Find My iPhone is an incredibly useful feature that allows you to locate and track your iPhone, even if it’s lost or stolen. But what if you want to use Find My iPhone to track someone else’s device, like your child or spouse? In this comprehensive guide, I’ll explain exactly how to set up and use Find My iPhone for another person’s device in 2023.
An Overview of Find My iPhone
Before getting into the specifics, let’s review what Find My iPhone is and how it works.
Find My iPhone is an app developed by Apple that uses GPS, Bluetooth and WiFi to pinpoint the location of your iPhone, iPad, MacBook or AirPods on a map. It also allows you to remotely lock, erase or play a sound on your devices if they are ever lost or stolen.
Some key things to know about Find My iPhone:
- It comes pre-installed on iOS devices and Macs.
- It requires an iCloud account to work. The device must be signed into the same iCloud account.
- Location services must be enabled on the device for Find My iPhone to work.
- It can locate devices even if they are offline, as long as they have battery left.
Now let’s look at how to use Find My iPhone for someone else’s device.
Getting Started with Find My iPhone for Another Person
In order to use Find My iPhone to track someone else’s device, a few things need to be in place:
1. You Need the Person’s Apple ID and Password
To set up Find My iPhone on another person’s device, you need to know their Apple ID and password. This allows you to access their iCloud account and enable Find My iPhone remotely.
Always get permission from the other person before accessing their Apple ID account! Tracking someone without their consent raises major privacy concerns.
2. Find My iPhone Needs to Be Turned On
For Find My iPhone to work, the feature needs to be enabled on the other person’s device. Here’s how to check if it’s on:
- On an iPhone or iPad – go to Settings > [NAME]’s Account > Find My > Find My iPhone and make sure it is toggled on.
- On a Mac – go to System Preferences > Apple ID > iCloud and confirm Find My Mac is checked.
If Find My iPhone is disabled, you’ll need to input the person’s Apple ID temporarily to turn it on.
3. Location Services Must Be Enabled
The device also needs to have location services enabled for Find My iPhone to pinpoint its location.
- On an iPhone or iPad, check Settings > Privacy > Location Services to make sure location access is turned on for Find My iPhone.
- On a Mac, go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy > Location Services and enable location access for Find My Mac.
4. Two-Factor Authentication May Need to Be Disabled Temporarily
If the person has two-factor authentication enabled on their Apple ID, you’ll need to temporarily disable it to sign in to their account on your device. Re-enable it once you’re done setting up Find My iPhone.
To disable two-factor authentication:
- On the person’s iPhone, go to Settings > [NAME]’s Account > Password & Security > Two-Factor Authentication and tap Turn Off.
- On appleid.apple.com, sign in to their account, go to Security > Two-Factor Authentication and click Turn Off.
With those prerequisites met, you’re ready to enable Find My iPhone on another device!
How to Set Up Find My iPhone on Someone Else’s Device
There are a couple ways to get Find My iPhone working on someone else’s device remotely:
Method 1: Using iCloud on a Browser
- On your computer or phone browser, go to iCloud.com and log in using the person’s Apple ID and password.
- Click on Find iPhone. If a device isn’t already enabled, you’ll see an option to “Set Up” an iPhone, iPad or Mac.
- Follow the on-screen steps to set up Find My iPhone on the device you want to track. Make sure Find My iPhone is toggled on and location access is enabled.
- You can also enable Send Last Location, which will pinpoint the device’s last location if the battery dies.
- Once setup is complete, Find My iPhone will be enabled and ready to locate the person’s device! Just sign back in anytime to appleid.apple.com to view and track it.
Method 2: Using the Find My App on Your iPhone
You can also set up Find My iPhone directly from the Find My app on your own iPhone:
- Download the Find My app from the App Store if you don’t already have it.
- Open the Find My app and select “Add a Device”.
- Input the person’s Apple ID and password when prompted.
- Follow the on-screen setup to enable Find My iPhone on the device you want to track. Make sure Find My iPhone and location access are turned on.
- You can now track the device in the Find My app on your iPhone using the person’s Apple ID. Just re-open the app anytime!
