Can you track a lost iPhone If the SIM card has been deactivated?

Written by michael roennevig Google
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Can you track a lost iPhone If the SIM card has been deactivated?
Location software can allow you to track your iPhone from another iOS device. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

All will not be lost if your iPhone goes missing without an active SIM card. You may be able to locate and control your handset remotely provided you've activated the right tracking software on your device. If you haven't, it will be important to act quickly to ensure your personal information is secure and maximise your chances of making a successful insurance claim.

Tracking apps

Some iPhone tracking apps such as Apple's Find My iPhone and GadgetTrak work without an active SIM card installed on a device by using GPS and Wi-Fi positioning. If you've installed and activated any such program on your AWOL handset, consult its user guide to find out how to locate, lock and, if necessary, wipe your phone. Unfortunately, any tech-savvy phone thief worth his salt won't have too much trouble circumventing tracking programs by either disabling them or performing a factory reset. Use your tracking software as soon as you notice your iPhone has gone missing or keep your fingers crossed that a sticky-fingered amateur has swiped your device.


If you haven't installed tracking software that's capable of locating your SIM-free iPhone, it will be a case of damage limitation. Change the passwords of any email, social media or banking accounts linked to your handset as soon as you realise it's gone missing. Anybody who picks up your device may be able to access your accounts if you set it to remember your passwords, leaving you vulnerable to identity theft and fraud. Check your online accounts for any suspicious activity.


Once you've done all you can to protect your security and privacy, contact your local police force to report your phone missing. It's unlikely doing so will help you get your handset back, but you'll need a crime reference number if your device was insured. Some insurers insist that any theft is reported within a certain time frame, so it's important to act quickly. You'll need the IMEI number of your iPhone to give to the police.


You may be able to make an insurance claim for your lost or stolen iPhone even if you don't have specific cover for it. Check the benefits of your contents insurance to find out if you have cover for valuable items away from the home. If you have a premium current account, there's a chance mobile phone insurance may be included, but you'll typically need to have registered your handset to benefit from this. If you're on holiday, check through your travel insurance documents to find out if you're covered.

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