Help me find my iphone...which is lost in/near my house
December 8, 2018 11:44 AM   Subscribe

I feel like an idiot. I left the house for some errands the morning. I know I had it in the car on the way home (I was a passenger) as I took a photo on the way home. That's the last time I remember using it.

After arriving home, parking in back of the house, I did some outside chores. When I went to leave the house again, I realized I could not find my phone. I have used the Find My Iphone app, and it shows my phone being behind my house, where I park the car.

I searched the car, no luck. I drove the car a couple blocks away (to rule it out) and the app still shows my phone roughly in my driveway (or in the back of the house, depending on the accuracy of the app).

I have repeatedly hit 'play a sound' on the app while walking around, and cannot hear anything. The phone, even if in the driveway or yard, should still pick up wifi.

Questions - how accurate is the Find My Phone App in terms of pinpointing distance? Any idea how to make the 'play a sound' feature on the Find My Phone app actually work, or ideas as to why it isn't? Any other suggestions on how to track down a silent phone? This is driving me nuts.
posted by walkinginsunshine to Grab Bag (20 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Would you like me to call you? Memail me if so.
posted by Oyéah at 11:51 AM on December 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

I use this app on pretty much a daily basis.

If you see the phone on the map in the "find my phone" app, then it's awake and picking up wifi, and is in that general area -- but the map generally isn't accurate enough to tell me what room my phone is lost in.

When I can't hear its noise it invariably means the phone is buried under couch cushions, so that'd be the first place I'd check. If that doesn't work I generally go from room to room listening closely and hammering on the "play a sound" button with increasing degrees of mistrust and anxiety until I finally hear it buzzing faintly from whatever it's buried under.
posted by ook at 11:53 AM on December 8, 2018

Oyeah - that's very kind! I do have access to another phone and have tried calling. My phone is on silent. I should still be able to hear the noise that Find My iPhone makes (so they say)...but can't...
posted by walkinginsunshine at 11:54 AM on December 8, 2018

Do you have different clothes for outdoor chores than your usual day to day life, especially either something without pockets (in which case check the area where you put that thing on) or thick gloves (in which case check the area where you took those gloves off). Is there a place you might have put the phone on a level surface while moving in to or out of your outside chores mode. Did you go through a door with things in your hands where you would have had to have put the phone down in order to open a door? Did you hit "play a sound" while in your car also? Do you have a shed?
posted by jessamyn at 11:59 AM on December 8, 2018

Between the car seat and the floor, or if it is icy, just under the edge of the car, remember how you got out, and if you rummaged in the trunk getting stuff out. It might even be there. This time of year is distracting. I have some coats with lots 'o pockets too...If you went straight into the bathroom on the way in while unloading groceries, etc.
posted by Oyéah at 11:59 AM on December 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

Did you check in the car? Under the seat (contort yourself and look from both front and back) or between the seat and center console? Mine slips down there often, and it can be hard to see and aggravating to retrieve.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 12:00 PM on December 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

Check between the door and the seat and in between seats.
Then on your laptop go to, login and initiate find my iPhone. It will force the phone to ring even if on silent. Do this with your laptop in your backyard so you can hear it.

After you find your phone, get a Tile and put it on your keys. I use it 5-6 times a month and the time it has saved not getting to things on time has more than paid for the Tile itself.

(edit sorry I missed the part where you already tried the first bit).
posted by special-k at 12:08 PM on December 8, 2018

Definitely get down between the car seats and floor. Also, so you have piles of leaves near your car doors that would have cushioned the sound of it falling? What color is your phone case (or phone)? What around your car is a similar color?
posted by kimberussell at 12:09 PM on December 8, 2018

To clarify about the possibility of it being in the car - I drove the car several blocks away, then checked the app which showed my phone back at home...somewhere. So, I don't think it's in the car.
posted by walkinginsunshine at 12:16 PM on December 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

Phone case is black. I am worried I may have dropped it in snow, though having walked around I don't see it.
posted by walkinginsunshine at 12:17 PM on December 8, 2018

It still might be in the car. The app likely shows the last time the phone pinged, and not necessarily a live location.
posted by pyro979 at 12:19 PM on December 8, 2018 [5 favorites]

If you maybe dropped it in the snow try looking out a second floor window. That can make it easier to spot. Also, open everything in your car then play the sound. Do the same with your kitchen (all the drawers and cabinets and fridge), repeat. Etc. for every room. Cushions off the couches etc. Dump hampers out. All that stuff then play the sound.

Good luck.
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 12:34 PM on December 8, 2018

The app likely shows the last time the phone pinged, and not necessarily a live location.

If the dot on the map is green, it's a live location. If it's gray that means the phone is offline (and the app tells you the time of the last known location).
posted by ook at 12:48 PM on December 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

Take a break, look again, with a friend. It’s easy to miss things when you’re panicking.
posted by cotton dress sock at 12:49 PM on December 8, 2018

The iPhone locations may not update immediately. How long were you at this second location in the car? Now that you're back home, it's going to say thats where it is. It might be worth going for a second drive and finding somewhere at least several blocks away to stay for 15-20 minutes to see if it updates then.

And do check in the stupid little crevices between the seat and the car door, under the seat, leaning up against the console, etc. Look under that seat with a flashlight. Mine has hidden there numerous times.

And seconding getting a Tile (or a dozen) after you find your phone. I lose things constantly and now have them on everything. Keys, bags, wallets, remotes, etc. And to find my phone now all I need to be able to find is any other one tile-attached device in bluetooth range.
posted by cgg at 12:51 PM on December 8, 2018

I just tried the Find app, and it shows my iPhone across the street and my MBP up the block. Both devices used up to a few minutes ago, and I've been at home since yesterday. So, it works, but it's not real precise.
posted by JimN2TAW at 12:53 PM on December 8, 2018

Found it outside! Thanks for all the help
posted by walkinginsunshine at 1:55 PM on December 8, 2018 [39 favorites]

posted by Omnomnom at 2:22 PM on December 8, 2018 [25 favorites]

Snowbank !
posted by walkinginsunshine at 2:28 PM on December 8, 2018 [52 favorites]

Glad you finally found it!
posted by Roger Pittman at 3:15 PM on December 8, 2018

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