If your Mac has been lost or stolen Apple’s Find My Mac feature will allow you to attempt to locate it. In the worst case scenario where your Mac is not recoverable you can lock the Mac and erase your data, greatly reducing it’s value to thieves and keeping your information secure.
We frequently receive calls from customers who are buying a Mac as theirs has been lost or stolen and often Find My Mac has not been enabled. The following steps will show you how to enable and use Find My Mac incase you are unlucky enough to have to use it.
Setting Up & Enabling Find My Mac
When setting up your Mac for the first time you will be required to compete the setup assistant. When completing the setup assistant on a Mac you will be given the option to use your Apple ID to login to your iCloud account, this is required in order to enable Find My Mac. If you do not have an Apple ID you have the option to create one here.
If you skipped this step when completing the setup assistant you can enable Find My Mac from System Preferences.
1. Go to the Apple () menu and click System Preferences or click the System Preferences dock icon.
2. Click the iCloud icon.
3. Login to iCloud with your Apple ID by clicking Sign in (you should then see your name at the top of the sidebar). If you do not have an Apple ID you have the option to create one.
4. Check the Find My Mac option is enabled and click Next. You also need to ensure that location services have been enabled if there is a warning badge in iCloud settings, do this by clicking turn on and then allow Find My Mac when asked.
5. Ensure Find My Mac has been successfully enabled by checking there is a blue checkbox next to the icon.
Using Find My Mac to locate a lost or stolen Mac
If the unthinkable happens and you think your Mac has been lost or stolen you can access the Find My Mac tool from www.icloud.com.
1. Once logged in using your Apple ID select the Find iPhone icon. After verifying your login details again you will be presented with a map.
2. If your Mac is turned on, connected to the internet and can be located, Find My Mac will display its location on the map so you can identify where it is. If a blue circle shows around the device, this means that the location is approximate.
What happens if your device cannot be located
The Find My app will show 'No location found' underneath your device's name if it cannot be retrieved, you can set it to alert you when the location is available. But you need to ensure you have allowed notfications with the app in your device settings. Simply click the info button and then select 'Notify when found'.
3. From here you have three options; Play Sound, Lock and Erase Mac.
If the Mac appears to be nearby you can click the Play Sound icon to have it play a sound and display a pop up message.
If the Mac is online clicking the Lock icon will cause the Mac to restart and display a screen requiring a passcode to reactivate the Mac. If the Mac is offline it will Lock the next time it is connected to the internet even if the internal drive has been erased. You can set a message on the passcode screen with your contact details to help anyone who may find your Mac get in touch. More information can be found on Apple's support page here
If the Mac is online clicking the Erase Mac icon will lock the Mac and initiates a remote erase of the internal drive. If the Mac is offline the remote erase will occur the next time it’s online. More information can be found on Apple's support page here
What to do if you are unable to recover your Mac
If you are unable to recover your Mac with Find My Mac then we would recommend contacting the Police to file a report. Asking the Police to submit your Mac’s serial number to the CheckMEND database can help prevent it from being sold on.
Thinking of selling or gifting your Mac?
If you are thinking of selling or gifting your Mac please remember to logout from your iCloud account before erasing the internal drive, this will disable Find My Mac to prevent any issues for the new user. More information can be found on Apple's support page here.