Apple

Using Apple’s Find My App on Mac

Apple combined its Find My iPhone and Find My Family app beginning with iOS 13, iPadOS 13, and macOS Catalina. Here’s how to use it on Mac.

Apple combined its Find My iPhone and Find My Family app beginning with iOS 13, iPadOS 13, and macOS Catalina. The app allows you to keep track of the current locations for your family and friends and share your location with the same people. Additionally, you can track, remotely lock, and erase lost Apple devices. You’ve already learned how to use Find My on iPhone and iPad. Here’s how to do it on your computer.

Friends

One component of the Find My app is the ability to track the location of others. Here’s how to add new friends, keep track of them, and more.

Adding Friends

  1. Click on the Find My app on your Mac.
  2. Select the People tab at the top left.
  3. Tap Share My Location.
  4. Type the name or email of the person you’d like to share location information. This person must also be using iCloud and Find My.
  5. Add more people by tapping the + button.
  6. Choose Share for One HourShare Until End of Day, or Share Indefinitely.

Find My on Mac

You are now sharing your location with the contact, and they can offer to do the same on their end.

Finding Friends

You can find different information about your friend through the Find My app. On the friend’s card, you can find their current location (plus directions) and contact information. You can also add a custom label for their position.

To find this information:

  1. Click on the Find My app on your Mac.
  2. Select the People tab at the top left.
  3. Choose your friend who is sharing their information.
  4. Click on the “i” next to their name to learn more.

Find My Mac Find information

Sharing Your Location

You can switch the global status of your location sharing at any time using the Find My app.

  1. Click on the Find My app on your computer.
  2. Choose the Me tab at the top left of the screen.
  3. Select on the “i” next to their name to learn more.
  4. Toggle Share My Location on or off, depending on your preference.

Find My Mac me

Notify Others of Your Location

The Find My app makes it easy to share your location with others and also alert your friends when you’re somewhere else.

  1. Click on the Find My app on your Mac.
  2. Select the People tab at the top left.
  3. Choose a friend from the list.
  4. Select on the “i” next to their name.
  5. Choose Add under Notifications.
  6. Notify [friend’s name] from the pull-down.

Find My Mac notification

From there:

  1. Select When I Arrive or When I Leave, depending on your choice. Under this scenario, the person will receive a notification whenever you arrive or leave your current location.
  2. Choose your current location or select New Location to add a new one.
  3. Tap Only Once or Every Time under Frequency, depending on how long you want your contact notified.
  4. Select Add to finish.

Find my Mac select location

Remove a Friend

You can remove a friend in the Find My app at any time.

  1. Click on the Find My app on your Mac.
  2. Select the People tab at the top left.
  3. Choose a friend from the list.
  4. Select on the “i” next to their name.
  5. Choose Remove [name].
  6. Confirm the deletion of the contact from the Find My app.

Devices

With the Find My app for Mac, you can also keep track of your Apple devices, including mobile devices, AirPods, other Macs, and Apple Watch. If you’re part of an Apple Family Sharing group, their machines are also trackable using the app.

Finding Devices

  1. Click on the Find My app on your computer.
  2. Select the Devices tab. Your devices logged into your iCloud account will show on this list.
  3. Choose the device you wish to find.
  4. Select on the “i” next to the device.
  5. Tap Play Sound to find a nearby device with sound.

Find My device sound

For lost devices:

  1. Tap Mark As Lost, followed by Activate when the device is lost.
  2. Choose Continue.
  3. Enter passcode and repeat.
  4. If you want, add a message that will show up on the missing device.
  5. Tap Lock or Activate.

When you mark a device as lost and it’s reachable through a wireless signal, it will automatically lock. From there, your phone number and message get displayed so the person on the other end can contact you.

Erasing a Device

In the event you need to wipe a device remotely, you can do so using the Find My app. The tool is best when your device is missing, and you need to protect your data.

  1. Click on the Find My app on your computer.
  2. Select the Devices tab.
  3. Choose the device you wish to erase.
  4. Select on the “i” next to the device.
  5. Tap Erase This Device.
  6. Choose Continue.
  7. Follow the additional steps.

Find My mac delete device

Location Information and Security

To find a missing device, the Find My app uses Bluetooth signals across all Apple devices, not just the ones you own. As the company explains:

Find My can help you locate a missing device — even if it’s offline and sleeping — by sending out Bluetooth signals that can be detected by Apple devices in use nearby. These devices then relay the detected location of your device to iCloud so you can locate it in the Find My app. It’s all anonymous and encrypted end-to-end so no one, including Apple, knows the identity of any reporting device.

It’s also important to note how Apple secures location information:

Just like every Apple product, Find My is designed to keep you in control of your data. Apple receives location information only when you actively locate your device, mark it as lost, or enable Send Last Location. Location data is retained for a maximum of 24 hours and is fully encrypted on Apple’s servers. And when Find My is used to locate an offline device, everyone’s information is protected with advanced end-to-end encryption so that no one, including Apple, knows the location or identity of any of the participating users or devices.

Find My is a useful app to help you find friends, family, and Apple devices. Use it on your mobile devices, Macs, and Apple Watches.

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