How to Find Lost iPhone: Dead, Offline, Turned Off, or Otherwise (iOS 15 Update)

6 top tips for how to find an iPhone that is offline or otherwise unresponsive.

"I lost my iPhone and it's dead. Can I track it?" When I need to find my dead iPhone, I use the Find My iPhone last known location feature. This feature will help you find a dead iPhone's last location from before the phone died, which often leads to recovery of the device! We'll show you the top ways to check the last location of an iPhone.

Jump To:

How to Find an iPhone That Is Offline, Dead, or Turned Off—6 Easy Methods

Use the following methods if you're looking to learn how to find a lost iPhone that is turned off or otherwise not currently trackable. It's important to note that if you suspect your iPhone has been stolen, you should contact local authorities. Please do not attempt to recover the stolen phone yourself, but instead follow our guide for what to do if your iPhone is permanently lost or stolen, as these steps will be different from those needed to find a lost phone with the Find My last known location feature.

How to Find Your iPhone When It’s Dead Using an iPad

In this section we'll show you how to find a lost iPhone that is dead using the Find My app on an iPad. If your iPhone is dead, you'll be directed to the last place your iPhone was located before the battery died. If your lost iPhone is offline but not dead, then the Find My app will find the lost iPhone's current location using nearby Apple devices. To find your lost iPhone on an iPad or a friend’s iPhone (even if it’s dead):

  1. Open the Find My app on the device you're using.


     
  2. Tap the Devices tab.


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


     
  5. If your lost iPhone is dead or turned off, 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.


     
  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. Tap Directions to get driving or walking directions to your lost iPhone's location.


     
  8. If the iPhone is offline but not dead, you can tap Play Sound to help you locate your iPhone when you get close to it.


     
  9. If the iPhone is dead, you can swipe up on the sidebar and toggle on Notify When Found to send notifications and a location update to your iPad the next time your lost iPhone is turned on.

How to Find My iPhone from Another iPhone

How do I track my iPhone if it's offline or dead and I don't have an iPad to use? In this case, your friends and family can help you find your lost iPhone by allowing you to log into your device on their iPhone. When using a different iPhone tied to someone else's Apple ID, don't sign out from their ID in Settings; use the Me tab in the Find My app to log in remotely. Here's how to use someone else's Apple Device to find your lost iPhone.

  1. Open the Find My app on your friend's iPhone.


     
  2. Select the Me tab.


     
  3. Scroll down and tap Help A Friend.


     
  4. You will be asked to log into iCloud. If prompted to log in using Touch or Face ID, select Use Different Apple ID at the bottom of the pop-up notification.
  5. Log in using your own Apple ID and password.
  6. When prompted to save your password, select Not Now.
  7. To find your lost iPhone, tap on it in the list of devices that appears at the bottom of the screen.


     
  8. The screen will display a circle around the area where your iPhone is located, and will zoom in if necessary.


     
  9. You'll now see several buttons below the map.
  10. Play Sound is handy when you're getting close to the lost iPhone and you think you might hear the tone it plays to help you find it.


     
  11. Lost Mode will put your iPhone into Lost Mode to help keep your data secure.


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


     
  13. Use the map to locate your iPhone if it's nearby, or tap on Directions to get Apple Maps directions for your lost iPhone's location if it's farther away.
  14. When you're finished, tap your name on the top-right corner of the Find My app screen.


     
  15. Select Sign Out so that you don't stay signed in on your friend's iPhone.

How to Find Lost iPhone: Use iCloud.com/Find 

Most people looking for how to find an iPhone that is dead or otherwise offline will use a computer. While the app has been renamed on the iPad and iPhone, it's still called Find My iPhone when you log on to iCloud.com using your PC or Mac. The actual app on a Mac is called Find My, and you can use it to find a lost iPhone—dead battery or otherwise—just as you would the app on your iPhone or iPad. If you need to track your iPhone using iCloud.com's Find My iPhone app from a laptop or desktop web browser, here’s how:

  1. Open a browser and go to icloud.com, or open the Find My app on your computer.
  2. If using iCloud.com to find a lost iPhone, sign in using your Apple ID and password.


