Locating and Protecting a Lost iPad

Depending on how you use your iPad or iPad mini, you can easily end up with a pretty large chunk of your life residing on it. That sounds like a good thing, but if you happen to lose your tablet, you’ve also lost that chunk of your life. You’ve also opened up a gaping privacy hole because anyone can now delve into your data.

If you’ve been syncing your tablet with your computer regularly, then you can probably recover most, or even all, of that data. However, you’d probably rather find your iPad or iPad mini because it’s expensive — and there’s just something creepy about the thought of some stranger flicking through your stuff.

Try finding your iPad with an app

The old way of finding a device consisted of scouring every nook and cranny that you visited before losing it and calling up various lost-and-found departments to see if anyone’s turned it in. The new way to find your iPad or iPad mini is by using a great app (it’s also an iCloud feature) called Find My iPhone (yes, the app is called Find My iPhone, even for the iPad and iPad mini).

You might think that a fatal flaw with the Find My iPhone app is that someone who has your iPad can easily turn off the feature and disable it. Fortunately, that’s not the case because your iPad comes with a feature called Activation Lock, which means that a person can only turn off Find My iPhone by entering your Apple ID password.

Remotely deleting the data on your tablet

If you can’t get the other person to return your tablet, and it contains sensitive or confidential data (or just that big chunk of your life), you can use the Find My iPhone app or the iCloud Find My iPhone feature to take the drastic step of remotely wiping all data from the device. Follow these steps to do so:

  1. Display the My Devices list.

  2. Tap or click your iPad or iPad mini in the My Devices list. Find My iPhone locates your iPad or iPad mini on a map.

  3. Tap or click Erase iPad. Find My iPhone asks you to confirm.

  4. Tap or click Erase. Find My iPhone prompts you for your Apple ID password.

  5. Type your password, and then tap or click Next. Find My iPhone asks you to enter an optional phone number where you can be reached, which will appear on the iPad after it has been erased.

  6. Type your phone number, and then select Next. Find My iPhone prompts you to type a message that will appear on the tablet, along with the phone number, after it has been erased.

  7. Type the message, and then tap or click Done. Find My iPhone remotely wipes all data from the tablet.