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How to find lost iOS devices with MDM

Retrieving a stolen iOS device which is efficiently managed is very simple. Enrolling in MDM is one thing but if there is any other way to simplify the process, it is DEP – Device Enrollment Program.

How does DEP makes management easy?

Long story short, DEP enables MDM profile to be installed in the device during the initial set up and also supervise devices over the air. Once you install an MDM profile from the DEP profile becomes non-removable. Thus, even if the culprits reset the device, MDM features to find the device can be employed. It includes Remote Ring, Wipe, lock and enabling lost mode.


You have to uncheck the box corresponding to “Allow MDM profile removal” in the DEP policy (Admin > Apple Business/School Manager > Apple DEP > DEP Configuration Profiles > Configure DEP Profile / Default DEP profile) to make the profile non-removable.

Managed or unmanaged, a device can be retrieved if Find My iPhone is enabled.

Finding a supervised device which is managed by MDM

There is an option to enable Activation lock and bypass the Activation lock from the Hexnode console. This come into use when an employee leaves the organization with Activation lock enabled with his personal Apple ID.
In iOS 7 and later, the Activation Lock gets enabled when you turn on Find my iPhone. The Activation lock will prevent your device from getting erased, reset or disabling Find my iPhone on your device by protecting it with your Apple id. You should sign in with the same Apple ID to make the device usable. Or the organization can disable Activation Lock if the device is supervised and managed by an MDM.

How to disable the Activation Lock from the MDM?

  1. Go to Manage.
  2. Select the device.
  3. Click-on Actions.
  4. Select Clear Activation Lock.

By resetting a device which is enrolled in Hexnode without removing the Apple ID will make it activation lock protected. With the Clear Activation Lock action, organization can prevent the lock down of activation lock enabled devices, for instance, they can retrieve the corporate device of an employee who has left the company.

How to find device location using Scan Device Location

The IT admins can also scan the current device location to find the device location.

  1. Go to Policies on the Hexnode portal.
  2. Click-on New Policy and double click on New Blank Policy.
  3. Add the Policy Name and Description and go to the General Settings tab.
  4. Click-on Location Tracking and configure that policy.
  5. Go to Policy Target and add the iOS device whose location has to be tracked.
  6. Click-on Save and Ok on the next pop up tab.
  7. Now, go to Manage tab.
  8. Select the device which is to be tracked.
  9. Click-on Actions.
  10. Select Scan device location.
  11. Go to Location History tab to get the location details.

  12. locating a device on a map

You can also lock or wipe the device or enable lost mode to prevent confidential data leak or can enable remote ring to find the device.

How to Lock/Wipe/Enable Lost Mode/Enable Remote Ring?

Locking a password-protected device disables its further usage. Wiping the device will fully erase the devices’ data and settings, which prevents data leakage. Enabling remote ring would help in finding the device that is lost in the proximity.

  1. On the hexnode portal, go to Manage
  2. Select the stolen device.
  3. Click on Actions and select Lock Device / Wipe Device / Enable lost Mode / Remote Ring.

The admin will have to disable the lost mode for the device to be reused.

Finding devices which are managed but not supervised

If the device is not supervised but managed it can be tracked, locked and wiped from the MDM console.

  1. Go to Manage.
  2. Select the device and click-on Manage.
  3. Select Lock Device, Wipe Device, Scan Device Location as per your requirement.

Finding an unsupervised, unmanaged device

Finding a lost unsupervised and unmanaged device cannot be done using MDM, but Apple has it’s own Find My iPhone application dedicated for this purpose.

  1. Sign into your iCloud account.
  2. Select Find iPhone.
  3. If there are more than one device, select the device from the All Devices list.
  4. Choose locate your device.
  5. Note:

    You can only locate your device if:

    • Find my iPhone is enabled on the device that you want to locate.
    • The iOS device is online.

  6. When the device is located on the map, choose Play Sound, Use Lost Mode, Activation Lock or Erase your device option according to your requirement.


For an iOS 5 device, you can apply actions like lock and locate but it is not possible to track the device.

If you misplaced your device, playing a sound will help you retrieve it. If your device is stolen, you can activate Lost Mode to lock your device with a passcode and display a message.