Make It Easier To Get A Lost iPhone or iPad Back Using Just Your Lock Screen [iOS Tips]

Lock Screen Info

Here’s a neat idea that will make you wonder why you hadn’t thought of this already. I know that’s what I thought as soon as I saw it.

Even though we have stuff like Find my iPhone and Find my Mac available, what about that honest person who finds your iPad or iPhone on a bus or in a restaurant and wants to return it to you? If you haven’t engraved your contact information onto the iPad (and who does that, really?), and you’ve set a passcode to get past the lock screen, that kind individual will be out of luck in trying to find you to get your iPad or iPhone back to you.

What’s a helpful iOS device owner to do, then, to help a good samaritan return a lost item?

Put your contact info in the lock screen image, of course! Here’s how.

Launch a drawing app on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, and create a new drawing. I used Paper by FiftyThree for this example, because it’s pretty and stuff. Write the contact info you’d like someone to have if they want to return your device to you. If you’re not comfortable giving out a home address, try a work address, or phone number, or email/twitter account.

Save the image to your Photo Roll, and then open your Photos app. Tap the image you want to use as your lock screen information, and then hit the Share button in the upper right corner. Tap Use as Wallpaper, then tap Set Lock Screen.

That’s it. Now anyone who finds your device can contact you if they’re an honest person and can read your handwriting.

Related
  • Lonnie Lazar

    Keywords: “honest person”.

  • jja1234

    Instead of the cheap looking drawing that you’ll get sick of looking at…. Why not google iPhone name tags and get a professional looking one free? I have a wallpaper with my name email and phone number imprinted on what looks like an apple genius name tag for free…

  • jimmyzwheelz

    Don’t be a doofus and use your cell phone number in the field since you’ve just apparently lost your phone…doh!! :)

  • joewaylo

    Back when I did that, actually I used Pages at the maximum font that would fit the center of the screen with two enter spaces.

    IF YOU FIND MY IPHONE
    PLEASE CALL ***-***-****
    OR EMAIL (sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)

    Size 58 Helvetica for the first two lines
    Size 46 Helvetica for the last line

  • Jonathan Ober

    I have find my iphone on my phone and ipads and with the ability to look online to find it and wipe it clean I have a bit more peace of mind. The phone is locked and unless the person gets lucky, it’s locked for long time or wiped. And I hear that Apple won’t just help someone unlock the phone at the apple store if a stolen one is brought in. Is that true?

  • Mark Miller

    I use an app on my iPhone called ‘Lost n Found’ for this very purpose, and I find that it works really well. It’s made by Kavapoint LLC and it’s apparently on sale now for $.99 (I paid $.99 for it a while back). BTW, I don’t work for the developer.

    What’s nice about this app is you set a picture for your your wallpaper to use on your lock screen, and on the picture you put your contact info plus an optional reward. I used a photo of myself to make it easier for the would-be-finder to locate me, although I have to say that I’m not thrilled to see a picture of myself on my lock screen.

    The app works well and I highly recommend it. :-)

  • roblef

    Instead of the cheap looking drawing that you’ll get sick of looking at…. Why not google iPhone name tags and get a professional looking one free? I have a wallpaper with my name email and phone number imprinted on what looks like an apple genius name tag for free…

    That sounds cool – do you have a site you’d recommend?

  • brian

    I have an app that does this…very easy to use. Hope it helps! LostFound https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/lostfound-emergency-contact/id531538181?mt=8

  • seemsArtless

    For any lost Android souls that happen to find this page you can set up a scrolling line of text on the lock screen with contact info. I wish the text was more obvious, especially if you enter an incorrect password, but all you need to do to enable it is go to Settings -> Security -> Owner info and make sure the ‘Show owner info on lock screen’ is enabled. No need to install an app, or do any graphic editing.

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Games and Tips Editor. He has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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