With Find My iPhone set up on their device using either method, you’re ready to start tracking and locating it!
How to Use Find My iPhone to Locate Someone Else’s Device
Once Find My iPhone is successfully enabled on the other person’s device, using it is simple. Here are the steps to view and track it:
- Go to iCloud.com and sign in to the person’s iCloud account.
- Select Find iPhone in the top right. This will open an interactive map.
- Any device signed into that iCloud account with Find My iPhone enabled will show its current location on the map.
- Click the device name to expand options like Lost Mode, Play Sound and directions.
- You can track the phone in real-time as the person moves by watching the location dot on the map.
On the Find My App
- Open the Find My app on your iPhone and select the Devices tab at the bottom.
- Tap the name of the device you want to locate. This will bring up the map view.
- Follow the blue dot to see the real-time location. Tap the device name for more options.
- You can also track the location right from the Devices list when collapsed.
Useful Features in Find My iPhone
In either Find My iPhone view, there are helpful tools you can use once you’ve located the device:
- Lost Mode – Remotely lock the device with a passcode. You can also display a custom message with your contact info on the locked screen.
- Play Sound – Force the device to play a loud sound to help find it nearby. The sound will play for two minutes.
- Erase Device – Remotely wipe the device entirely. This is useful if the phone is completely lost and you want to protect personal data.
- Directions – Get directions to the device’s exact location using the Maps app. Helpful for driving to the phone’s pinned location.
Using these features, you can not only track the phone, but also remotely secure the device if needed!
How To Use Find My iPhone for Someone
Method 1: Setting Up the Find My App
- Open the App Store: Access the App Store on your iPhone or iPad.
- Search for Find My: Type “Find My” into the search bar at the top of the screen.
- Download the Find My App: Locate the Find My app and tap the “Get” button to download and install it on your device.
- Sign In with Your Apple ID: Once the app is installed, launch it and sign in using your Apple ID and password.
Method 2: Enabling Location Services
- Access Settings: Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
- Tap on Privacy: Scroll down and select “Privacy” from the settings menu.
- Choose Location Services: Locate and tap on “Location Services” within the Privacy settings.
- Enable Find My: Scroll down the list of apps and ensure that “Find My” is toggled on to enable location services for the app.
- Grant Precise Location Access: If you want to use the “Play Sound” and “Find Nearby” features, tap on “Find My” again and select “Precise Location.”
Method 3: Adding a New Device to the Find My App on Your iPhone
- Open the Find My App: Launch the Find My app from your iPhone or iPad.
- Tap on the “+” Icon: Locate the “+” icon in the top-left corner of the app and tap on it.
- Choose “Share My Location”: Select the option “Share My Location” from the menu that appears.
- Send a Sharing Request: If the device you want to track belongs to someone else, send them a sharing request via email or message.
- Accept the Sharing Request: Once the device owner accepts the sharing request, the device will be added to your list of tracked devices in the Find My app.
Method 4: Removing a Device From the Find My App on Your iPhone
- Open the Find My App: Launch the Find My app on your iPhone or iPad.
- Select the Device: Locate the device you want to remove from your list of tracked devices and tap on it.
- Scroll Down and Tap “Remove This Device”: Scroll down to the bottom of the device’s information page and tap on the “Remove This Device” option.
- Confirm Removal: A pop-up window will appear asking you to confirm the removal. Tap on “Remove” to proceed.
- Device Removed: The selected device will be removed from your list of tracked devices in the Find My app.
How to Locating a Lost iPhone: Step-by-Step Guide
Find My iPhone is an integral part of Apple’s ecosystem, offering a valuable tool for tracking and managing lost or stolen iPhones. It utilizes a combination of GPS, Wi-Fi, and cellular network data to pinpoint the device’s location, making it an effective means of recovery. However, it’s important to note that using Find My iPhone for someone else requires their explicit consent and access to their Apple ID credentials.
Prerequisites for Using Find My iPhone for Someone Else
Before embarking on the task of locating someone else’s iPhone, ensure that the following prerequisites are met:
- Obtain Permission: Secure the consent of the iPhone owner to use Find My iPhone on their behalf.
