5 Replies Latest reply: Feb 9, 2012 2:39 AM by titsch
titsch Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Has anyone checked, if the search your iphone function (when it was stolen) is working, even if the thief was smart and turned off the GPS function. Is then the mobile tracking via the signal working (which is not very accurate). Or was Apple smart and always enables the GPS function in the background, when you are trying to track your stolen iphone?


What happens, when the SIM card is taken out of the phone? Can I thens still track my iphone?


Anyone has an idea?

iPhone 4, iOS 5
  • wjosten Level 10 Level 10 (93,980 points)

    Most thieves are smart & know to immediately turn an iPhone off & then restore it as a new device in iTunes. Doing this defeats Find My Phone. Find My Phone was never designed as theft protection or as a way to track stolen phones. While it can be used for such, its real function is to track lost iPhones. Of course, for it to work, Find My Phone must be turned on and activated, and the phone must have an Internet connection.

  • titsch Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Great. Thanks for your answer. You got a good point, hopefully I will loose my phone and a nice guy /girl finds it. But even then, my questions are valid (at least the second one)


    Still. I would like to know, what happens, if someone takes out the SIM and does not restore the phone. Is it then still trackeable? Is it able to answer that?


    2nd question, even if no thief has stolen my phone. If I have turned off the the GPS (Location Service), am I still able to track my phone (since Apple was smart enough to activate the GPS as soon as someone is trying to track the phone?)

    You raised another question, I was not even aware off - the iphone I want to track must have internet connection? Is that correct? Means, in Airplane mode, the phone is not trackeable? (which would be the case, if Apple would not have included in the Find Service a automatic "Location Service Turn On" Logik, when I would like to track my iphone.)


    Thanks again for your great help!



  • Rudegar Level 7 Level 7 (23,935 points)

    since I can track my ipad2 wifi 3g which currently dont have a sim  card I would say yes


    if gps is turned off or find my iphone app deleted or the thief restore the iphone to factory default

    you will not be able to track your iphone


    even if apple could turn gps on remotely or track it in secret they would be voilating the laws of most of the world and would suffer from persecution with extreme prejudice

  • Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (123,380 points)

    If the SIM card is removed, Find My iPhone won't work. The same if the SIM card is deactivated by your carrier when reporting the iPhone as lost or stolen with your carrier.


    If Location Services is off, Find My iPhone can't work.


    Find My iPhone can't work with Airplane mode enabled which turns off all radios.



  • titsch Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Dear All


    Thanks a lot for your help! especially the link answers most of my concerns. I did not find the topic in the community. So thanks a lot, Allan. Still, I am now more convinced than before that "Find my iphone" is a nice game, but not helpful in case of real trouble :/. better never loose my phone