Given the rising threats of identity theft smartphone manufacturers ensure that every device they release, especially high-end devices must integrate certain security features for device owners to use. Apple’s flagship smartphones for instance do offer an anti-theft feature widely known as Find My iPhone, a security tool that helps users trace and locate their missing iPhones. But for some reasons, other iPhone users including those who owned the special edition iPhone (iPhone SE) were having trouble with Find My iPhone. This post highlights the common issues encountered by iPhone SE users when trying to use Find My iPhone in locating their lost Apple device along with potential solutions and applicable workarounds for troubleshooting purposes. Read on to learn more.
Now, before we proceed with our troubleshooting, if you have other concerns with your new iPhone SE, drop by our troubleshooting page for we have already published some guides and tutorials. You may also contact us by completing our iPhone issues questionnaire. This is a free consultation servicer we offer and all we need is information about the problem. So please give us that so that we can help you better.
Possible causes and factors to consider checking if Find My iPhone is not working on your iPhone SE
If Find My iPhone is not working when you need to track down your lost or stolen iPhone or iPad, consider these possibilities:
- Find my iPhone or iCloud is not enabled on your device. Among the key requisites to use Find My iPhone is that both iCloud and Find My iPhone must be enabled on the device that you need to locate before it gets stolen or lost. If these services are not turned on, you will not be able to use Find My iPhone through website or app because the service won’t be able to know what device to locate or how to get in touch with it. For this reason, it is highly recommended to enable both features the very first time you setup your device.
- The device is turned off. Find My iPhone is only able to track devices that are turned on because the device needs to be able to communicate with Wi-Fi or cellular networks and send GPS signals to send its location to Find My iPhone. So even if Find My iPhone is enabled on your device but it is turned off, you won’t be able to track its current location on the map. What you will see is the device’s last known location for 24 hours.
- Not connected to the Internet. The missing device needs to be online or connected to the Internet in order for Find My iPhone to access and track its location. Thus, if it is not connected or online, it wouldn’t be able to tell where it is. Your phone might be out of range to Wi-Fi or cellular networks or the person who has it turned off these features on your device. In this case, you will only be able to see the last known location of your missing device for 24 hours just like with no power.
- SIM card issue. If the SIM card has been damaged or removed from the missing device, it won’t be able to communicate with Find My iPhone as it couldn’t connect to the network (unless it connects to Wi-Fi). Nonetheless, the device will become visible to Find My iPhone the next time it goes back online even when the SIM card was replaced for as long as it’s connected to Wi-Fi.
- Incorrect date and time settings. Another factor that can trigger problems when using Find My iPhone is an incorrect date or time on your device. In fact, it is a common source of iTunes errors affecting various Apple devices. What happens is that the Apple servers expect that the devices attempting to connect to them have the correct date and time but if then it’s not. There is where problems ensue.
- Feature is not available or supported. Find My iPhone may likewise not be able to locate your device on a map when using it in other countries. Maps data may not be available for certain countries and Apple does not have access to that data worldwide. As a result, it won’t be able to track the device on a map using Find My iPhone.
If the missing device has been restored to iOS 6 and earlier versions, anyone can delete all the data and settings off an iPhone thus making it disappear from Find My iPhone. This can be done by restoring the iPhone to factory settings even if the phone had a passcode. But this is no longer the case in iOS 7 and later iOS versions with Activation Lock feature. It’s an advanced (anti-theft) security feature built into iOS 7 and later versions that prevents Apple devices from being restored without the password originally used to activate them.
Potential solutions and applicable workarounds to deal with Find My iPhone issues
Now that you already have a hint on the possible causes, it’s time to troubleshoot the problem. You can refer to the following procedures and give them a try to see which among them is able to resolve the underlying cause.
If Find My iPhone cannot locate your device or you have some trouble signing in, try these methods:
- Verify and ensure that you are signing in with the correct Apple ID that you use with iCloud.
- Check and ensure that the date and time settings are correctly configured on your iPhone SE. Incorrect date and time settings can interfere with Find My iPhone operations. To prevent this from happening, check these settings and configure if necessary. Here’s how:
- Tap Settings from the Home screen.
- Tap General.
- Tap Date & Time.
- Turn on the option to Set Automatically. Doing so will automatically set the date and time on your device based on your time zone.
- Restart your iPhone SE and then try to use Find My iPhone again and see if it is now able to work as intended.
- Update to the latest iOS. Should certain bugs trigger the problem, an iOS update might be able to rectify it. You can update your device to the latest version of iOS wirelessly or using iTunes. If you haven’t done it yet, check for available software update by going to Settings-> General-> Software Update. You will see a notification if an update is available for your device. Before download and install the update, be sure to backup your iPhone for safekeeping.
- To update your iPhone SE wirelessly, tap the option to Download and Install then follow the onscreen instructions to complete the entire process. Make sure that your iPhone is connected to Wi-Fi and plugged into power to prevent having any interruptions in the process.
If you wish to update your device using iTunes, you need to secure a computer (Windows or Mac) that has the latest version of iTunes installed in order to proceed with iOS update installation.
Applicable Workarounds to Specific Scenarios:
If you cannot sign in to Find My iPhone app on your iPhone SE, try to use the website instead. If you have a computer available, open a browser and go to iCloud.com on your computer. Try to sign in to iCloud then select Find My iPhone and see if it works.
If you are prompted with a message saying that No devices are registered, try these steps:
- Go to Settings.
- Tap [your name].
- Tap iCloud.
- Make sure Find My iPhone is turned on.
Find My iPhone also needs to be enabled on the missing device though.
If you are prompted with a message saying that “Your device is no longer locatable”, here are your options:
- Use Find My iPhone to play a sound, display a message on the device’s screen, lock or erase the missing device. This message tells you that Location Services was turned off on your missing device, when using Find My iPhone to locate it. Find My iPhone won’t be able to locate your missing device but the last known location will be displayed for up to 24 hours.
If you don’t see your device in the list or you see an unexpected device or an alert message saying that your device is offline, follow these steps:
- Verify and ensure that you have signed into iCloud and Find My iPhone is enabled on your device. If Find My iPhone is off, turn it on then tap Allow.
- Verify and make sure you signed in with the correct Apple ID. It is possible that you signed in to iCloud.com or Find My iPhone with a different Apple ID than the one on the device that you don’t see in the list. To eliminate this from the possible causes, sign in to Find My iPhone or iCloud.com with your other Apple ID accounts and locate your device.
- Make sure that your device has a cellular or Wi-Fi network connection. If you can access your device and see that it has an active Internet connection, try to turn Airplane on for a few seconds and then turn it back off.
If you are seeing a large circle, it means that your device is still trying to determine a more accurate location. In this case, all you can do is wait for a few minutes or refresh the map again. If it still stuck on a large location circle, check your network connection. It’s possible that your iPhone SE does not have access to Wi-Fi or GPS signal at the moment.
If none of these methods is able to help you and you still couldn’t locate your missing device using Find My iPhone on your iPhone SE, contact your carrier or wireless service provider to report your device lost or stolen. Some carriers would opt to deactivate your SIM card or account for security purposes depending on the case. Doing so will turn off service for your iPhone. You won’t be able to find it but your information is secured.
Connect with us
Visit our troubleshooting page to view more solutions to other iPhone problems we have addressed in our prior posts. If you wish to reach our iOS support team for further assistance, then you may do so by filling up this form with all the required information. Be sure to provide us with the significant details of the issue that you need help with so we would be able to give you the best possible solutions and recommendations to try on.