I Want To Know if My iPad is Stolen!


I Want To Know if My iPad is Stolen!

Why are you making this difficult, Apple?

Picture by author of my iPad and computer

Oh, Apple, sometimes I really wonder why you do these things!

All I want for Xmas

When my wife and I leave home, I don’t usually take my iPad or my computer because I usually won’t need them.

If someone broke into our house while we were gone, I would be very upset if either of those devices were stolen. I might be upset or even angry about anything else taken, but my computer and iPad are essential items: I’d be something close to frantic about their loss.

But I had hope that Apple had a solution.

Find My Whatever

For a few operating system versions, the Find My app has been able to tell me where all my devices are.

Screenshot of my devices in Find My app
Screenshot of my devices in Find My app

The Find My app is quite willing to remind me if I forgot to take a device with me.

Find My will notify me of things I don’t want to forget
Find My will notify me of things I don’t want to forget

But it’s not willing to notify me if a device leaves my home and I’m not the one who took it. Huh? Why not?

That would be such a handy feature. Sure, I would still lose my iPad or computer, but I could notify the police immediately. And it could be tracked even if the battery dies or the thief turns it off! So good!

Devices that have been turned off can still be tracked by the ‌Find My‌ network in ‌iOS 15‌. If a device was low on battery power or turned off by a thief, it can still be found when it’s close to another Apple device. (from macrumors.com)

So Apple really can help me or the police find my gear, but they can’t tell me when something that is supposed to stay home has taken a walk? Sheesh!

There must be a way

If Apple won’t do this, maybe there’s another way. My first thought was a Shortcut. You absolutely can create a very simple Shortcut that triggers upon leaving any location you like. The shortcut could send a message, perhaps.

Though the message can’t send if you aren’t connected to a network, so that might not work. But wait, you can trigger a Shortcut when it connects to a network!

But no, because Apple will not allow either Location or Wifi Automations to run automatically.

Sigh. So even if it could send a message, it can’t. Well, if your thief noticed the Shortcut wanting to run, sure, but no, that’s not going to happen.


People suggested IFTTT.

I found a few location based applets at IFTTT, but couldn’t make any of them work. My impatience enabled fault? Maybe, so I will revisit that another day.

App Store

There are some apps which can monitor your devices, but they all seem to require buying another piece of hardware. Maybe that’s the only way right now?


So no joy as of yet. I see no way to do this. If there is a way to write an app to do it, I’m surprised that no one has (that I know of, of course).

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