How to Avoid Disaster if Your iPhone is Lost, Stolen or Damaged

How to Avoid Disaster if Your iPhone is Lost, Stolen or Damaged

Taking a few minutes to prepare will minimize frustration later.

We’ve all experienced that moment of panic when we lose our iPhone. The first reaction is to call your phone. If you fail to hear it ringing, all kinds of thoughts come to mind.

Is my information safe? Did I turn on find my iPhone? When was my last backup?

On your Apple devices, if you’ve set up iCloud, you can locate your lost devices by using the Find My iPhone app.

Since the release of iOS7 in September of 2013, Apple has made it impossible for a thief to reset or reformat your device without your iCloud username and password.

iCloud also allows you to set up automatic backups to ensure you can retrieve your information when you get a new device.

Are you using these features? Take a minute to review these steps to ensure you are prepared BEFORE your device is lost, stolen, or damaged.

1 - Set up iCloud

- When you activate your iPhone, you are prompted to set up iCloud.
- To verify or set up iCloud on your iPhone

    Make sure your software is up to date.
    Turn on iCloud by going to Settings > iCloud > enter your Apple ID and password.
    If you need help with your Apple ID, see this article.

2 - Turn on Find My iPhone

- Go to Settings > iCloud > scroll down to find Find My iPhone and turn it on.
- Turn on ‘Send Last Location. This feature will find your device if it’s turned off or the battery is dead.
- Make sure you do this for all of your devices.

3 - Download the Find My iPhone app

- Install the Find My iPhone app on all of your devices.
- If you lose your iPhone, use the app on your iPad or Mac to find your device.
- If you don’t have the app, you can also log on to your iCloud account on any computer to find your device.

4 - Backup your devices

With iCloud

- Connect to wi-fi.
- Go to Settings > iCloud > Backup and turn on iCloud backup.
- Select Back Up Now.
- Make sure your backup is completed by going to Settings > iCloud > Storage, and then select your device. You should see the backup you just made.
- iCloud will automatically back up daily if connected to a power source, connected to wi-fi, and your device’s screen is locked.

With iTunes

- Open iTunes and connect your device to your computer.
- Save content that you downloaded from the iTunes Store or App Store by clicking File > Devices > Transfer Purchases.
- Wait for iTunes to finish transferring your purchases. Then, click File > Devices > Back up.
- After the process ends, you can see if your backup finished successfully by clicking iTunes Preferences > Devices. You should see the name of your device with the date and time that iTunes created the backup.

5 - Set up a passcode on your lock screen

- Prevent access to your personal information if someone finds your device.
- Go to Settings > Touch ID and Passcode.
- Select a 6 digit code you will use to unlock your device.
- You can also unlock your device with your fingerprint if you set up Touch ID.


Taking a few minutes to make sure you know these features and have them enabled will help to minimize the panic if your device is lost, stolen or damaged.

If you're over 50 and own an iPhone, make sure you check out my FREE ebook, 10 Features Everyone Over 50 Should Know.