How to Find a Lost iPhone, iPad, Mac with FindMy on Mac

Nov 25, 2019 - 6 Comments

Find My Mac App

Lost an iPhone, iPad, or Mac? Losing something is not only really irritating, but depending on what you’ve misplaced it can be a costly endeavor, too. Thankfully Apple offers a way to try and find lost iPhones, iPads, and Macs and it’s called Find My. Now there’s an app by the same name available for all three devices, and we’re going to focus on the Mac here to help you locate missing Apple devices.

The Find My app is available as a free, preinstalled app on all Macs running macOS 10.15 Catalina or later. You can open it by using Spotlight and searching for “Find My,” or you can open it from the Applications folder. Both methods will work just fine.

How to Use Find My to Locate a Missing iPhone, iPad, or Mac, from MacOS

To get started, open the “Find My” application on Mac, then make sure that you have the Find My app open and tap the “Devices” tab in the left-hand pane.

You’ll see a full list of all of your devices, including iPhones, iPads, and Macs.

You’ll also see all of the devices which are signed into the Apple IDs of anyone who is part of your family, too. That can be super useful when your kids can’t find their iPad, for example.

Now here’s how to use FindMy on the Mac to find a missing or misplaced device:

  1. Tap the buttons across the bottom of the window to change the map view. You can choose either Map, Hybrid, or Satellite.
  2. Click a device to see its location on the map.Find My Mac app full window
  3. Click the +/- buttons to zoom in and out, or click the “3D” button to change the map’s perspective.

Interacting with the Missing Device via FindMy

Once you have selected the device that you want to locate, you have a few options.

Right click the device’s name in the left-hand pane and choose one of the following options:

  • Play Sound – This plays an audible sound on the device. Great for finding a phone that’s stuck down the back of a sofa.
  • Directions – This provides directions from your current location to the last place the device appeared online.
  • Mark as Lost – This marks a device as lost. The device will be locked and you can provide contact information that will be displayed when the device is found.
  • Erase this Device – This is the nuclear option and will completely erase a lost device. This should only be done if the data is so important it cannot be allowed to be accessed.

It’s important to note that Find My can only locate a lost device if it was previously configured to share its location. Ensure that is the case for all of your devices if you wish to use Find My in the future.

How to Enable “Find My Mac” On a Mac

Want to be able to find a misplaced or lost Mac? Here’s how you can turn on the FindMy feature on that computer:

  1. Click the Apple logo in the menu bar and click “System Preferences.”
  2. Click your Apple ID and then click “iCloud/”
  3. Check the box beside “Find My Mac.”

How to Enable “Find My iPhone / iPad” on an iPhone or iPad

Want to be able to locate and find a lost iPhone or iPad? Here’s how you can enable the Find My feature on those devices:

  1. Open the Settings app and tap your name at the top of the screen.
  2. Tap “Find My.”
  3. Switch “Share My Location” to the “On” position.

Another handy feature for iPhone and iPad is to enable “Send Last Location” so even if the devices battery is out the last known location of that device can still be shared.

Find My can only help if these steps are followed ahead of time, so be sure to do that now before it’s too late. You can’t do enable this feature once you’ve lost your device, so enable it ahead of time.

Assuming you have the Find My features enabled on your devices, and you should, you can also find your missing iPhone with Siri and that same trick works with Mac and iPad too.

And by the way, you can also access and activate the Find My iPhone / Mac / iPad tracking features from the web with, which basically lets you use another device to locate your missing devices if you don’t have another of your own handy. If you’re in a real pinch and notice the device is long gone or on some distant location you’ll never regain from again, you can even remotely wipe the device to make sure your personal data is never accessed by anyone else.

The “Find My” feature set is fantastic, and something every iPhone, iPad, and Mac user should have enabled and using on their device, it’s highly recommended whether you’re trying to find a misplaced or lost device, or just want some added peace of mind about your devices.

Have you lost an iPhone, iPad, or Mac and if so did Find My save your bacon? We’d love to hear any stories in the comments below. Hopefully you never need to use Find My in this way, but it’s great to know that it’s there should the worst happen.


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Posted by: Oliver Haslam in iPad, iPhone, Mac, Tips & Tricks


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Mick Farrar says:

    It’s lost, give it up as an expensive mistake and move on.

  2. Dennis says:

    Yes, it saved my bacon more than once – but I noticed when I fired up my laptop to use the feature, wireless was not available – I had to drive ten miles to get wireless coverage so I could find my phone, which was where I had just left – do i need a dongle or something to be able to access the internet when wifi is not available so I can find my iphone or other device?

  3. Anne says:

    I misplaced my iPhone within my apartment. I could not see a way to make it create an audible sound from the iPad.

    I didn’t pursue it because I also have a landline and just called it.

    Good to know it can be from the desktop.

  4. Carl Yee says:

    No mention is made of the Notifications feature. This feature does not seem to work as easily and clearly as the previous.

  5. mary nilan says:

    I was unable to get the “Find MY” app at the apple store or anywhere else. I hoped this article would have had a link to getting the app but I didn’t see it.

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