This is just one step in a series created to help anyone improve their online safety, regardless of their technical knowledge. For more information, check out our full series on simple online security.
Losing a phone or laptop stinks, and that missing device can be a security risk if it contains important data. Once you activate the “find my device” software, you can track your lost device or remotely wipe its storage if you think there is no hope of recovery. Or more optimistically, there’s always the chance that an honest person will stumble upon your device, in which case enabling the “find my device” settings gives them a chance to locate you and contact you, the owner.
- Windows 10: Go to Start Menu > Settings > Update & Security > Find My Devicethen click Switch.
- Windows 11: Go to Start Menu > Settings > Privacy & Security > Find My Deviceand click the toggle to turn it on.
- Mac: Open System Preferences, then click Apple ID. To select iCloud in the sidebar, then scroll down and check the box next to Find My Mac.
- Android: To open Settings > Security & location and activate Find my device.
- iOS: Head toward Settings > [Your username] > Find my and turn on find my iphone.
If you lose a device, you can remotely lock it, wipe it, or make it play a sound using either another device made by the same company (like an iPad to find a lost iPhone) or the website of the company (Windows, Mac, Android, iOS).
This article was edited by Arthur Gies and Mark Smirniotis.