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What To Do If My iPhone Is Lost Or Stolen

Losing your iPhone can be a first-world nightmare. But don’t panic yet… if you're reading this and your iPhone has been lost or stolen, here are some tips to help you find it (see below):

**If there’s a chance that your iPhone was stolen, skip the following ‘lost phone’ tips… and go directly to the section called: “Tips - If Your iPhone Has Been Stolen”.**

Tips - If You Have Lost Your Cell Phone

Call it - If you left your iPhone's ringer on you might just get lucky and find it by calling the device. Even if it's on vibrate mode you may still be able to hear it. If the vibrate mode is off (on silent) — turn off all of the lights in your house, apartment or room. The phone will light up when called and help you to locate it. If your phone was left in another location someone might hear the phone ringing and answer it.

phone found from calling it
If you call an iPhone and it is lost in a dark room, it will light up the room even on silent mode.

Ping it - If you have another device that is connected to your phone you may be able to “ping it”. Pinging it will make a loud noise and allow you to track it -- even if it's in silent mode. As long as the phone is on, it can be “pinged”. Some examples of these devices could be an Apple Watch or a Tile. If you have an Apple Watch simply swipe up and hit the button that looks like an icon of a phone. If you have a Tile you can use the button on it to ping the phone. To purchase a Tile, you can visit a Cell Clinic store near you.

Tile and iPhone
Use your Tile to ping your iPhone or use your iPhone to find your Tile.

“Hey Siri” - If you say “Hey Siri”, Siri should activate if your phone is close in your range. Siri will make a couple of beeps and say, “I'm Listening”. Use the noise to help you locate your iPhone.

siri on iphone
Use Siri to help you find your iPhone.

Now that you have searched… your car, house, office, gym or checked the Starbucks you were at — and still no luck, your phone might have been stolen. Don't panic -- if you have a passcode on your phone your information cannot be compromised without the passcode.

Here are some tips for what to do if your phone has been stolen:

Tips - If Your iPhone Has Been Stolen

Call it - Call your phone to see if it's still on. If it goes straight to voicemail the phone could be either turned off, the battery is dead, or someone is choosing to end the calls. Often savvy thieves will put the iPhone into "Airplane Mode", as they are able to do this from the lock screen without the passcode. If they have done this, your call will go straight to voicemail and your phone will not be trackable until the "Airplane Mode" is turned off. If your iPhone does ring, keep calling it in hope that someone will hear it and answer.

straight to voicemail iphone
If your call goes straight to voicemail your phone could be turned off or in airplane mode.

Track it - If you have “find my iPhone” turned on in the settings, you may be able to track the phone’s GPS location. To do this you need to use any device that connects to the internet. Go to and go to “Find my iPhone”. Here you will be able to find the location of the device, and the last time it was connected to the Internet. If you can see the location and you think your phone has been stolen rather than lost, contact the police. Do not confront a thief, as they could potentially get violent. The police will assist you on what to do next.

find my iphone
Use the iCloud website app "Find my iPhone" to help you locate the device.

Lost Mode - You can put your phone in “lost mode” from your iCloud account online. This will allow you to display a message on the lock screen of the iPhone. You can ask whomever has the phone to call you at another number. You can also “wipe” your phone from here . --making sure no one is able to access your information.

lost mode iphone
Put your phone in lost mode so when someone find it they can contact you.

Blacklist it - If you cannot track your device and it's for sure lost, you should now blacklist your phone. Blacklisting a phone means the phone will not be able to connect to another North American telecom company when blacklisted. The phone will not be able to take or receive phone calls, but all other functions like wifi will still work. To blacklist your phone, call your phone service provider. If you find your phone after blacklisting it, you will have to call that telecom company again, as only they can remove the blacklisting. In Canada, the three major telecom companies are Rogers, Bell and Telus.

iphone blacklisted
Blacklisting a phone will prevent it from being able to connect to a cellular network.

Replace it - If you have no luck locating your phone, and you have given up, and accepted that the phone is gone, you will need to replace it. The most cost effective way is to buy a less expense pre-owned iPhone from a company like Cell Clinic, which offers a one-year warranty on their certified devices. This way, if your phone does turn up, you wouldn't have spent potentially over $1000 on a brand new phone. 

cell clinic vancouver
Used iPhones on display for sale at the Cell Clinic store in Vancouver and Surrey, or online at

Good Samaritan Tip - It's never fun losing a phone, so if you do find one - consider how it would feel if it was your iPhone that was lost. Today’s iPhones are not worth much to the person it doesn't belong to if someone steals or finds it. The phone cannot be accessed to make a call or use data without the passcode or the phone's iCloud log-in -- it’s pretty much a brick. An iPhone in this state is only worth something to its owner and it could be invaluable to them, depending on the information stored on it. Do the right thing and return it if you can.

icloud locked iphone
An iCloud locked iPhone is only worth something to its owner, do the right thing are return it if you can.

What to do with a found phone? Turn the phone ringer on loud and wait for a phone call from the person who owns the phone. The owner may have their emergency information accessible from their local screen. If they do (from their lock screen in the bottom left hand side) you will see the word “Emergency”. Click this and you may find their emergency contact numbers. Call them and tell them you have found this phone, and that the person it belongs to has them listed as an emergency contact.

iPhone emergency mode
Use the emergency contact feature to get an iPhone returned to its owner.

For more helpful content about cell phones and mobile devices - visit the Cell Clinic blog


About Cell Clinic 

Cell Clinic is British Columbia's premier pre-owned mobile sales and service company (with locations in Vancouver & Surrey) — a family-owned business with a dedicated team of professionals that have earned a solid reputation for delivering friendly and trusted service. Cell Clinic strives to provide the absolute highest level of service in the pre-owned mobile device (& more) repair/sales industry. Visit who we are to learn more.

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