How to Find a Lost iPhone, Even If It's Dead or Offline (Dec 2022)

We’ll even show you how to find a lost iPhone without Find My iPhone!

If you're wondering how to find a dead iPhone, we'll start by covering the setting that needs to be enabled so you can view your iPhone's last location. You can find a lost iPhone using the Find My app or iCloud. Want to avoid Find My? We'll also show you how to find an iPhone without Find My iPhone using this hidden Google Maps feature. 

What to Know:

  • If your iPhone is dead, you can view the last location before the battery died, but you cannot track it.
  • If the iPhone has been turned off, you can still track it as long as you have Find My enabled.  
  • An offline iPhone will show the current location in Find My, as long as other Apple devices are nearby. 

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Can I Find My iPhone If It’s Offline, Dead, or Turned Off?

  • Does Find My iPhone work when a phone is dead? Yes. If your lost iPhone is dead, you can see the last known location but not the current location. As long as you have Find My iPhone Last Location enabled (this feature is enabled by default, so you would have had to manually switch it off), you can still see the last known location. If you don't have this feature turned on, the location of your iPhone will not be shown on the Find My app once your battery dies. 
  • Can you find an iPhone that is dead? If you have the Find My Last Known Location setting enabled, you'll be directed to the last place your iPhone was located before the battery died. Unfortunately, if your iPhone has been moved after it died, there is no way to see the current location.
  • Can you find an iPhone that is offline? Yes. As long as there are other Apple devices nearby, the Find My app can still triangulate the lost iPhone's current location using the crowdsourced Find My network. 
  • Can you find a lost iPhone that is turned off? Yes, as long as you have iOS 15 or later and haven't disabled Find My. While you can't ping your phone, you can still get directions and track your lost iPhone's location by following the steps in one of the Find My options.  
  • Can you track a stolen iPhone?  Yes, you can locate a stolen iPhone using the Find My app. However, you should not attempt to recover the stolen phone yourself. Instead, contact local authorities and follow our guide covering what to do if your iPhone is permanently lost or stolen.

Note: If your iPhone is turned on and in the same location as you, you don’t need the Find My app, instead, you can ping a lost iPhone with an Apple Watch or use Siri to find your lost iPhone

How to Find a Dead iPhone, Offline iPhone, or Turned Off iPhone (Find My)

If you own an iPad or Mac or you share your location with a Family Sharing Group and have access to an iPhone, iPad, or Mac belonging a group member, you can use one of those devices to find your lost iPhone. If your iPhone is offline, you'll still be able to track it as long as other Apple devices are nearby; if your iPhone is dead, you can view the last location before the battery died. Here's how to find your lost iPhone whether it's dead, offline, turned on, or switched off: 

  1. Open the Find My app on the device you're using and tap the Devices tab.

  2. A map will pop up with a list of your Find My-enabled devices. Select your iPhone from the list.

  3. If your lost iPhone is dead, it will appear on the map as an iPhone with a black screen, and you'll see red text in the sidebar telling you when the Find My iPhone last known location was saved.

    how to find phone with dead battery
  4. If your iPhone is turned on, it will appear with an active (colorful) Home screen, and you'll see a battery icon shown in the sidebar showing remaining battery life.

    how to find iphone that is turned off
  5. Tap Directions to get Apple Maps directions to your lost iPhone's location. If your iPhone is turned on, you can also tap Play Sound to help you locate your iPhone.

  6. Tap Activate under Mark as Lost to remotely lock your device and display a custom message with a phone number where you can be reached in case someone finds your lost iPhone. Learn more about what Lost Mode does

    Tap Mark as Lost to lock your device screen.
  7. If the iPhone is dead, you can toggle on Notify When Found to send notifications and a location update to your iPad the next time your lost iPhone is turned on.

The Erase this Device option should only be used if you think your iPhone is permanently lost or stolen, and then only after certain other steps.

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How to Find Your Lost iPhone with iCloud (Find My)

If you have the Find My app on your Mac (it should be installed by default), I strongly recommend switching to the app instead of using the browser. This is because the iCloud option only offers limited functionality: while it still allows you to view the last location on a map, you cannot get step-by-step directions to your lost device. However, if you just want to ping your nearby iPhone or place it in Lost Mode to protect your data, here's how to use Find My on iCloud.com:

  1. Go to icloud.com and sign in using your Apple ID and password.

  2. If prompted, click Allow to allow use of iCloud.com on the device you're using and complete two-factor authorization.

  3. Click the Find iPhone app icon.

  4. Select All Devices at the top and choose your missing iPhone.

  5. If your lost iPhone is dead, it will display with a black screen with smaller text beneath telling you when the Find My iPhone last location was saved. 

  6. If your iPhone is turned on, it will appear with an active (colorful) Home screen, and you'll see a battery icon shown in the sidebar showing remaining battery life.

  7. If the iPhone is turned on or offline (not dead), you can tap Play Sound to help you locate your iPhone when you get close to it.

  8. Tap Lost Mode to remotely lock your device and display a custom message with a phone number where you can be reached in case someone finds your lost iPhone. Learn more about what Lost Mode does

  9. The Erase iPhone option should only be used if you think your iPhone is permanently lost or stolen, and then only after certain other steps.

Pro Tip: Once you recover your iPhone, you can also set up alerts on your Apple Watch so that you never forget your phone. These can be set up for your phone and other devices and items.

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Find a Missing iPhone with Someone Else's iPhone or iPad (Find My)

If you don't have another device handy to help you track your lost iPhone, you can borrow your friend's Apple device and use their Find My app to locate your lost iPhone. Here's how it works: the Find My app has a Help a Friend feature that allows you to separately log in with your Apple ID. Then, you can see the current location (or Find My iPhone last location if your device is dead or offline).

You don't want to just log into iCloud on another person's device, as this can trigger extra security measures to protect your data. Using the Help a Friend feature will bypass the two-factor authentication (so you're not asked to enter a passcode from your lost iPhone). If you want to use someone else's device to find your lost iPhone, head over to our article to track your lost iPhone. 

How to Find a Lost iPhone without Find My iPhone (Google Maps)

Unfortunately, if you don’t have Find My iPhone enabled, you’ll need to resort to retracing your steps to find an iPhone last known location, unless you’ve enabled location history for Google Maps. Location history with Google maps will be able to tell you the last location of your lost iPhone even without Find My iPhone. If you haven't enabled Google Maps location history, consider doing it now in case you lose the phone in the future. Here's how to locate a lost iPhone using Google Maps:

  1. Head over to www.google.com/maps/timeline and make sure you’re logged into your Google account.
  2. Check your Location History status at the bottom of your screen. If Location History is on, you will be able to use this method. Unfortunately, if it is not enabled, you will not be able to use Google Maps to find your lost iPhone. 

  3. If Location History was already enabled, select the date your iPhone went missing by clicking Today or by clicking the drop-down menus to enter a previous date. 

  4. Check your last location and go get that phone! 

Hopefully, you've been able to successfully recover your lost iPhone! If you're wondering, just how accurate is Find My iPhone? It's pretty accurate! You can learn more about Find My iPhone here. 

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Author Details

Sarah Kingsbury's picture

Author Details

Sarah Kingsbury

Sarah Kingsbury is the Editorial Directer at iPhone Life. She manages the web editorial team and oversees all web and newsletter content. A long-time iPhone and Mac enthusiast, Sarah loves teaching people how to use their Apple devices.