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Find my iPhone doesn't work

30798 Views 23 Replies Latest reply: Mar 26, 2014 3:32 AM by stefanofromtr RSS Branched to a new discussion.
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karup.meyyappan Calculating status...
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Sep 4, 2012 12:35 AM

After having my first iPhone stolen, I decided to try the app "Find my iphone" on my friend's loaner iPhone 3GS to see how and if it really works.


When I turned it on, I ensured that these were all setup:


- Location Services: ON

- Find My iPhone: ON

- Cellular Data: ON (3 Bars Service at the time)

- WiFi: ON and connected to the router

- Internet utilizing apps: ON and in use


Doing all this, I went to and decided to locate the phone, and test out the Find my iPhone feature.  After 5 attempts to locate and 1 attempt to send the phone a message, it still came up as "No Location" and then "Offline".


I was browsing the internet on iPhone's Safari App, while these "finding attempts" were going on.  What a miserable fail.


Now I'm wondering if whoever stole my iPhone 4S is actually browsing the internet and having a wonderful time while I sit here miserable, thinking that this feature actually provided a service that I could use to find my phone.  Appears to me, through my experience, that this is a total fluke. 


My sister's Droid actually has a phone finding app that works.  It was very disappointing to hear that her non-Apple product topped the abilities of my iPhone 4S.  As much as it hurts, I actually decided that I will switch to that new Samsung sIII in the following week.  I feel like I got jipped by my favorite company

iPhone 4S, iOS 5.1.1, iPhone 3GS test also
  • Julian Wright Level 7 Level 7 (34,835 points)
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    Sep 4, 2012 1:02 AM (in response to karup.meyyappan)

    Did you actually come here for some help, or just to whinge and tell us you're switching to a Samsung?


    Find my iPhone works perfectly for me and for many, many other people. Basing your whole decision to switch to another platform simply based on one single experience with one single feature seems rather over dramatic.

  • electronicsguy Level 2 Level 2 (190 points)
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    Oct 10, 2012 1:52 PM (in response to karup.meyyappan)

    find my friends has to be authorized by your friend. so has that step been done?

  • oldmisstreacle Calculating status...
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    Oct 14, 2012 4:33 AM (in response to karup.meyyappan)

    I am having the same issue. I have 3 iPhones in the house and I just lost one.

    I hit find my iPhone and it found two of them immediately.

    The missing one did not show and said it was offline. I tried to play sounds and I hit lock.


    When I finally found it was in the house, full battery, full signal etc and wifi signal. By this time I havd searched other proeprties and got frineds searching for it.


    I then put it in the same room as the other one, only a few feet from the router, so absolutely no connection issues.


    I hit find it - got offline!

    I hit play sound - no sound

    I hit lock - nothing happened!


    It did play a sound about 25 minutes later!

    So karup.meyyappan you are not alone! 


    I checked out the troubleshooting page and there was nothing there that I had not tried. I am not whingeing - just want to know what is wrong so that if I do have a serious incident, I am ready!


    iPhone4S on ios6 & iPhone 3GS on ios5


    Message was edited by: oldmisstreacle

  • mat_harris Calculating status...
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    Oct 26, 2012 9:29 AM (in response to karup.meyyappan)

    I was having the same issue with my iPad and iPhone.  All I did was go into Settings>Privacy>Location Services and I turned the Find my iPhone/iPad off.  Waited about 30 seconds.  Then turned it back on.  It then asked me to allow the device to be found.  I clicked 'Allow' and no everything is fine.

  • oldmisstreacle Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 26, 2012 10:29 AM (in response to mat_harris)

    Sounds a good plan - but if it isn't reliable it is useles!Q Don't wnat it to switch off the one time that I lose the phone!

  • mat_harris Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 26, 2012 10:49 AM (in response to oldmisstreacle)

    I know what you mean but I think it jus needs to be reset. That's why I thought that turning it off then back on would do it. Hopefully you would only have to do it the one time

  • purseonality Calculating status...
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    Nov 6, 2012 2:02 PM (in response to mat_harris)

    Your sollution worked for me, too. Thanks.

  • tannebs Calculating status...
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    Nov 10, 2012 9:23 PM (in response to karup.meyyappan)

    I'm having the same problem, my ipad shows up on my iphone5, computers, and even the ipad, the iphone 5...nada,zip. Same settings, etc, shut off everything, switched location settings on,off , on. I have more concern over losing the phone over the ipad. What to do??

  • Nine11c2 Calculating status...
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    Dec 7, 2012 1:21 PM (in response to Julian Wright)

    Julian, this is a major feature for me. I gave my son my 4s so I could find him.  It hasn't worked for days for his phone or the iPad I'm on, which clearly is on the net. I can't think of a better reason for switching to Samsung than features that work better....


    YOu could add in bigger screens, more functionality, more customization capability and help for problems like this...

  • Suppa Calculating status...
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    Jan 16, 2013 3:43 AM (in response to karup.meyyappan)

    Hi guys, add me to the list of users for which "Find my phone" didn't work despite my iPad was connected to the internet and all the setting were turned on.

    I've tried all your suggestions but nope, all what I was able to get was my iPad on the device list but always offline and because it was never found (that was my first attempt to track it) there wasn't even an old location stored on iCloud.


    Ok, this is what worked for me (and hopefully for you too!) on my iPad first generation with iOS 5.1 using the wifi network:


    - I've simply changed the DNS setting of the wifi network I was using (Settings>Wifi>"yourlocalnetwork") to the Google public DNS (I've opted for the IPv4 DNS instead my default one that was and it worked like a charm!


    Immediately recognised as online, able to send to the device a sound and able to send from the iPad a sound to my other iCloud devices.


    Let me know if this helps ;)

  • Suppa Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 16, 2013 3:46 AM (in response to Suppa)

    For those interested in knowing more about Public DNS configuration have a look at this article:


  • orubin Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Feb 7, 2013 11:50 PM (in response to karup.meyyappan)

    Had the same problem as well. A few things to note:


    The phone or iPad you are trying to find does NOT have to have the app installed to be found. Just the setting enabled as mentioned above.


    I tried all the things above with zero luck, and then noticed on the phone that could not found, that the VPN indicator was "lit". I was using Onavo, a data compression app that use the VPN hook to send compressed data when on cell network to save you data usage. Seems it was trying on ALL THE TIME. And when on, the phone was not able to be found. As soon as I turned off the VPN connect on demand, and the VPN indicator went out, the phone was IMMEDIATELY found.


    So it seems that networks with strict firewalls or VPNs may stop the phone from being pinged by the Find Your Phone system, and this they never report back.


    Just one more failure to look for.

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