How can I wipe my stolen iPhone?
November 5, 2012 8:31 AM   Subscribe

My iPhone was stolen. I suspended service through Verizon but is there a way to remotely wipe it (now that it has already been stolen)?

It was stolen by an ex-boyfriend so I know who has it, and what I'm worried about is sensitive information such as contact info, pictures, etc. Not worried about things like identity theft.
posted by désoeuvrée to Technology (6 answers total)
Find My Iphone would let you do this (you install the app on some other iOS device, or you can also access it through the web at but I don't know if it will work if you have already suspended service. Maybe if he logs on to a wifi network.
posted by enn at 8:37 AM on November 5, 2012

Did you have the "Find my iPhone" feature on? This would help you prove to law enforcement that your ex stole your phone, as well as remotely erase it.
posted by n1c35h07 at 8:40 AM on November 5, 2012

If you've already suspended service with Verizon, Find my iPhone will only work if the phone is connected to WiFi. It doesn't hurt to activate the wipe, but it's not guaranteed that it will work!
posted by sgo at 12:06 PM on November 5, 2012

I actually found out the answer from Apple Support... if you don't have Find my iPhone already installed on your phone before it is lost/stolen, there is no way to wipe it. For an iPhone 4, at least. There is absolutely nothing they can do. So everyone, get Find my iPhone NOW before anything happens to your phone!
posted by désoeuvrée at 1:27 PM on November 5, 2012

Just for a little disambiguation, you don't need to have the app installed, but rather the setting in Settings/iCloud set to On (which requires registering the device with iCloud). You can test this by going to iCloud and logging in. If you see your phone listed, you should be able to remote wipe it from the "Find my iPhone" interface.

Of course a theif could turn this feature off (and most of the smart ones probably will) as well as make other changes to prevent tracking.
posted by samsara at 2:46 PM on November 5, 2012

I suppose it's time to report your ex. :)
posted by n1c35h07 at 3:05 PM on November 5, 2012

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