How to use Lost Mode if your iPhone or iPad is lost or stolen

iPhone in Lost Mode

Using Find My iPhone is the first step to protecting your iPhone or iPad in case it is lost or stolen. The feature lets you effectively track your device and even lock it, making it virtually useless to anyone who would find or steal it.

The most powerful feature of Find My iPhone is Activation Lock, a way for you to remotely lock your device by putting it in Lost Mode. Doing so, you will be able to remotely password protect the device, and add a custom message on its Lock screen so that if someone finds your phone, they can call you and arrange a meet up.

Also worth highlighting is that when put in Lost Mode, no one will be able to restore or reactivate your device without your Apple ID and password. If this might not prevent someone from stealing your device, it will at least prevent this person from doing anything with it.

In this post, we will show you how to enable Lost Mode of an iPhone or iPad that might have been lost or stolen.

Lost Mode can be enabled from both the Find My iPhone app on any iOS device, or from in any web browser. For the purpose of this tutorial, we will be using the Find My iPhone app but the steps to enable Lost Mode would be similar if you were to do it from

How to put your iPhone or iPad in Lost Mode

1) From any iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, log into the Find My iPhone app using your Apple ID. You don’t have to log in Find My iPhone from a device that you own (ie. it could be a friend’s device), but you must login using the same Apple ID/password as the device you are trying to put into Lost Mode.

Find My iPhone login

2) Once logged in, Find My iPhone will show a map and a list of devices that are linked to your Apple ID. Tap on the device you have lost or that was stolen to select it.

locate device to erase

3) Tap on the “Actions” button at the bottom of the screen, then tap on “Lost Mode.”

put iPhone in lost mode

4) You will be asked to confirm you want to turn Lost Mode on. Tap on “Turn On Lost Mode…” to continue.

turn on lost mode

5) If the device you are trying to put in Lost Mode doesn’t have a passcode, Find My iPhone will require you to set one up on the spot. Type in a passcode and type the new passcode again to confirm. If you already have a passcode enabled on the device, then you can go straight to the next step.

Lost Mode create passcode

6) You will now have the option of entering a phone number where you can be reached. This phone number will be displayed on the Lock screen of your device. Although optional, it is highly recommended you add your phone number so people can reach you if they find your device. Tap “Next” when done.

Lost Mode phone number

7) Finally, you can enter a message to display on the Lock screen along with your phone number. By default, the message is “This iPhone has been lost. Please call me.” but you can customize it the way you want. Tap “Done” in the upper right corner to activate Lost Mode.

Lost Mode messsage to display

The device you used to put the other device in Lost Mode will now show that the device is indeed in Lost Mode (notice the red banner at the top and the lock icon on the lost device).

iPhone in lost mode

The device that has been put in Lost Mode will display your custom message and phone number on its Lock screen.

Device in Lost Mode

If someone tries to plug your iPhone in iTunes to restore it, they won’t be able to and they will see the following message, asking them to first turn off Find My iPhone.

itunes turn off find my iPhone

How to turn off Lost Mode

There are two ways you can turn off Lost Mode: from Find My iPhone, or from the device itself.

Turn off Lost Mode from Find My iPhone: In Find My iPhone, make sure you select the device that was put in Lost Mode. Tap on Lost Mode at the bottom of the screen, then tap “Turn Off Lost Mode.” A popup will ask you to confirm, so tap “Turn Off.”

Turn off lost mode

Turn off Lost Mode from the device that was lost: On the device that was put in Lost Mode, slide to unlock it, and enter the passcode. This will automatically turn Lost Mode off.

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