide a location feature as part of its iCloud service that lets you see your iPhone's location from any Internet-connected computer, so you can discover where it is in just a few moments.

Requirements

In order to track your iPhone, you need an iCloud account that is activated on your iPhone, an iPhone with iOS 5 or higher, and an Internet-connected computer. Additionally, your iPhone must have a data connection when you attempt to find it; otherwise, iCloud will be unable to determine your iPhone's location. This connection could be over a Wi-Fi network or over a cellular signal as long as you have a data plan for your iPhone.

Find My Phone

To locate your iPhone, you need to access iCloud. You can do this in a Web browser on a PC or a Mac. This feature is additionally available on mobile devices with Apple's Find My Phone app. From the iCloud website, you need to sign in with your Apple ID and password. Then you just need to click the "Find My Phone" option, and a map appears specifying your phone's location if possible.

Security Options

After you see your iPhone's location, you have additional security options on the webpage if you need them. You can activate Lost Mode, which locks your phone and continues tracking it as long as possible. You can also make your iPhone sound an alert in case the phone is nearby but you're unable to find it. If your phone is lost, you could also use the site security options to erase all data from the device to keep someone else from stealing it. This process is irreversible, but if you have a backup on iTunes, you can still sync the iPhone later if you do find it.

Reporting Lost iPhone

Apple recommends that you contact law enforcement to report a lost or stolen iPhone; Apple does not have a system of its own for reporting stolen devices. If you do report your iPhone stolen to the authorities, you should provide the device's unique serial number. You can find this number in the "My Products" section of Apple's My Support Profile website.

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