If you lose your iPhone and its battery dies, you may think you have no hope of ever locating your lost phone. When you open up your Find My iPhone app or log into icloud.com, you’ll see the disappointing notice:
Location not available
But that doesn’t have to happen. You can locate your lost iPhone with the Find My iPhone app, even after the battery dies — if you change one setting.
Beginning with the recent iOS 8 update you can now elect to have your iPhone send its last location to iCloud right before the battery dies, using the Find My iPhone app and enabling the Send Last Location setting. When you change this setting you will see the last location of your iPhone right before the battery died when you use the Find My iPhone app.
Of course, if your phone is moved after the battery dies, the app can’t track your phone. But by seeing its last location while your iPhone had power, you’ll have an extra clue that may lead you to your misplaced phone.
How to Change Your Find My iPhone Setting
This Send Last Location setting is buried in the Settings app, not in the Find My iPhone app, so you may not have found this setting without knowing to look for it. But by taking a few minutes now to change the setting you’ll be ready the next time you lose your phone, whether or not your phone loses power.
To turn on Send Last Location for the Find My iPhone App:
Open the Settings app => Go to iCloud => Scroll down to Find My iPhone => Send Last Location => Turn it On
You’ll see a notice: “Automatically send the location of this iPhone to Apple when the battery is critically low.”
If you have your iPhone handy, do this now before you forget. You’ll thank yourself if you need to find your iPhone later when its battery has died. Hey, even if you don’t need it, you can enjoy the comfort of knowing you’ve activated this feature and are prepared for such an occasion.
As valuable as this feature is, Send Last Location isn’t turn on by default. Similarly, the Find My iPhone app must be added, set up and turned on so you can use it to find your lost iPhone.
Some people may not be comfortable with their phones sending their location out to iCloud automatically, which may be why this feature must be activated. But not many people either know the Send Last Location feature exists or know how to activate it from the Settings app.
Did you know about the Send Last Location feature? Do you have it activated? Have you ever lost your phone only to learn that the Find My iPhone app couldn’t help you because your battery was dead? Share your experiences with us in the Comments section below!