Apple’s Find My app has been a very useful (and reassuring) feature, allowing you to locate a misplaced (or stolen) phone so that you can retrieve it (or contact the authorities, if that’s safer). With the expansion of Find My to a variety of other objects, especially via Apple’s AirTags, it’s become even more useful.
And now that iOS 15 brings with it the capability to locate your phone even if the battery has run out or it’s been turned off — if you’ve got the right phone — the utility of Find My has become even greater.
You will be able to locate a shut-off phone if you have the following:
- iPhone 11
- iPhone 11 Pro / iPhone 11 Pro Max
- iPhone 12 / iPhone 12 Mini
- iPhone 12 Pro / iPhone 12 Pro Max
- iPhone 13 / iPhone 13 Mini
- iPhone 13 Pro / iPhone 13 Pro Max
You’ll know that this feature is active if, when you shut your phone down, you see the phrase “iPhone Findable After Power Off” under the power-down toggle.
Activate the Find My app
If you’re new to the iPhone or have never set up the Find My app yet, here’s how you start:
- Go to your settings, tap on your name, and then on “Find My.”
- Tap on “Find My iPhone.”
- Toggle “Find My iPhone” on. If you have upgraded to iOS 15, you can also activate “Find My network,” which will let you find your phone even if it’s offline. “Send Last Location” will send the location of your iPhone to your Apple account when the battery is about to die.
And that’s it! After that, if you can’t find your iPhone, then you can track it either by using the Find My app on a Mac (or another iPhone, if you have one) or on any browser by going to iCloud.com/find and signing in using your Apple ID.
If you’re using the web version, then you’ll see a green dot that locates your iPhone. Select the dot and then the circled “i” (for information), and you’ll be given the choice of having your phone play a sound, erasing it, or putting it on “Lost Mode.” In “Lost Mode,” you can enter a phone number where you can be reached and a message (“Please return this phone asap!”). After that, the phone will be locked until you reenter its passcode.
If you’re using the Find My app, you’ll get basically the same features (except in a more aesthetically pleasing form), along with map directions on how to get to your phone.
And yes — if you’re using iOS 15 on your iPhone, you will be able to locate it even if it’s run out of battery power or has been shut off.
(Note: you can also use the Find My app to help with your own security — to share your location with individuals and send recurring notifications of when you leave and arrive. You can find directions for setting that up in our article “How to use iPhone’s location tracking.”)
Update September 29th, 2021, 3:30PM ET: Updated to add information on which iPhones can be found after power off.