People lose there iPhones all the time, and they’re usually found by others left at a coffee shop or accidentally dropped on the sidewalk. While some people may have larceny in their heart, you’re one of the good guys or girls that wants to find out who the owner is and return it to them.
This can be a bit tricky, though, especially if the iPhone that you found has a passcode lock. However, there are a few tricks that you can employ to find out who the owner is, or at least contact someone who can put you through to the owner. You might feel a bit guilty about prying around someone else’s iPhone and seeing their personal information, but you might have to do it if it means finding out who the owner of the iPhone is.
If There Is No Passcode Lock
If the iPhone that you found has no passcode lock enabled, it’s pretty easy to find out who the owner is. Just open up the Contacts app an scroll down until you see “me” appear on the right-hand side of a person’s name. You now have the name of the iPhone owner.
Tapping on his/her name will reveal more information about them. If they filled out their own contact card in any way, then you’ll have their email address and/or their mailing address, so you could easily shoot them an email telling them that you found their lost iPhone, or drive to their house to drop it off, although that may not be the best approach if they don’t happen to enjoy unannounced guests.
If they don’t have their contact card filled out with extra contact information, browse their contact list for people who that person might be related to. 99% of the time, they’ll have “mom” or “dad” as the name of a contact, so you can easily call one of their parents in order to get a hold of the owner of the iPhone.
If you’d still rather contact the owner personally without having to go through a third-party, you can open up whatever email client they have installed and find their email address that way. This is a bit more invasive, but it’s not really a problem if you don’t plan to steal any personal information, because you’re a good guy/gal, remember?
If There Is a Passcode Lock
If the iPhone that you found happens to have a passcode lock on it, you should first applaud them for using a passcode lock, but it ultimately makes it a bit harder to find out who the owner is. However, there are still a couple of things you can try.
First, use Siri to bypass the lock screen and call one of the iPhone owner’s contacts. This only works if the owner has enabled access to Siri from the lock screen, but the chances are high that it is since the feature is enabled by default. From there, you can tell Siri to “Call mom” or “Call dad” to get a hold of the parents who when then put you through to the rightful owner. Again, this will only work if the owner has “mom” or “dad” set up as a name in their contacts list. You can also say “Email me” to send an email to the owner directly from Siri.
If Siri is blocked from being used on the lock screen, you’re not completely out of luck, but your options are slim. You can try to plug it into your computer and the iPhone’s phone number will pop up, but that information alone is pretty useless.
Aside from taking it in to an Apple Store or a carrier store and telling them it’s a lost iPhone (which might be the easiest way, since you no longer have to deal with it), the next best option is to just leave the phone on and wait. Keep the iPhone charged and powered on so that if the owner calls the phone, or a friend calls at some point, you can answer and say that you have their lost iPhone.
Keeping the iPhone powered on also gives the original owner a chance to find it using Find My iPhone. From there, he’ll likely assume that you stole it, but at least he’ll be able to get his iPhone back and you’ll both go on living your lives.
Don’t Let It Happen to You
Losing your iPhone is never fun, but if you have your iPhone set up so that you can easily locate it if it ever becomes lost, it’ll make life a lot easier. Be sure to enable Find My iPhone, and if you’re jailbroken, check out some of these jailbreak tweaks that you can use to thwart iPhone thieves.
However, if you ever happen to come across a lost iPhone, be a good samaritan and return it to the rightful owner.