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Does Find My iPhone Work When Phone Is Off?

Find My iPhone is a useful feature on Apple’s iPhone devices.

For those who don’t know, it lets you find your lost device using its secret utility feature. It has helped many people as well as investigators to find out the lost or stolen devices within a short period.


Even though this feature is helpful, you won’t get to hear much about it in mainstream media or online publications.

But don’t worry! I will try to share as much information as possible in this post so that it can help you in your investigation. And yes, don’t forget to leave a comment below if you find this information useful.

Alright, let’s get started with the most obvious question –

Does Find My iPhone Work When Phone Is Off?

No, the Find My iPhone feature doesn’t work when the phone is switched off.

This feature doesn’t respond to your search queries in these three scenarios –

  • When iPhone is turned off
  • When iPhone’s battery runs out
  • When Apple’s servers don’t receive your iPhone’s location information in the span of 24 hours

But wait a minute!

Don’t get disheartened if your iPhone is switched off.


You can still find out its tentative location using the same Find My iPhone feature.

How Does Find My iPhone Work When Phone Is Off?

As mentioned above, there is another useful feature that allows you to look for your iPhone’s location.

When you turn on Find My iPhone, it gives you the ability to send the last location where your device could send information using GPS or Wi-Fi network.

Note – You will have to turn on the Send Last Location feature. Your iPhone will not send such information automatically.

Once you find out the last known location on Find My iPhone, you can go to that place to get your device back. This way, you will have a better chance to pick your iPhone before anyone else, especially unknown person.

If you’ve lodged an official complaint of your stolen iPhone, you can also share this useful information with the concerned authorities. It can make the whole process a bit faster and easier for you as well as them.

How To Find A Lost iPhone That Is Turned Off

Now, let’s learn the method to find out your lost iPhone.

When you want to find a lost iPhone that is turned off, you will need to look at the last known location details.

To do so, follow these steps –

  1. Open the iCloud website – https://www.icloud.com/#find
  2. Sign-in to your account.
  3. Wait for the system to detect the last known location of your iPhone.
  4. Your iPhone’s location should appear as a Grey dot on the map.

Note – In most cases, you won’t be able to find the precise location if the phone is off. And unfortunately, you can’t do much about it.

For those who want to secure their device for future use, here’s how you can set up the Find My iPhone and Send Last Location features –

  1. Go to the Settings app.
  2. Tap your Apple ID.
  3. Tap the iCloud option.
  4. Scroll down and go to the Find My iPhone option.

Now, turn on both the options as displayed below.

Send Last Location iPhone

With these settings, iCloud will be able to track your iPhone’s location details. If you want to verify it, open the iCloud website link as mentioned above.

Lost Mode

Apart from the Find My iPhone feature, you can also track your device with the help of Lost Mode.

This mode is available on Apple’s iCloud website. To enable this mode, you will have to follow the same steps as discussed earlier.

When you get the access to the website, you will find three different options – Play Sound, Lost Mode and Erase iPhone.

You should select this mode from the available options.

Here’s how you can enable the Lost Mode for your iPhone –

Select your lost/stolen device from the list.

1. Click on the Lost Mode option.

2. Enter the passcode information as requested on the screen.

(You will have to share the passcode information to be able to activate the mode.)

3. Once you enter the correct details, the system will automatically start tracking your device.

For Offline iPhone – The tracking process will only begin after the device gets Wi-Fi access. Apple will authenticate the passcode information as soon as it receives network signals from the device.

Note – Lost Mode should only be used when your device is lost or stolen, as it completely locks your iOS device.

How To Find A Lost iPhone Without Find My iPhone

Are there any other ways through which we can find a lost iPhone?

The short answer is yes!

You can still find out your lost iPhone without the Find My iPhone feature.

First Method: Google Timeline

Google Timeline works quite similar to Find My iPhone. In this Google tool, you will need to have an authenticated device to find out its whereabouts.

Check out the following steps to track your lost iPhone using Google Timeline –

  1. Visit this Google Timeline website – https://www.google.com/maps/timeline
  2. Sign-in to your linked Google account.
  3. On your left side, you will have an option to choose different days to know the exact location of your device. You can select the date as per your liking.

So, that’s how you track iPhone with the help of this Google feature.

However, as mentioned earlier, your device will have to be connected to the Internet so that it can send accurate location information to the servers.

Apart from this, your device should be linked to the Google Timeline. You can’t use this service afterward. If your iPhone is not linked to this service, you will see the following message on your screen.

Location History on Google Timeline

Second Method: Authorities

That’s right!

There is no point in looking for any third-party services if you want to track the device quickly.

Meet the authorities and share your information with them. Let them help you locate your stolen iPhone.

When you meet them, don’t forget to mention the IMEI details. You can find these details on iPhone’s box.

With some basic information, the authorities can initiate the tracking process with the help of network provider.

So, go ahead and lodge the complaint.

If you need any more information about tracking your device using Find My iPhone, leave a comment in the comments section below.

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