I have just got my iPhone stolen today. I live in fairly safe neighborhood but I got unlucky. Now, I have searched this question on internet for a fair amount of time now. Making a rookie mistake, I have not put a passcode on the device.

My question is, if the device is reset from the Settings, do I get notified that a device has been removed?

The device is running iOS 7.0.4. Lost mode was activated and the device is now offline.


The device can't be removed from Find my iPhone by resetting it. Furthermore, you can and probably should set the device to lost mode if you want to put a PIN on it and lock the device with a helpful message to contact you for the eventual return of the device. If you really just want the device wiped, then you can erase it, knowing that still it will show your lost message:

With iOS 7, Find My iPhone can continue to display your custom message, even after your device has been erased.

When you press the Reset button in Settings, it asks for your Apple ID, and will only reset the device when it's been entered.

Attempting to turn off Find my iPhone through iCloud settings will prompt for your Apple ID.

If the device is factory reset when powered off through iTunes, it will still require activation using your Apple ID.

Putting the device in lost mode is probably better since eventually the thief will decide to return it once they realize whomever they sell or give it to will keep getting reminded that the device was lost and should be returned to you.

  • It means that there is still hope for me. But what if that burglar tries to jailbreak it? Dec 13 '13 at 20:26
  • @FarrukhJaveid There's no public jailbreak for iOS 7 right now, so they will fail :)
    – grg
    Dec 13 '13 at 20:27
  • I am sorry. I am a noob when it comes to these topics. Can it be jailbroken to previous versions? Or currently, what could go against me? Dec 13 '13 at 20:29
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    Often the first thing a burglar will do is power down the phone, this ensures there is no data connection. Since lost mode is activated, if he isn't careful, as soon as it connects to data connection (which the phone will try to do when powered on), it will enable lost mode on the device, and render the device practically useless. Even if he manages to get Airplane mode on in time, like @grgarside said, he still can't wipe the device. Even you can initiate a wipe from FMI, and not lose contact with the device, I believe. Dec 13 '13 at 20:34
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    I've edited in Apple's high level overview. @bassplayer7 is correct that once in lost mode, even if you erase it remotely - it's still trackable and locked to your Apple ID. Only if the thief manages to replicate and spoof Apple's activation service can they bypass your device's protection. I don't think there's a jailbreak that works on iOS 7.0.4 so you may be safe indeed.
    – bmike
    Dec 13 '13 at 20:52

The find my iPhone app will let you know when the device has been removed from your device list. However, if your phone has been stolen and reset without a password by:

  1. Reset the iPhone by holding the sleep/wake button at the top right of the device and the home button at the bottom center of the face at the same time.

  2. Hold them both until you see the screen go black.

  3. Wait until the white Apple logo appears.

You are most likely not going to find your phone. So the thief is thus not entitled to returning the phone to its owner. This is a flaw for the device.

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