How to Find Someone Else's iPhone When It's Lost (Feb 2023)

Need to find your friend's iPhone? Use this simple solution to become a friendly neighborhood iPhone tracker.

What to Know

  • Use the Help a Friend feature within the Find My app to help someone else locate their iPhone. 
  • With the Help a Friend feature, you can track and ping the lost device, as well as enable Lost Mode to protect your data until the lost iPhone is recovered.

The iPhone Find My app is a great tool to find a misplaced, lost, or stolen iPhone. While it is most commonly used to locate your own devices, you can also find someone else’s iPhone using this feature. The Find My app allows you to help a friend find their iPhone, since it now cleverly combines the Find My iPhone and Find My Friends functions. Let's learn how to track an iPhone using your friend's iPhone. 

How to Find Someone’s iPhone: Important Notes

  • Follow the steps below and use the Help a Friend feature within the Find My app. The Help a Friend feature bypasses the two-factor authentication. If you just sign in to iCloud on your friend's iPhone browser, you'll be asked to enter a 6-digit passcode (a definite problem if your device is lost). 
  • Once you have logged into iCloud from the Help a Friend feature, do NOT sign out until you find the device. Multiple login attempts trigger extra iCloud security, so if you sign out and try to log back in, you might be asked to enter an authentication code from your lost device. 
  • If the lost iPhone is dead, you can see the last known location but not the current location. As long as you have Send 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 the lost iPhone is offline, the Find My app can still find the lost iPhone's current location using nearby Apple devices. So as long as other Apple devices are nearby, you will be able to track it. 
  • If the lost iPhone is turned off, it is still trackable as long as you have iOS 15 or later and haven't disabled Find My. Otherwise, you'll be shown the last known location of your iPhone.

Related: How to Find Your iPhone Even If It’s Dead or Offline

How to Find My iPhone Using Someone Else’s iPhone

So, how do you find someone else's iPhone? Whether you have the latest iOS 16 or an older software version, you can find a friend's iPhone (or find your own iPhone from someone else's iPhone) by signing into the Help a Friend feature within the Find My app. Once you master this move, sign up for our free Tip of the Day newsletter to find more ways to be your friends' iPhone savior. Let's cover how to use Find My iPhone for a friend:

  1. Open the Find My app.

  2. Select Me from the options on the bottom of the screen.

    Tap on Me at the bottom right
  3. Tap Help a Friend at the very bottom. This will open iCloud.com. From the menu that appears, tap Use a different Apple ID in the smaller letters below the word "Continue". 

    Tap help a friend
  4. Have your friend sign in to iCloud using their Apple ID to see their devices. If they are offered the chance to stay logged in to this ID and save the password, your friend should decline. 

    Sign in with Apple ID
  5. Select the device they are looking for.

    Select device
  6. If the lost device appears to be nearby, you can tap Play Sound to help you locate it.

    Use Play Sound to locate an iPhone that seems to be close by
  7. If the lost iPhone is far away, you can tap Lost Mode to help protect the data on the phone and automatically turn on Low Power Mode to give you more time to search.

    Tap on Lost Mode to enable Lost Mode on your friend's lost iPhone
  8. Once your friend has located the lost device, tap their name in the top-right corner and select Sign Out to log out of iCloud. 

    Tap your Name in the top corner and tap Sign Out to log out of iCloud.

While searching for your lost device, I don't recommend using the third option in that bottom menu—deleting everything from the iPhone with the Erase iPhone button—unless you're sure the phone is in danger and the private data is at risk of being stolen. To help make this decision, you can read up on what Lost Mode does, and see if it will do an adequate job of protecting the compromised iPhone.

Now that you know how to find someone else's lost iPhone, you'll be very popular with your more forgetful friends! Read about how accurate Find My iPhone really is next

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Author Details

Olena Kagui's picture

Author Details

Olena Kagui

Olena Kagui is a Feature Writer at iPhone Life who lives in Hawaii. With a BA in International Relations from Anglo American University, Olena traveled the world. She has lived in Ukraine, the Czech Republic, China, and the USA. Olena won an excellence award for a controversial article, got a grant to blog from a war-zone, and published a short fictional story. She hopes to publish a full-length novel and continue writing up a storm on her blog The Travel Bug Bite! When she’s not typing or flying, she is loving on animals, crafting bizarre creations, and devouring all-you-can-eat sushi.