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iOS 17.5's 'Repair State' feature may let you track your iPhone during repairs

iOS 17.5 beta 4 includes a new Repair State feature that spares you the need to disable Find My before repairs.

Published onMay 2, 2024

Apple Find My logo on smartphone next to AirTag Stock photo 2
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
  • iOS 17.5 beta 4 includes a new Repair State feature that allows users to keep Find My enabled when sending in an iPhone for repairs.
  • The feature is currently in beta, so there’s a small chance it won’t make it to the stable release when it launches later this month.
  • We advise iOS beta users not to enable the Repair State feature on their iPhones, as there’s currently no way to turn it off.

For a long time, Apple has required users to turn off Find My before sending in their iPhones for repairs. That’s to ensure that the device isn’t stolen and that the customer is its legitimate owner. However, that practice poses a serious risk, as sometimes these iPhones get stolen in transit. To address users’ concerns, Apple is developing a new Repair State feature for the latest iPhone.

As per a 9to5Mac report, iOS 17.5 beta 4 includes a new Repair State feature in the iPhone’s Find My app. This addition is currently exclusive to iOS, so those on the latest iPadOS and macOS betas won’t be able to utilize it. Through Repair State, a user can verify that they’re the owner of the iPhone without disabling Find My. In essence, you’re just proving that the iPhone is yours without disabling Find My tracking features and the Activation Lock, so you can continue monitoring your iPhone’s location during the repair.

Like disabling Find My, enabling Repair State requires the user’s Apple ID and password. This prevents a thief from enabling the feature on a stolen phone. However, at the time of writing, there’s still seemingly no user-facing way to disable Repair State. So, we advise you not to test this option if you’re running iOS 17.5 beta 4.

With iOS 17.3, Apple introduced Stolen Device Protection, which blocks users from changing sensitive iPhone settings for an hour. So, those trying to turn off Find My at Apple Stores before a repair must wait an hour for the option to unlock. On the other hand, Repair State isn’t affected by the delay, so it would allow users to proceed with the repairs on the spot.

The final version of iOS 17.5 is expected to launch in two weeks or so, but Apple could theoretically kill the Repair State feature before then. Those interested in trying out the OS’ new additions right now can install the latest beta build using the iPhone’s Settings app.

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