Use “Send Last Location” to Find a Lost iPhone Even If Battery is Dead
One of the best things about Find My iPhone is the ability to, well, find your iPhone if you happen to misplace it. It’s a feature that every iOS device owner (and Mac users too) should have enabled on their devices, but up until now there has been a problem; when a devices battery runs out, so goes the ability to track the lost iPhone. That’s exactly what this setting in iOS 8 aims to resolve, and much like Find My iPhone, every iOS device owner should take a moment to enable this.
Descriptively called “Send Last Location”, it sends the last known location of the iOS device to Apple when the battery becomes critically low. What this means for you as the person looking for the missing iPhone, is that the last place it was physically located will show up on your very own Find My iPhone map, and with that, hopefully the ability to go find the now battery-drained device.
How to Help Find Your iPhone Even if Battery Dies by Enabling Send Last Location
You’ll need to have the general Find My iPhone service enabled for this option to work, but you should always have that enabled anyway for a variety of reasons. Here’s what you’ll want to do next:
- Open “Settings” and go to “iCloud”
- Select “Find My iPhone” and flip the switch next to “Send Last Location” to the ON position
With that toggled on you can exit out of Settings as usual and then rest a little easier knowing that even if your battery poops out, you’ll (hopefully) still be able to locate your lost iPhone or iPad by looking for it’s last known location on a map.
It’s a bit of a mystery why this isn’t enabled by default when a user chooses to enable Find My iPhone, since it will undoubtedly lead to the recover of more missing iPhones, iPads, and iPods. Hopefully this feature makes it to the Mac soon as well, but current versions of OS X do not have such an ability.
Of course, there are a few limitations with this feature. You obviously won’t be able to make a battery dead device beep, and this will have limited efficacy with a stolen iPhone or other iOS device, but that’s when the other Find My iPhone feature can be used to lock down a device with the iCloud Activation Lock. Activation Lock is able to remotely render a device useless until the proper Apple ID has been used to disable the iCloud lock active on the device in question, which means if a thief has your device, they at least won’t be able to use it.