Computer Found Notification

Curious way of iCloud’s “find my phone/mac”

As I’ve mentioned in my previous post, in April this year (exactly 5 months ago) my MacBook Pro was stolen when I was traveling overseas. 2 days ago it was returned to me.

I’ve also mentioned that I have activated an iCloud request to find the MacBook, lock it and display a message “Return for big reward. No police”

Now, today I finally saw this message on the machine:

iCloud stolen computer lock code screen

After the code was entered, the machine erased itself (which I also requested 3 months ago).

In my mail I’ve received notifications:

iCloud email notification computer erased


iCloud email notification computer found

Also a system message popped up:

Computer Found Notification


Now, why it’s curious?


  1. Once the MacBook was stolen, obviously it was erased (drive was encrypted)
  2. When I received it back, it was running Maverick OSx, which was not installed at the time of theft (at that point it was running on Mountain Lion OSx).
  3. After I got the machine back – I did a few things:
    • Wiped the drive
    • Installed Mountain Lion
    • Upgraded to Maverick
    • Upgraded to Yosemite beta
    • Wiped it again
    • Restored to Yosemite beta
    • Wiped again
    • Restored to Mountain Lion
    • Upgraded to Maverick (On a next day after this installation the “computer found” trigger set off)
  4. Why was the process not triggered before?
  5. Why was the mac used for 5 months without any issues nor was it’s location reported?

It seems that the current Apple’s procedure is quite ineffective: if your computer was taken – someone has to sign in as a user AS WELL with your iCloud credentials (it still is not quite certain as above actions Ive completed as I was signed in my account). Unless this takes place (which, I think you would agree is highly unlikely unless you have your passwords on a post-it sticker attached to your screen), no tracking/erase will take place.

And some notes on a side:

  1. The erase notification arrived before notification that the MacBook was found.
  2. Even after I’ve entered the correct recovery code, the erase took place
  3. Why is the location view offered to be displayed on Google, not Apple maps?