How to use Find My iPad when you’ve lost your iPad or iPad mini

by Doug Drinkwater

February 14 2013

A study at the end of last year revealed how a third of all iPad owners would rather be in a car accident than lose their precious Apple tablet. If you're worried about that possibility or experiencing such a loss right now, here’s what you need to do to find your iPad.

Also known as Find My iPhone, Find My iPad is the fastest and most effective way of reconnecting you with your iOS device.

Step 1: Open iCloud

Find My iPad does rely on you having at least one iCloud email account active on the device, so if you haven’t done this already, head to SettingsMail, Contacts, Calendars and Add Account. You can then select iCloud from the list of options.

From there, you need to activate ‘Find My iPad’ (usually turned off by default) and you can do this by visiting Settings, iCloud and then by tapping the On/Off slider beside the Find My iPad field.

Upon doing this, locating your iPad is pretty easy should you lose it or if it is stolen.

Simply Log in to iCloud using any web browser and then select ‘Find My iPad’. iCloud will then immediately search for each iOS device registered to the account using GPS and will show where they are on the map. Using the standard map layout, you can zoom into the area.

Step 2: Play a sound

If the pin on the map shows the iPad to be in your house or nearby if you are out and about, then your best option is to send a sound to the device.

To do this, you'll need to hit Devices, select your iPad and then Play Sound. This pushes a rather annoying alarm ring to the iPad for two minutes, although this can be quickly deactivated if your iPad happens to be in the hands of someone else.

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Step 3: Send a message and lock the device

If that doesn’t work, you should look to take the next step, which is locking the device.  Using the same iCloud landing page, select Lost Mode and you will then be prompted to enter a telephone number and short message to send to the iPad.

On sending this, anyone that has your iPad will be faced with the message, your phone number and will not be able to unlock the device unless he/she has your iPad pin code. They will however have 10 attempts to try and guess it before the iPad locks for good.

Step 4: The last resort – remotely wipe the iPad

The fourth step – and last resort – may be the only option left if the iPad remains unreturned at this point.

It is that of remotely wiping your iPad from all data and by that I mean everything from photos and documents to apps on the device.

To enable remote wipe simply touch Erase iPad and you’ll then be asked to confirm if you wish to erase data on your selected model. On doing so, you will no longer be able to use Find My iPad to locate it or to play a sound.

All is not lost (no pun intended) if you do remotely wipe the device and then discover it later. Providing you backed up to iCloud on iTunes prior to losing it, you should be able to restore all information.

Doug Drinkwater is the International Editor of TabTimes and is based in London, England.

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  • Duecebigelow
    1 year 3 months ago

    All this is well and good IF the iPad is not secured with a pin. Who doesnt use the lock feature? Hard lesson to learn that is skipped in EVERY article is this: you set it up to lock after inactivity immediate, five or fifteen minutes YOU WILL NEVER find your iPad if it gets stolen or lost. Why you ask? This needs wifi to work (maybe okay if you have a mobile service) so if a-hole steals your stuff and cannot use immediately to log in to a wifi service for this app to work, then this app is pointless. iPad can be factory restored/reset without your pin, plugged into any old comptuter and made useable with itunes like its legitimate, and will subsequently also disable this app! Great freaking job apple! Here's a drink to a huge /facepalm moment, genius!

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