Find my iPad: how to discover its current whereabouts

Apple recognises that as many of us will take our iPad minis everywhere we go there’s always a chance we could lose them.

This might be a result of a completely innocent mix-up, as we could leave them on the bus or in a cafe, or it could be more malicious with our gadgets stolen from our bags.

However you still want the best chance possible of finding your iPad mini again or, if it’s been taken dishonestly, at least removing all of your data to keep it safe from prying eyes.

Apple’s iPad mini features a variety of security tools, but for complete peace of mind, you also want to use Find My iPhone. Originally developed to calm business users’ worries, it’s a boon for consumers and, despite the name, it works just as well with the iPad and iPad mini.

What is Find My iPhone?

Find My iPhone – also called Find My iPad – is a smart service that uses iCloud to locate your iPad mini anywhere in the world using its GPS chip (if it has mobile phone network connectivity) or an active Wi-Fi connection.

It relies on you having at least one iCloud email account active on the device, which is set to receive push email. If you don’t have this set up, tap Settings | Mail, Contacts, Calendars | Add Account… and select iCloud from the list of account type options.

Activate Find My iPad

Find My iPad is turned off by default. This makes sense as it relies on passing your current location through the iCloud servers, which some users may consider to be a security risk.

To turn it on, tap Settings | iCloud and tap the ON/OFF slider beside Find My iPad.

Log in to your account at using a regular browser and select Find My iPhone. If you don’t see this option on the front page, you’ll be in one of the other modules already, so click the cloud icon in he upper corner to return to the iCloud home screen.

Right away iCloud starts searching for each of the devices that you’ve registered to your account and plotting them on a map. You can switch between them by clicking the Devices button above the map and selecting them from the list. You can also switch between a zoomable map, satellite and hybrid views to help you zoom in to the closest possible location.

Select the device that you need to locate – in our case an iPad mini – and it will be highlighted on the map using a pushpin. At the same time, a floating panel appears in the upper right corner with options for remotely controlling your iPad mini: playing a sound, remotely locking it with Lost Mode, and wiping it completely.

Find my iPad

Your first step should always be to play a message so that you can see whether you’ve simply misplaced it close at hand.

If you can’t hear it beeping then you should move on to the next steps: lost mode or wipe.

In lost mode, the iPad can only be unlocked using a security code you specify. The iPad mini will be set to display a blank screen with a dialogue in the middle showing a phone number and message.

Find my iPad

When the person who has it swipes to unlock, they’re asked to enter the code. If they can’t, they won’t be able to use your iPad mini. If you have also set it to wipe itself after 10 incorrect attempts, they have limited opportunities.

Your last line of defence is the remote wipe carried out directly through You should only do this if you’re sure that you’re not going to get your iPad back as it’s impossible to locate it again using Find My iPhone once it’s been wiped.

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