- Gather Apple ID Credentials: Acquire the iPhone owner’s Apple ID and password.
- Access to a Compatible Device: Have access to a device that can run the Find My app, such as an iPhone, iPad, or Mac.
Locating a Lost iPhone: Step-by-Step Guide
- Launch Find My App: Open the Find My app on the device you have access to.
- Sign in with Owner’s Apple ID: Sign in using the iPhone owner’s Apple ID and password.
- Select the Lost iPhone: From the list of available devices, select the iPhone you want to locate.
- View iPhone Location: The app will display the current location of the iPhone on a map.
- Play Sound or Send Lost Mode Message: If the iPhone is nearby, you can play a sound to help locate it. If it’s lost or stolen, you can activate Lost Mode to lock the device and display a message with contact information.
- Erase iPhone Remotely (Optional): If the iPhone is lost or stolen and you have no hope of recovering it, you can remotely erase all data from the device to prevent unauthorized access to personal information.
Find My iPhone proves to be an invaluable tool for locating lost iPhones, even if they belong to someone else. By following the steps outlined in this guide and adhering to the principles of respect and communication, you can effectively utilize Find My iPhone to assist others in recovering their lost devices. Remember, technology can be a powerful ally in times of need, and with responsible usage, you can help others navigate the challenges of losing their precious smartphones.
Tips for Using Find My iPhone to Track Someone Else’s Device
To ensure Find My iPhone works properly for tracking someone else’s device, keep these tips in mind:
- Get permission first! Always get consent from the other person before tracking their phone or tablet. Explain why you’d like to enable Find My iPhone.
- Test it out together. Have the person sign in on their device while you sign in remotely to make sure it’s set up correctly. Confirm you can view the location.
- Conserve battery life. Reduce location check frequency and disable background app refresh to preserve battery, since it needs power to report location.
- Use Lost Mode if lost. Lost Mode locks and tracks the phone while displaying your custom message with contact info on the lock screen.
- Charge devices before a trip. Ensure the device is charged, so Find My can pinpoint the last location if the battery dies while traveling.
- Share your locations. Take advantage of the Share My Location feature in Find My app so they can also view your location for added assurance.
- Set location notifications. Be notified when the person arrives at or leaves a location like home or work by setting up notifications.
- Respect privacy. Only track the device as needed and be open about when you’re viewing the location. Don’t abuse the ability to track someone without consent.
- Turn off Find My after use. If tracking was for a specific event like a trip, remotely turn off Find My iPhone afterwards for privacy.
Following this advice will lead to the best, most respectful experience using Find My iPhone to keep track of someone else’s device location.
Troubleshooting Find My iPhone Issues
Find My iPhone is generally reliable for tracking devices, but sometimes issues pop up preventing you from locating a device. Here are some common problems and fixes:
Can’t sign in to iCloud account: The person may have recently changed their Apple ID password without telling you. Confirm the password first.
Can’t locate device: A few things could cause this:
- Location services are disabled – check Settings on the device.
- Battery died – the phone needs power for Find My to work.
- Out of cellular or WiFi range – being offline prevents location updates.
Location isn’t updating: The device may be in a poor signal area, have old iOS software, or have Find My iPhone disabled. Trying toggling settings off and on again.
Map shows last location only: This means the device’s battery has died. It shows the last location before power ran out.
Can’t play sound: Either the phone is on silent/do not disturb, or it’s powered off. The sound feature won’t work if the device is off.
Lost Mode not working: Make sure Find My iPhone is enabled and iCloud is signed in. Lost Mode requires a data connection to activate remotely.
If issues persist, have the person reboot their device, reinstall the latest iOS update, and double check that Find My iPhone is enabled in iCloud settings. This should resolve most technical issues.
For any other problems using Find My iPhone to track someone else’s device, Apple provides full troubleshooting guidance on their support site.
Alternative Tracking Apps for iOS & Android Devices
In some cases, you may need to track a person’s iPhone along with another device like an Android phone. Or perhaps you simply want additional tracking app options.
Here are some top third-party tracking apps compatible with iOS, Android and other devices:
- Life360: Tracks location 24/7, optional driving features and location history. Works on iOS and Android.
