How to Turn Find My iPad On or Off

You can find your iPad on a map if this feature is turned on

Person using ipad in front of laptop

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The Find My iPad option on the iPad is one of the most important features on the tablet. Not only can it help you locate your iPad using GPS, it can also locate an iPad that's hiding under a couch or beneath a pillow by letting you use an iPhone or a computer to play a sound on your iPad.

That alone is good enough to turn it on, but there are plenty of other helpful Find My iPad features, too, like Lost Mode, and perhaps most important, you can completely erase the iPad remotely if it's been stolen.  

On the flip side, if you're selling your iPad or giving it to a friend, you should turn off the Find My iPad feature before resetting the iPad back to its factory default settings. You should also turn off Find My iPad if you're having any repairs done to it.

How to Turn On/Off Find My iPad

Access your iCloud settings to enable or disable Find My iPad.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap your name at the top of the left panel.
  3. Tap iCloud on the right.
  4. Tap Find My iPad on the right, under the "APPS USING ICLOUD" area.
  5. Tap the button next to "Find My iPad" to enable the feature, or tap the green button to disable Find My iPad.

It's also a good idea to turn on Send Last Location. This will send Apple the location information for the iPad when the battery is low on charge, allowing you to find it even if it's completely drained (assuming that it wasn't moved much after it died).

Otherwise, if the iPad is powered down or not connected to the internet, you won't be able to see a location.

Note: You must turn on Location Services for Find My iPad to work. You can do that from the Privacy area in the Settings app.

How to Use Find My iPad

A huge benefit to Find My iPad is that you don't even need an iPad to use it. You can access Find My iPad from your iPhone or even your computer at iCloud.com.

When you log in to iCloud from your web browser, you'll see an icon for Find iPhone. Despite the name, this app works for your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.

The default Find My iPad screen shows a map with all of your devices on it. Again, this can be your Macbook, your iPhone, or any device you've activated the "Find My..." feature on that is using the same Apple ID.

You can drill down to a specific device from the All Devices drop down link at the top of the screen on the iCloud website. If you're using your iPad to locate another iOS device, hold the tablet in landscape mode and the list will appear on the side of the screen.

You can also use this screen to check the device's location in everyday circumstances, like to see if your spouse has left work yet. Of course, for this to work, they have to own an Apple device that's signed on with the same Apple ID.

The individual device screen will zero in to the location of that device and offer these options:

  • Play Sound: Use this to play a sound on the iPad, great for locating the tablet when you're sure it's somewhere within earshot.
  • Lost Mode: The Lost Mode option not only locks the iPad, but you can also type a message that will be displayed on the iPad's screen. Use this option if you've left the iPad at a restaurant, mall, or some other establishment and want to a) protect it from being used and b) let anyone that finds it know your phone number and/or email address, home address, etc., so that they can arrange to get it back to you. 
  • Erase iPad: This action is used when you know you will not get the iPad back and want to make sure all of the data on it is erased. Another reason to use the Erase iPad option is when your need to reset your iPad without plugging it into a computer, like if it keeps freezing up.

What About Find My Friends?

Find My Friends is a way to share your location with friends and family. While Find My iPad only works for devices using the same Apple ID, Find My Friends works with any contact with whom you've given permission by sending a "Share My Location" request.

Find My Friends is its own app, so it's separate from Find My iPad. You can launch the app through Spotlight Search by searching for Find Friends.

Inside the app, tap the Add button in the "All Friends" list to send the Share My Location request to someone so that they can see the location of your iPad. Remember, they will need to send you this request in order for you to see their iPad in your Find Friends app.