I lost my phone when I was out earlier, and concerned about the data on it, I used "erase mode" on it. Unfortunately, that seems to remove the ability to set a lost message on the phone. Is there a way to set one now? It's in airplane mode, so I haven't been able to try to call it either.

2 Answers 2


If you had at least iOS7 then when activating lost mode it will give you field to enter phone number you can be reached at regarding lost iPhone. When phone is online (even after restore) then message that phone is lost with number to contact be displayed.

Apple has a page on it called If your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch is lost or stolen

  • I did "erase mode" before "lost mode" and now the "lost mode" button is grayed out on the find my iphone page. Jan 5, 2015 at 0:41
  • I don't know. Since find my iPhone was enabled so Activation Lock too. So now even if restored it will not be used. Maybe after phone comes online it will be possible to enable Lost Mode. Don't know, never tested it.
    – iskra
    Jan 5, 2015 at 1:35
  • Once you erased it, it's no longer going to respond, it's an 'empty' phone. Lost Mode would have been the better choice if you ever want the phone back.
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 5, 2015 at 8:10

Erasing a lost device is really more for business users with highly sensitive data on the phone.
For most usages, activating Lost Mode will completely lock out any potential thief & also give you the best chance of ever finding it again...

From : If your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch is lost or stolen

If Find My iPhone is enabled on your missing device
You can use Find My iPhone to locate your device and take additional actions that can help you recover it and keep your data secure. Sign in to icloud.com/find on a Mac or PC or use the Find My iPhone app on another iOS device.

  1. Locate your device. Open Find My iPhone, and select a device to view its location on a map. If the device is nearby, you can have it play a sound to help you or someone nearby find it.

  2. Turn on Lost Mode. Using Lost Mode, you can remotely lock your device with a four-digit passcode, display a custom message with your phone number on your missing device's Lock screen, and keep track of your device's location. If you added credit or debit cards to Apple Pay, the ability to make payments using Apple Pay on the device will be suspended when you put your device in Lost Mode.

  3. Report your lost or stolen device to local law enforcement. Law enforcement might request the serial number of your device. Find your serial number:

    • On the original box or receipt
    • On My Support Profile if you registered your device with your Apple ID
  4. Erase your device. To prevent anyone else from accessing the data on your missing device, you can erase it remotely.
    When you erase your device, all of your information (including credit or debit cards for Apple Pay) will be deleted from the device, and you won't be able to locate it using Find My iPhone. After you erase a device, you can't track it.
    If you remove the device from your account after you erase it, Activation Lock will be turned off. This allows another person to activate and use your device.

What if your iOS device is off or offline?
If your missing device is off or offline, you can still put it in Lost Mode, lock it, or remotely erase it. The next time your device is online, these actions will take effect. If you remove the device from your account while it's offline, any pending actions for the device will be cancelled.

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