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Prevent deactivation of Find My iPhone iOS devices
Currently if you do not have a password on your device a thief (or child) could deactivate Find My iPhone. However most people don't know that you can prevent this by using a passcode. (This might require iOS 4.2 or later; I didn't have an earlier version to test it.)

To prevent anyone from turning it off you can do the following steps:
  • Open Settings and go to 'General.'
  • Scroll down and tap on 'Restrictions.'
  • Turn on restrictions and enter a four digit passcode and repeat to turn on.
  • Under 'Allow Changes:' turn both of the switches Location and Accounts to Off.
Now you cannot disable find my iPhone without the passcode. This also prevents changes to anything related to location services and changes made to your email accounts.

[crarko adds: I tested this, and it works as described. Since it's only a four digit passcode this isn't super secure, but it may give you time to locate and/or wipe the phone before it gets cracked.]
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Prevent deactivation of Find My iPhone
Authored by: Loren on Dec 28, '10 07:43:16AM

The 4 digit passcode it a choice. You can go into Settings>General>Passcode Lock and turn Simple Passcode off.



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Prevent deactivation of Find My iPhone
Authored by: Afuna on Dec 28, '10 07:01:43PM

The restrictions passcode is different from the phone passcode lock -- which makes sense, because if the two were tied together, a kid would be able to lift restrictions placed on their phone using the same passcode as the one they use to unlock their phone.

Unfortunately, that means that turning off "Simple Passcode" only affects the phone passcode lock, and not the restrictions passcode.



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Prevent deactivation of Find My iPhone
Authored by: garythemacguy on Dec 28, '10 07:51:57AM

> Now you cannot disable find my iPhone without the passcode. This also prevents changes to
> anything related to location services and changes made to your email accounts.

Wouldn't simply doing a factory reset from iTunes ("Restore"?) nuke the entire configuration? I haven't ever tried it, but I'm assuming it would work that way. Still, in the event of loss/theft, the possible delay in getting the iOS device to a convenient installation of iTunes might just give you enough time to locate it.


> Since it's only a four digit passcode this isn't super secure

Settings > General > Passcode Lock > Simple Passcode > OFF

Now it's alphanumeric and any length you like. This is entered from the regular full keyboard using lower case, upper case, digits, punctuation, etc.

On a corporate device deployed using the iPhone Configuration Utility (or whatever it's called) I seem to recall that you can further specify a minimum passcode length, mixed case, etc.



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Prevent deactivation of Find My iPhone
Authored by: cwanja on Dec 28, '10 08:16:23AM

To your first question - typically to connect your iPhone to iTunes to do a sync or any sort of update (or restore) you need to input your passcode if your phone is locked. That is another security feature enabled by Apple.

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MacBook Pro 15" Aluminum Unibody 2.8
Chris Wanja
chris.wanja@mac.com



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Prevent deactivation of Find My iPhone
Authored by: garythemacguy on Dec 28, '10 02:40:16PM

Thanks Chris, for clarifying this point.



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Prevent deactivation of Find My iPhone
Authored by: stepwallace on Dec 28, '10 06:27:28PM

If an iPhone/iPod/iPad is locked with a passcode, it can be restored, but it well remove any personal data in the process.

http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1212

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http://www.step.net.au



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Prevent deactivation of Find My iPhone
Authored by: olongaigh on Dec 28, '10 05:06:09PM

You can also force restore an iOS device to overcome the passcode. Disconnect from power (or USB), turn the device off, press and hold the home button and, keeping the button pressed, connect to your computer. Keep the home button held until "iTunes has detected an iPhone (or iPad, iPod Touch) in recovery mode. This iPhone must be restored before you can continue". This completely wipes the device including any passcode lock.



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Requires 4.2
Authored by: dwpoyner on Dec 28, '10 09:12:54PM

It does require 4.2. I have a jailbroken iphone running a previous version and it does not have the "Allow Changes" section.



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Prevent deactivation of Find My iPhone
Authored by: stonewareslord on Dec 30, '10 07:22:25AM

The iPhone would still be super secure if you assigned a master passcode from Find My iPhone because of the increasing time delay if you continue to enter the incorrect passcode.



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Prevent deactivation of Find My iPhone
Authored by: iTonyKing on Dec 18, '12 12:47:52AM

This doesn't stop thieves from turning the iPad/iPhone to airplane mode. I'd rather apple would allow you to secure all settings so they couldn't stop you using find my iphone.



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