October 23, 2020

How to turn off the Find My feature on your iPhone, and what will happen when you do

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  • You can turn off the Find My feature on your iPhone from the phone’s Settings, or via the iCloud website.
  • When you turn off Find My on your iPhone, you’ll lose the ability to locate your phone on a map if you need to find it.
  • You might need to turn off Find My before sending your phone in to be repaired, or selling it.
  • Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Almost our entire lives are contained within our phones — text messages, banking accounts, passwords, and so much more – so losing your iPhone can be nothing short of catastrophic. That’s why it’s reassuring that you can track down your phone’s location via Apple’s Find My feature.

Previously known as Find My iPhone, the feature was renamed because it now works with virtually all of your Apple products, including your iPad, AirPods, Apple Watch, and MacBook. Just log into your Apple ID account to see where your device is located, accurate to within a few yards.

But you may not always want Find My to be turned on, and there are reasons beyond being concerned about the risk of someone tracking you.

If you need to perform a factory reset on your iPhone — to erase all the data and return it to its out-of-the-box condition — Apple requires that you turn off Find My beforehand.

You’ll also want to turn this feature off before you sell, donate, or otherwise give away your phone. And often, technicians at the Apple store will require you to turn it off before they can service it.

Turning it off won’t delete any of your data, so you don’t need to worry about that. It’ll just make it impossible to find your iPhone on a map if it’s lost.

In order to turn off Find My, you’ll need to know your Apple ID account information, including username and password.

Why you should leave Find My turned on

If you turn off Find My, you’ll no longer be able to locate your phone using the Find My app or the iCloud website.

That means you can’t see its location on a map, or trigger your iPhone to play a sound so you can find it in the seat cushions. Nor can you erase it remotely if it’s ever stolen. That’s why it’s a good idea to always leave Find My enabled, except for times when you specifically need to turn it off.

Keep in mind that despite ever-present concerns about privacy notwithstanding, no one else should be able to track your iPhone without your Apple ID username and password.

How to turn off Find My on an iPhone

1. Open the Settings app and tap your name at the top of the screen. 

2. Tap “Find My.”

How to turn off the Find My feature on your iPhone 1

You can open the Find My controls in the Settings app after tapping your account name.

Dave Johnson/Business Insider


3. Tap “Find My iPhone.”

4. On this page, tap the “Find My iPhone” button to switch it to the left and turn it off. You may need to enter your Apple ID password.

How to turn off the Find My feature on your iPhone 2

Turn off “Find My iPhone” so the Find My feature stops tracking your device.

Dave Johnson/Business Insider


How to turn off Find My via the iCloud website

What if you no longer own your phone? Perhaps you threw it away, gave it away, or lost it — but Find My is still turned on. 

Like an electronic ghost, it’ll forever appear in the Find My app unless you do something about it. If you want to reduce clutter and turn Find My off on this now-absent device, you can do that from the iCloud website. 

1. Go to iCloud.com and click “Find iPhone” or go directly to the Find My iPhone website (Apple labels the feature inconsistently on the web).

2. At the top of the webpage, click “All Devices.” In the drop-down menu, click the iPhone you no longer own. 

How to turn off the Find My feature on your iPhone 3

You can turn off Find My iPhone by remotely erasing the device — but don’t do this unless the phone is truly gone forever.

Dave Johnson/Business Insider


3. In the pop-up window, click “Erase iPhone.”

4. In the second pop-up window, click “Erase” to confirm you want to do this. You may need to enter your Apple ID password. 

5. After it’s erased, click “Remove Account.” 

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