How to Trace a Stolen iPhone

By Amanda Gronot

To trace a stolen iPhone, you will need to have already installed an iPhone tracking app such as MobileMe, iLocalis, iHound or Mobile Spy. If you do not have one of these programs, you will not be able to trace your phone yourself: you will only be able to report it stolen to the police and your cellular carrier. These apps take advantage of the iPhone's GPS signal, so when you access the app from your computer, you can see where your iPhone is and lock it to prevent anyone from using it.

Step 1

Take precautions before your iPhone is stolen by downloading a tracking app. Apple provides a free app called "Find My iPhone" on all iPhones running iOS 4 or later. This service works through MobileMe, and all you have to do is activate it.

Step 2

Log in to your account for your tracking app on your computer.

Step 3

Open the "Map" section. On MobileMe, this is located under "Find My iPhone." If you don't have the paid version, your MobileMe account will only display the "Find My iPhone" section.

Step 4

Pinpoint your location on the map, often indicated by a pulsating blue dot.

Step 5

Choose to lock your iPhone, display a message or play a sound if these features are available for your app. Contact the police to retrieve your stolen phone.

Tips & Warnings

  • Take precautions before your iPhone is stolen. You cannot trace it if you don't have the proper setup.