What to Do if Your iPhone is Stolen or Lost: 8 Important Steps

Swiftly respond to a lost or stolen iPhone with these 8 steps. Protect data, track, file an insurance claim, and report to police for a comprehensive recovery plan.

By Abhishek Chandel
New Update
What to Do if Your iPhone is Stolen or Lost

What to Do if Your iPhone is Stolen or Lost

Losing your iPhone can be stressful, but taking quick action is key. If your iPhone goes missing, don't panic. There are important steps you can take to protect your data, disable services, track your device, and potentially recover it. This article outlines a helpful 8-step process on exactly what to do if you lose your iPhone or it gets stolen. So without any further ado let's get started.

8 important steps to take if your iPhone is stolen or stolen

Step 1: Mark your iPhone as Lost

In Find My app:

  1. Select your missing iPhone

  2. Choose "Mark As Lost"

  3. Follow additional prompts

Marking as lost enables Lost Mode instantly while also flagging it missing within Apple's ecosystem for further tracking.

Step 2: Remove Credit and Debit Cards from Apple Pay

If you have Apple Pay set up on your iPhone, immediately remove any connected debit and credit cards. This prevents unauthorized transactions or payments.

To remove cards:

  1. On another device, open the Wallet app.

  2. Select the card connected to the lost iPhone.

  3. Choose "Remove Card".

  4. Repeat for any other added cards.

Step 3: Track Your Stolen iPhone on a Map

Find My allows tracking the location of missing devices. Use this to attempt tracking your iPhone.

  1. In Find My app, select your missing iPhone.

  2. View the location on the map if possible. This relies on WiFi, cellular signals, GPS to estimate locations.

  3. You can also choose to get notifications if the device location changes in the future.

Step 4: File an Insurance Claim

If you had insurance coverage for your iPhone, contact your cell phone insurance provider to begin the claims process. Provide details like:

  • Date/time it went missing

  • Location tracking details

  • Police report case number

  • Activation lock status

This starts the potential replacement process if your device appears unrecoverable.

Step 5: Change Account Passwords

Reset the passwords for these accounts from another trusted device:

  • Apple ID

  • iCloud

  • Email accounts

  • Bank/financial accounts

  • Other accounts on the device

This prevents access if someone tries guessing or cracking passwords.

Step 6: Remove Missing iPhone from Account

If all recovery efforts fail, you can fully disconnect the device from your Apple ID as a last resort.

Important: Only do this if no pending insurance claim!

To erase the device:

  1. In Find My app, select the iPhone

  2. Choose "Erase iPhone"

  3. Confirm erasing

This severs the connection permanently and deletes contents. You will not be able to locate or track any longer.

Step 7: Report Stolen iPhone to Police

Contact local law enforcement to file a report. Provide them details to aid recovery:

  • Exact location showing in Find My app

  • Device model details

  • Passcode locking it

  • Date/time it went missing

With a police report filed, you have official documentation to also support your insurance claim.

Step 8: Contact Carrier to Report Missing

Call your cell provider to report the lost or stolen iPhone. Provide details like:

  • Date/time it went missing

  • Tracking details

  • Police report status

The carrier can then suspend service to disable the SIM card, preventing unauthorized usage.


If your iPhone is ever lost or stolen, making swift decisions is imperative to avoid compromising personal information or losing money. Following this comprehensive 8-step guidance equips you to effectively respond to this unfortunate circumstance. From utilizing Find My app to erase data as a last option, these practical actions minimize risks and maximize the potential retrieval of your device. Implement these outlined protocols immediately so that no sensitive data falls into the wrong hands.

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