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No data plan, Find my iPhone doesn't work.

Gord Bradshaw

New Member
Apr 22, 2019
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I'm an iPhone newbie. A relative has slight dementia. They also have an iPhone 6 with no data plan. We have installed "Find iPhone" in case they get lost but it only seems to work on wifi. Is a data plan necessary? Since my car GPS works without wifi or cell service I thought GPS was independent.

P.S. I tried to search here for an answer but I get a message that "GPS" is too short.
Welcome to iPhone Forums!

An iOS device has to be connected to the internet for Find my iPhone to work:

An iOS device is online if:

  • It’s turned on (with or without a passcode lock)

  • It’s connected to a data network, such as 3G, 4G, LTE, or Wi-Fi
As above, it isn't the GPS that limits Find My Phone, but the phone's ability to communicate with the other phone that is looking. It needs to be on a network, either wifi or cellular to communicate.