New photos appearing from lost/stolen iPhone
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: My iPhone was lost/stolen last November. Now, I’m noticing pictures on my new iPhone and my iPad taken by the new owner of my lost/stolen iPhone. It must be syncing through iCloud somehow, which means my stuff is syncing too. I called AppleCare, outsourced now to a company called Emphasis. They haven’t a clue on what to do. Anyone have a fix for this?
A: Your photos are most likely syncing via the iCloud Photo Stream feature, which suggests that whoever has your old iPhone now hasn’t bothered to erase it or reconfigure it at all, and is in fact still using your iCloud account.
If you had “Find My iPhone” enabled on the device, you should be able to send a remote erase request by logging into your iCloud account at iCloud.com and selecting the “Erase iPhone” option. This will completely erase everything on your old iPhone, including configuration settings such as your associated iCloud account. This has the advantage of not only preventing future data such as your photos from syncing to the lost/stolen iPhone, but will erase all of your personal data that is already on the device.
Obviously if you have Find My iPhone enabled, it may make more sense to attempt to track down your old iPhone than to simply erase it. Further, even without Find My iPhone enabled, the photos coming through your iCloud Photo Stream may provide identifying information that could help track down your iPhone with the assistance of local law enforcement.
If you did not have Find My iPhone enabled, then sadly your only option is to change your iCloud password by visiting iCloud.com or http://appleid.apple.com. This will prevent your device from syncing with your iCloud account in the future, however any data already on your iPhone will still be accessible.
Even if your device was locked with a passcode, it is possible to take photos from the home screen without entering the passcode. However, photos are only uploaded to the Photo Stream when the device is on a Wi-Fi network, so unless the person who has your old iPhone happens to be on a Wi-Fi network that you had already configured, it’s unlikely that this is the case.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Beta testing for Pokémon GO begins in the U.S.
- Apple’s plan to open stores in India hits a snag (Update: India’s finance minister ratifies ruling)
- Apple looking into charging stations for electric cars
- Apple hires hint at improvements in encryption, health monitoring
- Hyundai adds CarPlay support to more vehicles
- Plaintiffs file new motion to keep ‘Error 53’ Touch ID lawsuit alive
- Report: Apple developing Siri home speaker to rival Amazon’s Echo; will release Siri SDK at WWDC
- iOS Spotlight search now offers relevant results for some emoji
- Cook discusses ambitious plan to beef up Apple Watch’s health monitoring
- New leak shows dual camera exclusive to ‘iPhone 7 Plus,’ but no Smart Connector
- OtterBox Symmetry Series Hybrid Case for 12.9” iPad Pro
- Logitech Logi BASE Charging Stand for iPad Pro
- Twelve South TimePorter for Apple Watch
- August Doorbell Cam
- August Smart Lock HomeKit enabled + Smart Keypad
- ecobee3 HomeKit-enabled smart Wi-Fi thermostat
- Zagg Now Cam
- Yantouch EyE Portable Wireless Speaker
- Netatmo Wind Gauge
- Incipio Stashback for iPhone 6/6s
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 9.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.3
- Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app
- Inside the betas: What’s new in iOS 9.3 and tvOS 9.2 (Updated)
- Life with HomeKit: Our experiences with Apple’s home automation system
- Under the Radar: 10 ‘hidden’ details about the new Apple TV
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.0
- Under the Radar: A closer look at smaller iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus changes
- A First Look at iOS 9’s Transit in Apple Maps (Updated for watchOS 2)