You’ve lost your iPhone. Now what?

Our phones hold it all: passwords, family photos, private messages. You only need to look at recent news coverage of the battle between the FBI and Apple to see just how critically we depend on our phones in today’s society, and how important they are to privacy.

But at some point in your life, you’ll probably lose your iPhone. What then?

Apple’s built-in Find My iPhone technology should ease the panic that accompanies losing your device, but what if the phone is turned off?

Here’s what to do when you lose your iPhone, whether or not Find My iPhone is turned on.

Turn On Lost Mode

Check if Find My iPhone is enabled by going to and logging in to your iCloud account. If your phone is turned on, and Find My Phone is enabled, you’ll be able to view the location of your phone.

From here, you can turn on Lost Mode remotely. This will lock the device with a passcode and display a custom message like “This iPhone is lost. Please call me at (555) 555-555.” Lost Mode also ensures that Apple Pay payments are suspended.

Even if your device is offline, you can still put it in Lost Mode. The next time your phone goes online, Lost Mode will take effect.

In a perfect world, Lost Mode and Find My iPhone leads you right to your iPhone.

But if your iPhone is turned off, Find My iPhone is disabled, or you never added your iPhone to your iCloud account, you’ll have your work cut out for you.

What if Find My iPhone is turned off?

If Find My iPhone isn’t enabled, there’s no other way to locate your device, short of calling or messaging your number and hoping it has fallen into friendly hands.

So if you fear your phone is lost forever, and you’re concerned about your data, here’s your next move:

  • Change your Apple ID password. This prevents anyone from accessing iCloud, iMessage and iTunes on your device.
  • Change passwords to email accounts or social media accounts.
  • Report your device as lost or stolen to local police and share the serial number with them.
  • Report your device as lost or stolen to your cell phone carrier. They can disable the account and prevent data use and text messaging.

Fortunately, your iPhone’s Touch ID and four or six-digit phone pass codes will make it difficult for someone with your phone to access its data. They’re also still another step away from accessing your private information within mSecure, which is password-protected.

To prepare yourself for the best response to losing your iPhone, enable Find My iPhone. And if you’re using mSecure, set up iCloud Syncing. Visit the iCloud Syncing for iOS section of the mSecure Support Knowledge Base for more information.