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


     
  4. Click the Find iPhone app icon.


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


     
  6. The map will display where your lost iPhone is located.


     
  7. If you're worried about someone finding your lost iPhone and accessing its data, Lost Mode will put your phone into Lost Mode to help keep your data secure.


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


     
  9. To sign out, click your name in the top-right corner and then click Sign Out.

​​What to Do If You Can’t Find Your Phone & It's Dead

If you have tried these steps and you still can't find the lost iPhone, You may want to activate iPhone Lost Mode. We'll show you how, but first, what does Lost Mode do?

When you use Find My to locate your lost iPhone, you’ll see an option called Mark as Lost. When enabled, Mark As Lost (Lost Mode) will 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. Apple Pay will be disabled, as well as most notifications. This mode also turns on Location Services remotely so that you can locate your device in the Find My app if you've as yet been unsuccessful.

Mark As Lost requires that your iPhone still have battery charge left. If your lost iPhone is dead, you can still enable Mark As Lost, but the mode will only engage when your iPhone powers back up and connects to Wi-Fi, cellular data, or Bluetooth. If you suspect your iPhone still has battery power, I would recommend using Mark As Lost. You can do this via iCloud.com or on another device, as demonstrated in the steps below.

  1. Open the Find My app on an available device that's signed into your Apple ID.


     
  2. Go to the Devices tab.


     
  3. Select your lost iPhone from the list.


     
  4. Swipe up on the sidebar to see more options.


     
  5. Under Mark As Lost, select Activate.


     
  6. Scroll down a little if needed an tap Continue.


     
  7. Enter a phone number where you can be reached in case someone finds your lost iPhone, then tap Next.


     
  8. Enter a message to display from the Lock screen, then tap Activate.


     
  9. Recover your lost iPhone using iCloud or the Find My app to track your phone's location.
  10. When found, unlock your device with your passcode.
  11. Tap Settings when prompted to sign back into your Apple ID on your recovered iPhone.

 Find My Offline Device with 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. If you aren't sure whether or not you've enabled location history, visit the link below. If you haven't, it will give you an option to enable it, which is a good idea in case you lose the phone in the future. 

  1. Head over to www.google.com/maps/timeline.
  2. Make sure you’re logged into your Google account.
  3. Select the date your iPhone went missing.
  4. Check your last location and go get that phone! 

Does Find My iPhone Work with 3rd-Party Devices?

Up until now, the Find My network only worked with Apple devices. Now, however, Apple is opening up the Find My network to third-party apps and devices. Users will be able to use the Find My network to locate Find My network-enabled third-party devices, offering this helpful resource to more than just Apple device users. This is expected to be available by the end of 2021, but it will be up to each company to offer this feature, so it may not be available on every Bluetooth-capable device.

Master your iPhone in one minute a day: Sign up here to get our FREE Tip of the Day delivered right to your inbox.

Topics

Author Details

Sarah Kingsbury's picture

Author Details

Sarah Kingsbury

Sarah Kingsbury is the Senior Web Editor and SEO Content Manager at iPhone Life. She manages the web editorial team and oversees all web and newsletter content. A long-time Apple enthusiast, Sarah can't live without her iPhone, Macbook Air, HomePod, Apple TV, or Apple Watch. As the original contributor to the iPhone Life Tip of the Day Newsletter, she wrote hundreds of iPhone how-tos to help users master their iPhones. It's safe to say that she has written or edited every tip published on iPhoneLife.com! In her 20 years of editing and writing, Sarah has done everything from working as the associate editor of the Iowa Source magazine to developing recipes and reviewing cookbooks for a vegetarian cooking website. But teaching people how to use their Apple devices is her favorite job so far.