The original Find My Friends app became indispensable for many iPhone users. It allowed people to find friends, parents to keep track of their kids, kids to keep track of their parents, and it provided a convenient plot device for many TV drama writers.
Renamed Find My in iOS 13 and sporting a new GPS icon, it was expanded to support tracking of other Apple devices, such as the Apple Watch, AirPods, AirTags, and even your car, using the Find My network.
In this article, we’ll show you how to:
- Set up Find My on your device.
- Find your friends and family.
- Find your Apple devices.
- Find items using AirTags.
- How to mark an item as lost.
What is the Find My network?
Apple’s Find My network is a way to locate your lost iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, AirPods, Apple Watch, or Mac. You can also use it to find lost items that have AirTags attached to them.
The service is provided for free to all Apple device owners.
The Find My network employs Bluetooth sensors on millions of Apple devices to report the location of missing Apple products around them. When an Apple device on the network detects a missing Apple product nearby, it reports the lost item’s approximate location to the device’s owner through the internet.
What can Siri find?
Find My groups things you can locate into three categories.
Anyone who has chosen to share their location with you will be listed under this category.
Siri can locate devices connected to your iCloud account. So you can use Siri to search for your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and AirPods.
If you use Apple AirTags to keep track of valuable possessions, or things you might lose, such as keys or luggage, they’ll be listed as an item. A small selection of third-party accessories is also compatible with the Find My network.
Siri can also ask Find My to locate your car if it was previously connected using CarPlay or the vehicle’s Bluetooth system.
How to set up Find My
Find My is enabled in iOS by default, but if it doesn’t appear to be working correctly, check the following settings.
- Open Settings.
- Tap on your name.
- Scroll down and tap on Find My.
- Tap on Find My Phone and ensure the switch is toggled on.
- Check that Find My network and Send Last Location are also on.
Enabling the Find My network means your iPhone can be located even when it’s offline, using Apple’s network of connected devices.
Send Last Location is a fail-safe should your battery be very low. The location of your device will be sent to Apple before it shuts down.
How to use Siri to find your friends or family
First, activate Siri on your device.
- Press and hold the Side/Home button until Siri appears.
- By saying “Hey Siri”.
- By saying “Hey Siri”.
- By pressing and holding the Digital Crown.
- By using Raise to Speak.
Once Siri is waiting for you to speak, just ask for the location of people who have shared their location with you, either by name or relationship.
Hey Siri, where is Jason?
Hey Siri, where is my sister?
Hey Siri, is my mom at work?
You can also make more general queries about people on your list:
Hey Siri, who is near me?
Siri will open up a map on your device showing the person’s location.
How to use Siri with Find My to locate your devices
Siri can find devices connected to your iCloud account. To ask Siri where one of your devices is:
Hey Siri, where is my iPad?
Hey Siri, where are my AirPods?
Hey Siri, where is my watch?
If your device is located, then Siri will play a sound so you can find it.
The alarm can be silenced by opening the device and responding to the dialogue box.
At the same time, you’ll receive an email informing you that a sound was played on the device. The email includes a link to the iCloud website, where you can perform additional actions, such as setting the device as ‘lost’ or erasing it.
How to use the Find My app with AirTags
The Apple AirTag is a tiny battery-powered device attached to something to track its location and find it if lost.
Hey Siri, where are my keys?
Hey Siri, where is my bike?
To find out more, take a look at our in-depth guide showing you how to set up and use an AirTag.
How to mark an item as lost in Find My
Marking an item as lost means you’ll be notified once a location becomes available. To put a lost item into Lost Mode:
- Tap on the item or device’s name in Find My.
- For items – tap Enable under Lost Mode.
- For devices – tap Activate under Mark As Lost.
- You’ll be presented with different options depending on if you’re marking a device or an item as lost. In both cases, you can enter a phone number where you can be reached if a person finds the item and choose to get notified when location information becomes available.
To disable Lost Mode, toggle off Enabled under the Lost Mode option.
Using the old Find my Friends app in iOS12 and below
Find my Friends is a helpful app for finding family and friends who have consented to share their location with you.
It can be used on the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch (iOS 8 or later), and the Apple Watch (watchOS 3 or later).
It’s great for locating friends or family in a crowded place, checking if guests are close to arriving at a party, and for parents who would like to keep track of where their young kids are.
How to ask Siri to find someone
Siri can be activated by pressing the home button or side button on your iPhone or by saying “Hey Siri”.
As long as the person has shared their location with you, it’s a simple process to find out where they are:
Hey Siri, where is Jane?
If you’ve already assigned relationships to contacts, you can use informal language too:
Hey Siri, where is my son?
This finds your son’s location (as long as he is with his device) and displays it on a map, including his current distance away from you.
Other examples of ways you can ask for friends’ locations are:
Hey Siri, Is my husband at work?
Hey Siri, who is here?
Hey Siri, where are all of my friends?
Of course, the usefulness of this depends very much on how happy people are with sharing their location information with other people.