Can You Track Your iPhone If Airplane Mode Is On?

Does Find My iPhone work on airplane mode? How to track a lost iPhone if it is on airplane mode? Find your answers in the article below and have a better understanding of the Airplane mode.

Author Avatar Joy Taylor Last Updated: Dec. 03, 2021

“Find My iPhone” is a very useful feature that Apple implements to help you locate your missing device. However, you may wonder does find my iPhone work on airplane mode or does airplane mode turn off location.

The article below presents everything you need to know about tracking your device in airplane mode by using the “Find My iPhone” feature. Hope this information can help you locate your lost iPhone!

Does Find My iPhone Work on Airplane Mode? 

Find My iPhone doesn’t work on Airplane Mode. Or we say you can’t track a phone on airplane mode. This is because location services for tracking your device usually require a network connection. Therefore, it’s very hard for you to track your iPhone when it’s offline on airplane mode. However, if your iPhone is equipped with an AirTag and is with Bluetooth turned on you may still be tracked even if it’s on airplane mode.

Can You Track a Phone on Airplane Mode

Can You Track a Phone on Airplane Mode

However, in some cases, the answer is YES. This is becauseApple has implemented the “Find My Network” feature with iOS 14 and later. It uses a Bluetooth sensor to help you track your phone even if it’s offline. If there is an Apple device near your lost iPhone, the Apple device will detect your phone through Bluetooth and send an approximate location of your iPhone to iCloud. In this way, you can see your offline device in the “Find My” app.

However, there are certain limitations to the “Find My Network” feature.

Enable “Find My Network” on iPhone

Enable “Find My Network” on iPhone

  • Bluetooth on your device needs to be on: Sometimes when airplane mode is enabled on your device, Bluetooth may automatically be disabled. Therefore, if you haven’t manually re-activated the Bluetooth on your device before it’s lost, you won’t be able to use the “Find My Network” feature.
  • The “Find My Network” feature has to be enabled on your device before it’s lost: You can’t manage this feature remotely if your phone is on airplane mode. Therefore, if you haven’t turned it on before, you can’t use “Find My Network”.
  • There has to be an Apple device within the range of Bluetooth on your iPhone: The range of Bluetooth is usually very short. Therefore, the “Find My Network” feature can’t provide effective help when there is no Apple device near your phone.

How to Track a Phone on Airplane Mode?

Now you may ask is it possible to find your lost iPhone on Airplane mode? As a matter of fact, you can still track your iPhone by navigating to the iCloud and sign in to the website through your Apple ID and password.

Find My iPhone on Airplane Mode

Find My iPhone on Airplane Mode

  1. On the welcome page, tap on the “Find my iPhone” mode > Choose “All Devices” and select the lost phone on the list.
  2. Now it will start to track your missing phone. If successful, you will be able to see the last location even if your iPhone is on Airplane mode.
  3. When your iPhone goes online, you can choose to “Play a sound”, “Mark as Lost” or “Erase device”.

If your lost iPhone is not listed there, you can not find your iPhone in this way.

Otherwise, if you have used an AirTag on your lost smartphone and enabled Bluetooth, you can see the following steps to use the “Find My iPhone” feature to track your phone that is on airplane mode.

  1. Go to the “Find My” App and tap on “Items”.
  2. Choose the AirTag you’d like to locate.
  3. If the AirTag is within the range, you will see it on the map while if the AirTag is out of range,  you can see the last known location.
  4. To be notified when the lost device is within the range or detected by Find My Network, you can turn on “Notify When Found” under Notifications. 

What Does It Mean When You Enable Airplane Mode?

Enabling the Airplane mode cuts off the signal transmission and when it’s turned on, we won’t be able to send or receive messages, make phone calls, or use cellular networks. Therefore, the airplane mode will stop sharing your location when it is turned off unexpectedly. To better understand how Airplane mode work, please check the points below to find more information about it!

Airplane Mode

Airplane Mode

You can still use Wi-Fi and Bluetooth in airplane mode.

Sometimes when airplane mode is enabled on your device, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth may automatically be disabled. However, this doesn’t mean you cannot use them anymore. You can manually reactivate them in settings. Nevertheless, you should still ask the flight attendants for permission to use them in case it affects the airplane.

