Languages

iCloud: Troubleshooting Find My iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac

Symptoms

With iCloud and iOS 5 or later you can locate, play a sound on, display a message on and remotely lock, or erase your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac. If these features do not work as expected, try the troubleshooting steps below. 

Note: Troubleshooting information is also available for the Find My iPhone app.

Resolution

Collapse All | Expand All

General issues

Device does not appear in Find My iPhone

This can occur if:

  • The date on your device (iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch) is incorrect. Choose Settings > General > Date & Time to check and set the date.
  • Your device is not up-to-date. It needs to be running iOS 5 or later.
  • Your iCloud account is not configured on your device. Choose Settings > iCloud and enter your iCloud account information.
  • You have multiple iCloud accounts entered on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Only one account can have Find My iPhone turned on at a given time. Log in to Find My iPhone with your other iCloud accounts until your device is listed.
  • There's a scheduled maintenance or another issue affecting Find My iPhone. Check the System Status site to see if this is the case.
  • Your device has lost network connectivity. If you have access to your device, and it appears to have an active Internet connection, enable and then disable Airplane mode. If you continue to have issues, turn the device off and back on.
  • Find My Mac can only locate your Mac if it is connected to the Internet via a known Wi-Fi network. If your Mac is connected to the Internet only by an Ethernet cable, Find My Mac will not be able to locate your Mac.

Device appears in Find My iPhone, but is offline

This can occur if:

  • Your device is powered off, such as when the battery has run out. Note that the remaining battery for the device, if it's connected to the Internet, displays in the upper-right corner of the information pane of the selected device. You can still play a sound on, send a message to, issue a lock request, or initiate an erase of your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. The command will be received after the device is turned on and regains its Internet connection.
  • Your iPhone’s cellular service has been terminated by your wireless service provider. If you contacted your service provider to report your device lost or stolen before locating your phone, and they deactivated your SIM card or account, this would be expected. If this is the case, you may no longer be able to locate, display a message on, or erase your iPhone. For more information, read about what to do if your device is lost or stolen.
  • Your iPad, iPod Touch, or Mac is asleep and not connected to a known Wi-Fi network. You will still be able to request an erase, send a message to display and lock your device, or request that a sound be played. The command will be processed when your device is awakened and connected to the Internet.

Previously-owned device appears in Find My iPhone

A device will appear in your device list when you log in to Find My iPhone as long as Find My iPhone is turned on in the iCloud Settings or System Preferences on your device or Mac. Be sure to remove your iCloud account, along with any other personal data, from your device or Mac prior to selling or giving away your device or Mac. If the device is currently offline, you can remove it from the device list by clicking the X to the right of its name (at icloud.com/find from a computer) or by swiping over the device name in the device list in the Find My iPhone iOS app, then tapping Remove (Find My iPhone 2.0 or later) or Delete (Find My iPhone 1.3).

Note: If your device is still configured with your iCloud account, the next time the device connects to the Internet, it will be added to the Find My iPhone page.

I removed a device, how do I add it back?

Once you remove a device, it will automatically be added again the next time the device connects to the Internet, as long as your iCloud username and password are configured on the device under Settings > iCloud. If this does not occur, see the "Device does not appear in Find My iPhone" section above.

"We could not complete your request" alert

You may receive this alert if there is an issue with the Internet connection on the computer you are using, or if the device you are trying to find was removed from the list of devices while you were logged in.

I cannot turn Find My Mac on

This can occur if:

  • You are not an administrative user on your Mac. "Administrator authorization required" will appear under Find My Mac in the iCloud System Preferences pane. Log out of your account, log back in with an administrative user account and try to turn on Find My Mac in that account.
  • Your Mac has an old Recovery partition. "Recovery system update required" will appear under Find My Mac in the iCloud System Preferences pane. From the Apple () menu, choose Software Update, and make sure you install the Mac OS X Recovery HD Update for your version of OS X.
  • The recovery partition on your Mac may be damaged. Try verifying and repairing the partition using Disk Utility.

Device is still linked to a previous owner's account

When setting up an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 7, you may be asked to provide a previous owner's Apple ID and password because the device is still linked to their account with Find My iPhone Activation Lock. You will need to contact the previous owner to have them remove the device from their account.

Issues finding an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac

Device does not appear in the device list

You can set up up to 100 devices with the same Apple ID. If you attempt to add more than 100 devices to Find My iPhone with your iCloud account, the device will not appear in your All Devices (iOS 7 or later) or Devices (iOS 6) list. If you need to add a new device when you already have 100 devices registered, you will need to remove one of the existing devices from your device list in order to add a new device.

