iOS 17.3 Beta Adds New Stolen Device Protection Feature to iPhone

The first iOS 17.3 beta rolling out to developers today includes a new "Stolen Device Protection" feature that is designed to add an additional layer of security in the event someone has stolen your iPhone and also obtained the device's passcode.

ios stolen device protection
Earlier this year, The Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern and Nicole Nguyen reported about instances of thieves spying on a victim's iPhone passcode before stealing the device, often in public places like bars. The thief can then reset the victim's Apple ID password, turn off Find My, view passwords stored in iCloud Keychain for banking and email accounts, and more. All in all, the report said thieves can essentially "steal your entire digital life."

When Stolen Device Protection is turned on, Face ID or Touch ID authentication is required for additional actions, including viewing passwords or passkeys stored in iCloud Keychain, applying for a new Apple Card, turning off Lost Mode, erasing all content and settings, using payment methods saved in Safari, and more. No passcode fallback is available in the event that the user is unable to complete Face ID or Touch ID authentication.

For especially sensitive actions, including changing the password of the Apple ID account associated with the iPhone, the feature adds a security delay on top of biometric authentication. In these cases, the user must authenticate with Face ID or Touch ID, wait one hour, and authenticate with Face ID or Touch ID again. However, Apple said there will be no delay when the iPhone is in familiar locations, such as at home or work.

The opt-in feature can be found in the Settings app under Face ID & Passcode → Stolen Device Protection. iPhone users who update to the iOS 17.3 beta will be prompted with the option to test a preview of the feature following installation, but Apple said this screen will not be shown to users who install the public version of iOS 17.3 coming later.

Actions that will require Face ID or Touch ID authentication when the feature is turned on:

  • Viewing/using passwords or passkeys saved in iCloud Keychain
  • Applying for a new Apple Card
  • Viewing an Apple Card virtual card
  • Turning off Lost Mode
  • Erasing all content and settings
  • Taking certain Apple Cash and Savings actions in Wallet
  • Using payment methods saved in Safari
  • Using your iPhone to set up a new device

Actions that will require Face ID or Touch ID authentication and have a one-hour security delay when the feature is turned on:

  • Changing your Apple ID password
  • Updating select Apple ID account security settings, including adding or removing a trusted device, trusted phone number, Recovery Key, or Recovery Contact
  • Changing your iPhone passcode
  • Adding or removing Face ID or Touch ID
  • Turning off Find My
  • Turning off Stolen Device Protection

Apple said it plans to share additional documentation about Stolen Device Protection over time to clarify how the feature works. The option will be available on all iPhone models that are compatible with iOS 17, including the iPhone XS and newer. iOS 17.3 will likely be released to the public in January or February.

Related Roundups: iOS 17, iPadOS 17
Related Forums: iOS 17, iPadOS 17

Popular Stories

Apple WWDC24 Apple Intelligence hero 240610

Apple Explains iPhone 15 Pro Requirement for Apple Intelligence

Wednesday June 19, 2024 4:48 am PDT by
With iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia, Apple is introducing a new personalized AI experience called Apple Intelligence that uses on-device, generative large-language models to enhance the user experience across iPhone, iPad, and Mac. These new AI features require Apple's latest iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max models to work, while only Macs and iPads with M1 or later chips will...
Apple Intelligence General Feature

Apple Intelligence Features Not Coming to European Union at Launch Due to DMA

Friday June 21, 2024 9:44 am PDT by
Apple today said that European customers will not get access to the Apple Intelligence, iPhone Mirroring, and SharePlay Screen Sharing features that are coming to the iPhone, iPad, and Mac this September due to regulatory issues related to the Digital Markets Act. In a statement to Financial Times, Apple said that there will be a delay as it works to figure out how to make the new...
iPhone 16 Pro Max Generic Feature 2

5 Biggest Changes Rumored for iPhone 16 Pro Max

Wednesday June 19, 2024 5:00 am PDT by
Given Apple's rumored plan to add an all-new high-end tier to its iPhone 17 series in 2025, this could be the year for Apple to bring its boldest "Pro Max" model to the table — the kind of iPhone 16 upgrade that stands tall above its siblings, both figuratively and literally. If you have been holding out for the iPhone 16 Pro Max, here are five of the biggest changes rumored to be coming...
Apple Vision Pro 2 Feature 2

Apple Reportedly Suspends Work on Vision Pro 2

Tuesday June 18, 2024 8:17 am PDT by
Apple has suspended work on the second-generation Vision Pro headset to singularly focus on a cheaper model, The Information reports. Apple was widely believed to have plans to divide its Vision product line into two models, with one "Pro" model and one lower-cost standard model. The company is said to have been deprioritizing the next Vision Pro headset over the past year, gradually...
back to school 2024

Apple's 2024 Back to School Sale Launches, Up to $150 Gift Card With Mac or iPad

Thursday June 20, 2024 4:29 am PDT by
Apple has launched its annual Back to School promotion for college students in the United States. This year's promotion offers a free Apple gift card with the purchase of an eligible Mac or iPad. Apple is also offering students 20% off AppleCare+ plans. Apple is offering a $150 gift card with any new MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, or iMac, and a $100 gift card with the purchase of any new M4 iPad ...
iOS 17

Apple Releases First Public Beta of iOS 17.6

Thursday June 20, 2024 10:18 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the first betas of upcoming iOS 17.6 and iPadOS 17.6 updates to public beta testers, with the betas coming a few days after the initial iOS and iPadOS 17.6 developer betas. Public beta testers can get the beta by opening up the Settings app, going to the Software Update section, tapping on the "Beta Updates" option, and toggling on the iOS 17 or iPadOS 17 Public Beta....

Top Rated Comments

iLoveDeveloping Avatar
7 months ago
Love this! This is huge! Awesome that Apple keeps looking after our devices and makes sure they don’t get in to the wrong hands.
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Cunir Avatar
7 months ago
good move by apple. i'll be turning it on straight away
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
diego.caraballo Avatar
7 months ago
Can we lock ALL SETTINGS behind Face ID?
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
anshuvorty Avatar
7 months ago
This is because of Joanna Stern's awesome reporting! Nice work!

From earlier this year: https://www.wsj.com/video/series/joanna-stern-personal-technology/apples-iphone-passcode-problem-how-thieves-can-take-over-in-minutes/967C3B74-90D3-45EA-BAA4-4ECDBB24715D
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Apple_Robert Avatar
7 months ago
This is a solid start in protecting against account take-over. Glad to see Apple finally addressing this aspect.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MilaM Avatar
7 months ago
Sounds very good and I'm looking forward to learn more details.

I'm glad Apple listened to feedback on this security problem.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)