I lost my iPhone and while it was turned on I could lock it and put in 'Lost mode' through Apple 'Find My iPhone' service.

Unfortunately almost one month it's not found and until now I had hope to find it.

If somebody found it and recovered or re-installed iOS on that phone, can it be detected after turning on in my iCloud service anyway? or I lost it forever?

2 Answers 2


I assume since it was a month ago that you had iOS 6 on there? If someone found it and wiped it from scratch, your Find My iPhone will not work.

In iOS7, Activation Lock could prevent them from re-activating your phone if they found it, and you might have a chance to find something.

  • Ufortunatelly there was iOS 6 installed on it. :(
    – zur4ik
    Commented Oct 18, 2013 at 20:33
  • Bummer. I wish people were more honest. You will have to start saving up for the fancy iPhone 5s!
    – beroe
    Commented Oct 19, 2013 at 1:19

It depends on what iOS version it was on.

With iOS 6 (or earlier), wiping it would remove Find my iPhone tracking completely without asking for Apple ID authorization.

With iOS 7, one is required to enter their Apple ID before they can wipe the phone. As a result, it cannot be wiped, and Find my iPhone can't be disabled until your Apple ID password is entered.

Unless you updated to iOS 7 the day it was released and before your phone was stolen, which I think is highly unlikely, it is probably lost forever.

In summary, and as a direct answer, with iOS 6 or before, one could wipe the device and re-install iOS and thus destroy all tracking abilities of Find my iPhone.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .