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How to Find Your Lost iPad

May you never have to use the Find My iPad feature to locate a lost iPad — though it is pretty darn cool. If you inadvertently leave your iPad in a taxi or restaurant, Find My iPad may just help you retrieve it. All it takes is a free iCloud account.

Well, that’s almost all it takes. You’ll have to turn it on, though, so tap Settings→Mail, Contacts, Calendars and then tap your iCloud account. Or tap Settings→iCloud. either way, make sure Find My iPad is switched on.

Now suppose that you lost your tablet — and you’re beside yourself. Follow these steps to see whether the Find My iPad feature can help you:

  1. Log on to your iCloud account from any browser on your computer.

  2. Click the Find My iPhone icon.

    If you don’t see it, click the icon with a cloud in it that appears in the upper-left corner of the iCloud site. You see a panel with icons that are tied to various iCloud services, including Find My iPhone.

    Yes, even though the feature is Find My iPad on the iPad, it shows up as Find My iPhone on the iCloud site. Don’t worry; it’ll still locate your iPad and, for that matter, a lost iPhone or iPod touch, too.

    Assuming that your tablet is turned on and in the coverage area, its general whereabouts turn up on a map, in satellite view, or a hybrid of the two. In tests, Find My iPad found the iPads quickly.

    image0.jpg

    The truth is that even seeing your iPad on a map may not help you much, especially if the device is lost somewhere in midtown Manhattan. Take heart.

  3. At the iCloud site, click the Display Message or Play Sound button.

  4. Type a plea to the Good Samaritan that you hope picked up your iPad.

    The message appears on the lost iPad’s screen. Don’t forget to include in the message a way for the person to reach you, such as the message displayed on the iPad in this figure.

    To get someone’s attention, you can also sound an alarm that plays for two minutes, even if the volume is off. Hey, that alarm may come in handy if the iPad turns up under a couch in your house. Stranger things have happened.

    image1.jpg

Find My iPhone (which finds any iOS device) is available as a free app in the App Store.

After all this labor, if the iPad is seemingly gone for good, click Wipe at the iCloud site to delete your personal data from afar and return the iPad to its factory settings. (A somewhat less drastic measure is to remotely lock your iPad by using a four-digit passcode.)

And, if you ever get your iPad back, you can always restore the information from an iTunes backup on your Mac or PC or iCloud.

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