What Should You Do If Your iPad Is Stolen?

If your iPad was stolen from you, here’s what you need to do to keep your information safe and hopefully get your device back.

Millions of mobile devices are lost or stolen every year. In fact, 11,447 devices were reported stolen between January 1 and September 23, 2012. alone in New York.

Usually, if you lose your device, there’s not much you can do other than go back and try to find it. If it’s stolen, you’re out of luck unless you can find a way to somehow find it and get it back from the perpetrator. Fortunately, device manufacturers are at least giving users a fighting chance by adding ways for device owners to monitor and manage their devices in case they are lost or stolen.

There are a few things to keep in mind and make sure you do when your iPad is stolen. Many users resort to tracking their stolen device using Find My iPhone, but don’t spend too much time finding the device and the culprit because there are other tasks you have to do if your iPad is stolen.

Here’s a list of tasks to do (in no particular order) when you realize your iPad has been stolen.

Track My iPhone with Find My

Find My iPhone is a free service that comes with every iOS device and Mac computer and lets you track if your iPhone or iPad has been lost or stolen. Of course, it only works when the device is on and has a signal, so if your iPad is stolen and the thief is smart enough to turn it off or put it in Airplane Mode, Find My iPhone won’t work, but in case the thief isn’t that smart, it will at least give you a fighting chance. Here’s how to use it.

To start iCloud.com and sign in using your Apple ID. You’ll be greeted with a handful of apps arranged similarly to the layout of your iPad home screen. Click the Find My iPhone icon and you’ll be taken to a full-screen map with dots showing where your various Apple devices (including Mac computers if you have them) are located.

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You can click the icon at the top to view all your Apple devices, and when you select your stolen device, you have the same three options as the Find My iPhone app: Play Sounds, Lost Mode, and Erase iPad.

Personally, using Find My iPhone would be the first thing I would do, but again, don’t spend too much time fiddling with it. Instead, quickly log in and see if you can track your iPad. If you know its location, turn off Find My iPhone and continue to the next step.

Call and Report the Police

Make sure to call the police and not only file a report, but also tell them that you know the location of the stolen device if you know where the stolen device is from using Find My iPhone. If that’s the case, they usually send an officer to retrieve the stolen iPad and catch the culprit. Under no circumstances should you pursue the criminal yourself, as you have no idea what they can do. Let the police handle it.

iPad Air

Otherwise, there’s little the police can do if you don’t know the location of the stolen device, but filing a report when dealing with Apple or your insurance company can help.

Remotely Erase Your Stolen iPad

At this point, if you can’t locate your stolen iPad and the police can’t help you find it, you’re probably at a point where you’ll never see it again, so this might be a good time. Remotely wipe your stolen iPad if you can use iCloud and Find My iPhone.


There is an option to remotely wipe your device, such as when you log into iCloud.com to find your stolen iPad. Clicking this will remotely wipe your device so the thief cannot access any personal information. This is ideal if you have sensitive information on your iPad. While most thieves aren’t really interested in your personal information anyway, it’s still a good step to take if one of your devices is stolen.

However, keep in mind that erasing your stolen iPad will prevent you from using Find My iPhone to locate the device in the future. At this point, it’s time to officially say “goodbye”.

Call Your Carrier

After wiping your iPad remotely, if you have an LTE model, make sure to call your mobile operator to cancel the service on the iPad, that way if the thief can gain access to your device, you won’t be charged for data usage, and instead they will shut down the service and prevent it from using LTE .

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Also, if you have a police report that you can show the carrier, they are more likely to work with you and take action faster than they normally would. You usually have to prove it was stolen for the carrier to take action, and the police report you file will do the trick.

Moyens Staff
Moyens I/O Staff has motivated you, giving you tips on technology, personal development, lifestyle and strategies that will help you.