"No location available," "Offline," or "Location Services Off" alerts

This can occur if:

  • The date on your device is incorrect. Choose Settings > General > Date & Time to check and set the date.
  • Your iOS device is currently off or not connected to a data network (Edge, 3 or 4G, or Wi-Fi). Wait a few minutes and try again.
  • Your iPad (Wi-Fi only), iPod Touch, or Mac is currently off or not connected to a Wi-Fi network.
  • Location Services is not enabled on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch (Settings > Privacy) or on your Mac (Date & Time) preferences. Learn more about Location Services on your Mac:
  • You are located in a country where Apple does not offer this feature. This feature may not be available in all countries due to technical limitations or local law.

Location appears to be old or inaccurate

This can occur if you previously located your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac and your device has not yet provided an updated location to iCloud.

Note: Your device's last known location will be available for one day. After 24 hours, you will no longer be able to see this last known location if the device is offline or otherwise unable to connect to Find My iPhone to provide an updated location.

Location circle is too large to be useful

This can occur if your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac is still determining a more accurate location or is unable to provide a more accurate location. Wait a few minutes and refresh the map again.

Issues with displaying a message

Message not received

This can occur if your device has been offline since the message was sent. See the General Issues section above for more information. Once the message is displayed on your device, you will receive a confirmation email at your primary Apple ID address.

Unable to turn off sound sent to a device

If a sound is sent to a device, the sound will play until you click OK on the Find My iPhone alert message, the device is turned off, or two minutes have passed. Devices set to mute, and that have Do Not Disturb set to On, will still play the sound alert.

 

Issues with Lost Mode or Lock and your passcode

Devices are locked with your current passcode. If you have no passcode on your device, you will be asked to create one.

Some configurations may allow for a four digit passcode lock, but require that it be more secure (for example, it can't be something like "1234"). If the new passcode lock you are attempting to apply does not adhere to the restrictions in place on your device, the passcode lock will not be changed, but your device will lock (with its existing passcode).

Only Apple retail stores or Apple Authorized Service Providers can unlock computers protected by a firmware password, such as passwords set with Find My Mac.

If you cannot remember the firmware password for your computer, schedule a service appointment with either an Apple Retail Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider. If you plan to visit an Apple Retail store, make a reservation at the Genius Bar (only available in some countries).

 

Issues with Erase

No confirmation that the erase occurred

This can occur if your device has been offline since the erase request was sent. See the General Issues section above for more information. Once an Erase has successfully been initiated, you will receive a confirmation email at your primary Apple ID address.

I found my device after an Erase

If this occurs, wait for the Erase to complete (during the erase, an Apple logo will be visible on iOS devices whereas a Mac will show a lock screen with a passcode prompt). After an iOS device erase is complete, connect it to your computer and restore from a recent backup using iTunes or restore from an iCloud Backup. If a Mac was erased, you will need to enter the passcode that was set when the erase was sent in order to re-install your version of OS X from the Recovery partition. Once OS X is installed, you can restore from a Time Machine backup if available.

 

Feature availability by country

For legal reasons, customers in the Republic of Korea will not be able to locate their device. All other Find My iPhone features will be available: display a message, play a sound, lock, and erase.

If you're traveling to other countries, it is recommended that you enable Data Roaming, in case you lose or misplace your device and need to locate it.

  1. Do one of the following:
    • Go to Settings > Cellular (iOS 7 or later).
    • Go to Settings > General > Cellular (iOS 6).
  2. Turn on Data Roaming.

If Data Roaming is off, your iPhone or iPad Wi-Fi + 3G or 4G will only be reachable when it is connected to a Wi-Fi network (like an iPad Wi-Fi or iPod touch).

Note: Turning Data Roaming on can substantially increase your service provider costs. Contact your carrier for more information.

Locating your device on a map requires Maps data to be available in that area. All other Find My iPhone features will still work: Play a Sound, Lock or Lost Mode (which also displays a message), and Erase. Lost Mode includes a feature that tracks your device over time based on its map location. This feature requires access to Maps data. If Maps data is unavailable, activating Lost Mode will simply lock your device, and give you the option to send a message to it.

Additional Information

Important: Mention of third-party websites and products is for informational purposes only and constitutes neither an endorsement nor a recommendation. Apple assumes no responsibility with regard to the selection, performance or use of information or products found at third-party websites. Apple provides this only as a convenience to our users. Apple has not tested the information found on these sites and makes no representations regarding its accuracy or reliability. There are risks inherent in the use of any information or products found on the Internet, and Apple assumes no responsibility in this regard. Please understand that a third-party site is independent from Apple and that Apple has no control over the content on that website. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
Last Modified: Nov 5, 2013
Helpful?
Yes
No
  • Last Modified: Nov 5, 2013
  • Article: TS4006
  • Views:

    182177
  • Rating:
    • 20.0

    (1 Responses)

Additional Product Support Information

Start a Discussion
in Apple Support Communities
See all questions on this article See all questions I have asked