It’s useful to turn on the Airplane mode even if you’re not in the air.

Enabling airplane mode has many advantages you may not have thought about.

  • Stop ads in your free apps: As these ads require a network connection for a refreshing, enabling the airplane mode prevents them from popping up. However, this feature doesn’t work for online games, since such games require network connection as well and can’t be played in airplane mode.
  • Save battery for your device: When airplane mode is on, your device no longer searches for signals or refreshes apps in the background, thus saving battery for your device. For the same reason, your device charges faster in airplane mode.
  • Restart a network or signal: If you’re having trouble with signal or network connection, you don’t need to restart your device. Instead, you can simply turn on and off the airplane mode to re-activate signal searching.

Some features are disabled on your device when you enable airplane mode.

When you turn on the airplane mode, functions that require signal transmission or network connection cannot be used anymore. Here are some features that don’t work on your device when you enable the airplane mode:

  • Emergency calls
  • Sending an email
  • Weather updates
  • iTunes and App store
  • Online video, music, or games
  • Siri
  • Photo sync to iCloud
  • Airdrop

Bonus Tip. How to Hide Location on iPhone without Them Knowing?

“Find My iPhone” allows you to track your device. However, in some cases, it also allows other people to track your location. What if you don’t want to be tracked by others? How to stop sharing location without them knowing?

Surely, you can put your device in Airplane mode because someone can’t see your location on Airplane mode. Although the Airplane mode turns off location, in most cases, you are suggested to turn off Find My iPhone. Here, we collect 2 ways to turn off Find My iPhone. You can choose one solution in terms of your situation.

How to Turn Off Find My iPhone without Notification?

If you want to stop sharing your location with a particular person without notifying him/her, you can do so with the following steps.

Disable Location-Sharing for a Particular Person

Disable Location-Sharing for a Particular Person

  1. Go to the “Find My” app.
  2. Go to the “People” section.
  3. Tap on the person with whom you wish to stop sharing your location.
  4. Scroll up to find “Stop Sharing My Location” and tap on it.
  5. When prompted, confirm it by tapping on “Stop Sharing Location”.

Now the person chosen won’t be able to see your location and they won’t receive any notifications. However, he or she won’t be able to see you on their list of friends either. Additionally, if you re-activate the sharing again, he or she will receive a notification that you start to share locations with him or her.

Disable Location-Sharing for the “Find My” App

Disable Location-Sharing for the “Find My” App

If you want to stop sharing your location overall to all people, you can do so with the following steps:

  1. Go to “Settings”.
  2. Go to “Find My”.
  3. Toggle off “Share My Location” and done!

How to Turn Off Find My iPhone on iCloud?

If you no longer have access to your device (for example, you already gifted or sold your device to someone else), you can still disable “Find My iPhone” remotely via iCloud. Here’s how to turn off “Find My iPhone” using iCloud:

*Please note that this method involves erasing contents on your device, so please make sure you no longer want any information on your device or back everything up before proceeding with the following steps.

  1. Go to the iCloud official website.
  2. When prompted, sign in to your iCloud using your Apple ID and Apple ID password/Touch ID/Face ID.
  3. After you’re signed in, click on “Find iPhone”.
  4. You will be prompted to sign in here again. Sign in using your Apple ID password. Please make sure you check the Apple ID currently listed. If you’re using a different Apple ID on the device you intend to remove, click on “Sign Out” and go back to step 2 to sign in to the correct account.
  5. After you’re signed in, click on “All Devices” to review a full list of your devices under this Apple ID and your shared family member’s devices. Then click on the device you intend to remove.
  6. Click on “Erase iPhone” to erase this device.
  7. Once your device is erased, click on “Remove from Account” to remove it from your device list.

Done! Now you have turned off “Find My iPhone” through iCloud.

The Bottom Line

Is the article helpful for you to track your missing iPhone? Let us know if you still have any questions about this topic or any other iPhone-relevant issues through the comment below.

Author Avatar
Joy Taylor Twitter Share Facebook Share

Member of iMobie team as well as an Apple fan, love to help more users solve various types of iOS & Android related issues.

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