What Is Lost Mode on an iPhone and How Does It Work?

Man walking after losing his smart-phone

What Is Lost Mode on an iPhone and How Does It Work?

Key Points

  • Lost Mode on iPhone allows users to lock down their phone if it is misplaced or stolen, preventing access to personal information.
  • Lost Mode can suspend services and payment methods on certain devices or help track down a lost phone using satellites and maps.
  • To access Lost Mode on iPhone, users can go to iCloud’s official site and sign in using their Apple ID.
  • Lost Mode can be used even if the iPhone’s battery is dead, as location services will become active once it’s charged and turned on.

There are a variety of ways to track down lost tech, including smartphones. If you own an Apple-branded device, Lost Mode on iPhone will bring you peace of mind. It’s something every iPhone user should be aware of given the cost of the devices and the types of data they store. Whether you want to be prepared for the worst or you are just curious about Lost Mode on iPhones, we have all the answers.

Lost Mode on iPhone

Lost Mode allows users to lock down their phone if it is misplaced or stolen. This feature prevents anyone from gaining access to your device until it’s recovered, which keeps their hands off your personal information.

While nobody would be happy with their private photos going online, millions of iPhone users bank, shop, and trade crypto from iPhones every day. Lost Mode can suspend services and payment methods on certain devices or help you track down your phone using satellites and maps. It’s a feature that’s available to most, but not all, iPhone users as long as your device meets their iCloud requirements.

iPhone 14 Pro vs. iPhone 13 Pro
Lost Mode allows you to lock down your iPhone if it has been lost or stolen.


When activated, the Lost Mode on iPhone feature will immediately shut down access to your device. You can set a message and phone number to display on your handset after you turn the service on. This helps anyone that happens to find your iPhone contact you. Phone calls and FaceTime are the only things that “work” once an iPhone is marked as lost. Nobody can access your personal information.

That means you’ll want to proceed with caution and check the couch cushions before activating Lost Mode on an iPhone. If you believe your iPhone has been stolen or you want to know how to turn this handy feature on, follow these steps.

Accessing Lost Mode on an iPhone

To mark your phone as missing, you’ll need to head to the cloud. The “Find My” app on the iPhone has similar features. Unfortunately, you can’t use it when you don’t have access to your phone. Go to iCloud’s official site and sign in using your Apple ID.

Once you’re logged in, click the menu in the top right corner to see the available apps. Choose Find My from the list. You should see a new screen like the one below showing your iPhone’s current location on the map. If you see that your device is nearby, you can choose “Play Sound” and try to find your iPhone.

It’s a feature I’ve used outdoors several times, and I found my Pro Max in less than five minutes. If you know it’s out of reach, choose the Mark As Lost button to lock down your iPhone. Alternatively, if you know your iPhone has been stolen or you need to clear it out quickly, there’s a solution. That’s where the Erase This Device button comes into play.

Lost Mode can quickly find your device’s position.


Using Lost Mode on iPhone

When you start Lost Mode, follow the steps on your device. This gives anyone who stumbles across your iPhone a way to contact you. The information you give out is up to you, but it’s best to keep things simple. Don’t give out personal information if you believe your iPhone has been stolen. Are your data and photos backed up in the cloud? If so, you shouldn’t be afraid to hit the erase button on a stolen device.

What if the battery on your iPhone is dead? Location services will become active as soon as it’s charged and turned on. That means you can set up Lost Mode on iPhones with dead batteries and still have a good shot at locating them down the line.

The Wrap-Up

It is a horrible feeling to reach for your iPhone and come up empty. No matter how much we treasure our smartphones, it’s a relatively common occurrence. Using Lost Mode on your iPhone may not help you retrieve a stolen phone, but it can help you find one you’ve misplaced and keep unscrupulous people from accessing your private data.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can someone unlock an iPhone in Lost Mode without a password?

No, there is no way to get around Lost Mode once activated.

Does insurance cover a lost iPhone?

It depends on the type of insurance, although Apple and others have theft coverage for iPhones.

How accurate is Lost Mode tracking on iPhone?

Lost Mode is very accurate as it uses GPS and Wi-Fi to help triangulate your position.

Can someone reset your iPhone when it's in Lost Mode?

No, only the owner of the phone or anyone with your passkey can reset an iPhone in Lost Mode.

Is Lost Mode available on other Apple devices?

Yes, you can use Lost Mode on iPads, Macs, and the Apple Watch along with iPhones.

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