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If you’ve lost your phone or are just checking to make sure you can actually find it when you do loose it, you might see a message saying your iPhone is “offline”. Why is this? and what does offline mean on find my iPhone?
What does offline mean on find my iPhone?
In short, it means that the apple servers can’t communicate with the iPhone. This could be a for a few different reasons:
- The iPhone is powered off
- Find my iPhone isn’t enabled in the settings
- The wrong Apple ID was used to sign in
- There’s no cell signal or wi-fi signal available
- Make sure your date and time is set to automatic
The iPhone is Powered Off
If the iPhone doesn’t have any power, it can’t transmit it’s location to Apple’s iCloud servers which display your phone’s location on the map via https://www.icloud.com . Without power, find my iphone will say it’s offline. Make sense right?
The find my iphone website (https://www.icloud.com/#find) might show your iPhone’s last location and how long ago it got the last response from the iPhone. If the phone can’t transmit, you’re not going to get an updated location of where it currently is in real time.
Unfortunately the only way you’re going to see where it actually is would be when it next gets powered on.
If you’ve just lost your iPhone, the last known position should give you an idea of where to find it – as it probably wasn’t stolen and is just mis-placed. If you think your iPhone has been stolen, it’s most likely somewhere else and the “last seen” information won’t do you any good.
You might want to log into your iCloud account periodically to see if your iPhone has been powered up. If it has, it’ll transmit it’s location to Apple’s iCloud servers and you’ll get an updated location.
Find My iPhone Isn’t Enabled In The Settings
A quick fix for “find my iPhone is offline” is if the feature simply isn’t turned on and enabled. To enable Find My iPhone in the settings, follow these steps:
The wrong Apple ID was used to sign in
For Apple’s find my iPhone service to work, the same Apple ID has to be used on both the iPhone and when you login to iCloud.com to actually try and find the iPhone. If the iCloud accounts are different, you won’t be able to see the iPhone on the iCloud website and it will show that find my iPhone is offline.
If you have more than one Apple ID in your household, try logging into iCloud with that and see if you can find your iPhone (or iPad).
There’s No Cell Signal or Wi-Fi Signal
For your iPhone to transmit it’s location to Apple’s iCloud server, the iPhone has to have a celluar signal (ATT, Verizon, T-Mobile etc) or a wi-fi signal. Without these, the iPhone has no way to tell the outside world where it is!
To check if you have a cell signal, just look at the top bar of the iPhone screen when you’re on the home page (where all the apps are located), Here’s an example of an iPhone with both cellular and Wi-Fi enabled and connected.
Make Sure Date And Time Are Automatic
A bit of an odd solution but it’s recommended by apple as a possible fix as to why find my iPhone says offline. This should help sync data between your iPhone and iCloud. To setup automatic date and time, follow these steps.
If you are still wondering what does offline mean on find my iphone, any of the fixes above should solve the problem – as long as the iPhone still has battery life and in an area that has either cellular reception or wi-fi connectivity. Without either one of these, your iPhone will be offline and the Find My iPhone service won’t work.
You still could get the iPhone’s last location, but if it’s been moved since then…you might have to call in a professional search party.