It happens to the best of us. Despite our best efforts, every once in a while our most prized Apple products either become lost or stolen. Luckily, you already added your Mac, iPhone or iPad to find my iPhone–right? If you did, then you have the ability to remotely erase your device(s). Before you consider wiping your device clean, make sure that you are unable to locate or track it on the Find My iPhone Map, and that playing the identifying sound does not reveal its location. If it’s not already apparent, erasing your device(s) will remove these actions as available options for you.
How to Erase your Device
To erase your iPad, first sign into your iCloud account on another one of your iOS devices, or via any supported web-browser. Next, view the list of your the available devices you have included in Find my iPhone, and select the name of the device that needs to be erased. Then tap the Actions button and select Erase iPad. You will next be prompted to enter your Apple ID and password. In addition, all iOS devices running iOS 7 or later have the ability to add a call back phone number and a short message to be displayed on the screen after the erase has been completed.
If the iPad you have scheduled to be erased is currently online, confirmed with a green dot to the left of the device name in your list, your remote wipe will begin, and you will be sent a confirmation email indicating as much. If the device is currently offline at the time the remote erase is activated, then the your iPad will be wiped as soon as it comes back online. In addition, if you happen to find your iPad before the remote erase has begun, you can cancel the process by selecting the device name in Find My iPhone, and tapping Stop Erase Request. You will once again be asked to enter your Apple ID and Password.
In the event that you find your iPad or have it returned to you after it has been erased, you can simply restore it to your latest saved back-up–whether it be via iTunes or iCloud. The same goes for Mac’s that are erased that have been backed up via Time Machine or your via your favorite third party solution.
Note: All devices that are compatible with Apple Pay will have their credit and debit cards erased when the remote wipe has begun, and therefore will have to have their information re-entered and/or verified to be used to make purchase again.