- Find My Friends: Apple’s app lets you share locations with friends/family. Good alternative to Find My for iOS devices.
- Famisafe: Tracks location, usage, calls + texts and more. Special kid and family tracking modes. For parents monitoring children.
- Talkz: Primarily a child tracking app with listen-in feature and geo-fencing alerts when they arrive or leave places.
- Spyzie: Monitors iOS and Android devices via a web-based dashboard. Shows location, messages, social media and more.
- mSpy: Another extensive monitoring suite for parents and employers covering iOS, Android and computers.
- Tile: Primarily helps find lost items, but can also be slipped into a backpack or pocket to track a person’s location.
The main downside of third-party tracking apps is you often need access to the actual device to install special software. Find My iPhone has the benefit of using Apple’s built-in tools for more seamless tracking. But alternative apps provide additional features and cross-platform support.
Ethical Considerations of Tracking Someone’s Location
While Find My iPhone provides the ability to track someone else’s device, it’s crucial to consider the ethics of doing so without consent. Here are some important points:
- Discuss why you want to track them and get their permission first. Explain how you plan to use the location data.
- Make sure you have a legitimate reason like safety for a caregiver/child or shared responsibility for a family member. Avoid tracking for unhealthy reasons.
- Be transparent about when you are accessing the location data. Don’t track secretly.
- Only track for agreed-upon durations, like during an upcoming trip. Disable monitoring afterwards.
- Where legally required, inform them in writing if you are tracking location and for what purposes.
- Make sure children are old enough to understand what is being done and why before tracking a minor.
- Be mindful of battery usage, privacy and security when tracking someone else. Use reasonable judgement.
- Never access private accounts or data. Only use tracking for locating the device itself.
- Avoid sharing location data with other individuals or companies without consent where possible.
With great power comes great responsibility. The ability Find My iPhone gives us to view someone else’s location should be used ethically and for good.
Find My iPhone is an invaluable tool for keeping track of your own devices. But with consent and proper precautions, it can also be used to view and monitor someone else’s iPhone or iPad location.
The key is having the person’s Apple ID login details, ensuring Find My iPhone and location services are enabled beforehand, and using the map views in iCloud or the Find My app to track real-time movement. Take advantage of features like Lost Mode, notifications and directions to securely monitor devices remotely.
While technology opens up these possibilities, be very mindful of privacy, security and consent when tracking others. Have an open discussion on why it’s being done and get their approval first. With good communication and intentions, Find My iPhone allows families and caregivers to look out for each other by providing peace of mind.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can I use Find My iPhone to locate someone else’s iPhone without their permission?
No, you cannot use Find My iPhone to locate someone else’s iPhone without their explicit permission. This is because Find My iPhone utilizes the iPhone owner’s Apple ID credentials to access the device’s location information. Using the feature without someone’s consent would be a violation of their privacy.
What information do I need to use Find My iPhone for someone else?
To use Find My iPhone for someone else, you will need the following information:
- The iPhone owner’s Apple ID and password
- Access to a device that can run the Find My app, such as an iPhone, iPad, or Mac
How do I locate someone else’s iPhone using Find My iPhone?
To locate someone else’s iPhone using Find My iPhone, follow these steps:
- Launch the Find My app on the device you have access to.
- Sign in using the iPhone owner’s Apple ID and password.
- Select the lost iPhone from the list of available devices.
- View the iPhone’s current location on a map.
What can I do if I find someone else’s iPhone using Find My iPhone?
If you find someone else’s iPhone using Find My iPhone, the best course of action is to contact the iPhone owner immediately. You can use the Find My app to play a sound on the iPhone or send a message with your contact information to help the owner locate it.
What should I do if someone else’s iPhone is lost or stolen?
If someone else’s iPhone is lost or stolen, you should take the following steps:
- Activate Lost Mode on the iPhone. This will lock the device and display a message with contact information.
- If the iPhone is still not found after a reasonable amount of time, you should remotely erase all data from the device to prevent unauthorized access to personal information.
- Contact the iPhone owner and inform them of the situation. You should also encourage them to report the lost or stolen device to the police.