How to Locate Your Lost or Stolen Android Phone

Losing your mobile phone is almost as common as losing your car keys. It happens to everyone.

Whether you misplaced it, dropped it somewhere or even if stolen, your android mobile phone can still be recovered.

The thing about smartphones is that they used to fit in a purse or our pockets. But as the demand for larger screens grew, mobile phones were developed wider and generally larger than before.

Although designed to be thinner, most smartphones will no longer fit in our pockets. This makes it easier for us to lose them.

Apple users can track their phones easily using the ‘Find my iPhone‘ feature. Did you know that Android smartphone owners also have a built-in phone tracking option? It’s called Google Find My Device (previously Android Device Manager). But there are also other ways of tracking your Android smartphones, and we’ll try to cover as much as possible in this article.

 

1. Google Find My Device

Smartphones from 2006 up with Android as its operating system can access the Android Device Manager now known as Google Find My Device security feature. That’s Android 2.2 or Froyo and up.

Not a lot of Android users seem to be familiar with this feature even if it is quite functional.

It’s four primary functions are Location Tracking, Play Sound, Lock and Erase. But before you can try these functions out, you must make sure Google Find My Device is active or activate it on your phone or tablet.

You will need a computer with web access and an active Google account synced with the device.

To start tracking your mobile phone using Google Find My Device, you will need to open the app or use your web browser to visit the site at https://www.google.com/android/find.

Make sure you’re logged in to the Google account synced with the device.

Once you have accessed the Google Find My Device, you will see a map and menu box that will display the devices connected to the Google account.

find-my-device-map

The map will eventually load the location of your phone where you can pick it up or report to the local authorities, in case it was stolen.

Since most aspects of our lives are already connected online, your smartphone might contain personal information that may be compromised and especially info related to your finances. You can also use Google Find My Device to remotely wipe the contents of your device by simply tapping the “Lock” or “Erase” functions.

You can also change the password of your lock screen remotely on Google Find My Device.

Word to the Wise

Tracking your phone will only work if the device is on. If it is turned off, it won’t be able to edit the signal needed to locate the device.

Also, if you lost your phone at home or in the office, using the map won’t be that helpful. Because the location you need is specific like what floor you left it at or in what room, you won’t see that on the map.

You will have to use the “Play Sound” function for this. This feature will which make your phone ring at a high volume, even on silent mode.

 

2. Locating your Mobile using Google

Much like Google Find My Device, you can use Google itself to find your phone. Again, login to Google using another smartphone or PC using the account synced with the device.

On Google’s search bar, type ‘find my Android phone’ and click on the results that says ‘Find My Device’ which is usually the first option.

find-your-phone

You will be asked to re-enter your email and password. Then a page with a list of various options will be shown to manage your device.

find-your-phone-options

You can choose to remotely wipe or lock your device to keep your private information safe. You can also make your phone ring at loud volumes to locate it easier. Additionally, you can sign out of your phone and contact your carrier.

Your device should be connected to the internet in order for Google to locate it.

 

3. Using Third Party Apps

You can also look for and download applications to locate your phone using Google Play.

Many of these apps offer the same features of Google’s Find my Device.

  •  Family Locator by Life360 allows you to track the location of your family members or whoever using their devices. No remote erase or wipe features, however.
  • Another popular app is Cerberus. With a diverse set of features, Cerberus allows you to lock and reset your phone remotely, as well as sound alarms, send pop up messages on the device’s screen and activate the front-facing camera to take a pic of the thief.
  • Prey Anti Theft is another app you can use to locate and recover your mobile phone. Like Google’s Find my Device, you can use Prey Anti Theft to locate your device, lock it, set off an alarm and take pictures remotely to see where your device may be and who has it.
In a Nutshell

When lost, Android smartphones can be easily located. There are multiple ways to do so, from it’s built-it in feature to third-party applications.

The different ways to locate your phone work simply. Most have a default GPS function that many applications use, not just lost phone locators.

Notice that when you use any search engine on your mobile phone, the results are usually filtered using your location?

Most smartphones today have location settings that do not need activation or configuration. They are already set up. For older phones, you might have to set it up manually for third-party apps to locate your device should you need it.

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