How to enable the offline search “Find iPhone (iPad)” in iOS 13 to find turned off devices

Apple introduced many interesting innovations at WWDC-2019. One of them was a new application «Locator» for iOS, iPadOS and macOS. The program combines the capabilities of services «Find iPhone» and «Find friends».

The application allows you to find out the location of friends and relatives, transfer your data and find missing devices. Besides, curious offline search option also appeared in Latitude. It allows you to find even devices that are turned off or in sleep mode.

How iPhone Offline Search Works, iPad and Mac

It is easy to understand the mechanism of searching for a device that works and finds it on the web. But what to do with the computer or smartphone turned off, which is no longer available? Apple tried to solve this issue using crowdsourcing. A special system has been created, which enables iPhone or iPad (even without a SIM card and internet connection) send information about your location to the world using Bluetooth. Naturally, this signal is encrypted with high quality. With this feature, you can even find a laptop with a closed cover.

When you turn on the lost device, it will immediately generate a special encrypted signal, which can be received by any Apple device that’s nearby. A complete stranger and a stranger can be a relay of coordinates. His device without the knowledge of the owner will catch a signal, will check its location and encrypt data about it using the public key received from the missing device.

Location information is encrypted so securely, what to locate a fellow, abiding lost (with Wi-Fi off or without a SIM card), only the second host device can. Apple emphasizes, that geolocation data of a lost device cannot be decrypted even by it, although this information gets to it on the server. The owner needs to activate the function «To find» and get that very encrypted message, which will reveal the location of the lost device.


How to enable offline search on iPhone and iPad

  1. Make sure, that your devices have iOS 13 or later installed and the feature is activated «To find iPhone» or «To find iPad».
  2. Go to Settings → Apple ID (Your name) → Latitude and select a section «Find iPhone» (iPad).
  3. Turn on all three available switches. One of them will be «Enable Offline Search».

Now when the device is lost, it will be easier to find, even if it’s not connected to the Internet.

As in the app «Locator» find lost iPhone or iPad, if they are not connected to the internet

If your device is missing, do not rush to get upset. Activated option «Enable offline search» help solve the problem. Open program «Locator» and go to the tab «Devices». In the list you will see not only all your devices, but also their location, displayed on the map. Click on an item to select it.

In the case of a lost device, you will need the function «Mark as missing». Then when you turn on the device, even if offline, you just get a notification. In this case, on the lock screen of a lost device when it is connected to the Internet, a message appears with the host number, by which you can contact him. The person who finds the device will know, Who to contact, but will not get access to the data stored inside.

If there are concerns about the safety of personal information, stored on the device, click «Erase this device» – iPhone or iPad will be remotely reset to factory settings. You can recover data in the event of a loss from an iCloud backup.