How to Secure your iPhone: Set Restrictions to iCloud and Find my Friends


Yesterday we wrote about a harrowing story where Find my Friends was used to locate a stolen iPad. To our surprise, the man behind it was none other than one our readers @shuether. Turns out it was his sister’s iPad and he used Find my Friends to locate the iPad successfully, even though the thieves had disabled Find my iPhone.

To secure your iPhone in the event it is stolen, there’s a couple ways to ensure you get extra time to try and track it down. You can set restrictions to your iCloud account (thus disabling the ability toggle off Find my iPhone; thx @amatecha) and Find my Friends (which disables the ability to toggle off hiding your location from friends).

With both of these protected you increase your chances of finding your lost device. Here’s how to set it up:

1. Go to Settings –> General –> Restrictions

2. Scroll down and disable changes to Accounts and Find my Friends.

UPDATE: Gia in the comments reminds us to also disable Location Services, first and foremost.

As you can see below, toggling Find my Friends and iCloud will now be ‘greyed out’ after the changes:

That’s it. Another pro tip would be to ‘hide’ Find my Friends inside a random folder on your iOS device, lessening the chances of a thief locating the app. Of course they could use Spotlight, but you could disable that for apps. Your device recovery chances boil down to the number of brain cells a would be thief has in their head.

Coupling a strong passcode and utilizing restrictions for iCloud and Find my Friends, you will definitely have the piece of mind knowing your data will be protected plus have that extra few minutes to locate your device if it stolen. Find my Friends debuted last fall–who would’ve thought it could also be used for device recovery.

Let us know if you decide to implement these changes. I’d do it immediately.


  • Mon Mothma

    Was able to get Hide from Followers greyed out but iCloud remains accessible. Is this true for anyone else?

  • rvs007

    You have to turn on restrictions for “Accounts” too.

  • xxJDxx

    So is this only useful if you plan to leave your location in ‘find my friends’ always on? I like the idea of being able to use it to recover my device, but dont need my location to be broadcast constantly

  • No, it’ll ‘lock’ Find my iPhone so it can’t be toggled off. Find my Friend is just added security.

  • Gia

    I would also set restrictions for location services. If you dont, then all a thief would have to do is turn off location services.

  • Ah, good point.

  • Thanks as always Gary for a great article!

  • Magrat22

    Excellent, phone is now locked down.

  • Cheers! 🙂

  • Bcbackroader

    Don’t disable locatio services!
    You want restrict access to location services!