So you've lost your phone. We've all been through that. It was in your pocket just a minute ago – and now it's gone, lost for the phone fairies, forgotten between the seats of your couch or misplaced somewhere during your busy day. Maybe it's just in your other coat, or maybe it's already in the hands of someone who found it on the sidewalk. Anyway, all you want to do is get it back.
Luckily, there are many ways to reach your lost phone. If it's a smartphone (or even a tablet) running iOS, Android or Windows Phone, chances are good it already has the software to find it – or there's an app you can install to track your phone. Here are our instructions on how to find a lost phone or similar device.
Ever wondered what happens to a smartphone after it was stolen? Read how this filmmaker spied on a thief to find out.
If your lost smartphone is a smartphone, all three major providers of smartphone platforms (Apple, Google, and Microsoft) include phone retrieval technology their smartphones. Typically, these apps work through the account associated with your device. For Android devices, this is your Google Account, for iPhones this is your iCloud account, and for Windows phones, this is your Microsoft account. With all three, you can remotely lock and erase your phone, let it ring, and set up special messages to alert the user.
Of course, these features are only as good as your phone's battery. When your smartphone dies, it's as easy to find as your wallet or whatever else you might lose.
We also advise you to exercise caution when communicating with anyone who has found your smartphone. Be careful not to disclose personal information, such as your home address, until you know you are dealing with someone you can trust. When sending phone numbers or e-mail addresses, stay in touch to communicate how the good Samaritan can return your phone. How Each of the Three Operating Systems Works:
How to Find a Lost Android Phone
Android not only provides Google's proprietary service for finding and managing your device remotely, but also a range of third-party smartphone apps. The easiest way is the "Find my device" feature, which integrates directly with your Android smartphone via the Google Play services. It can also be used in a browser or downloaded from the Google Play Store. Most devices running Android 2.3 or later should be able to use this feature.
Using the function is as easy as finding "Where is my phone?" In Google, which prompts the service to search for your smartphone. We've already written about Find My Device and the ability to call you to set up a new password and ring your phone remotely, along with the host of other features it uses for notification purposes. While you can configure Find My Device in advance, the service should be available if you lose or misplace your phone. It will use Wi-Fi or GPS to help you find your device.
To check if the "Find My Device" feature is enabled on your Android smartphone, go to Settings> Google (or Google Services)> Security And Make Sure Locate This Device Remotely Is Activated In Find My Device
If you can not find your smartphone, you can always delete it to avoid sensitive information from the wrong one hands. However, your device needs an internet connection and enough juice to communicate with you. Google also introduced Factory Reset Protection (FRP) in Android 5.0 Lollipop. It's designed to prevent would-be thieves from stealing your phone, wiping it, and then using or selling it. If you reset a phone that has FRP enabled and try to set it up as a new device, you will be prompted to enter the username and password for the last Google Account that was registered on the device. If this is not possible, the phone remains locked.
There are also third-party apps that you can install to help you find your phone. Cerberus Anti-Theft is a great app that provides remote access and control so you can get more information about where your phone is. It offers a number of additional features, such as: For example, more detailed control over tracking your device, screenshots of what your device is doing, photos from the camera to catch the would-be thief, and other, more detailed notifications that Find My device does not provide. If your device is rooted, there are other features available that will prevent someone from resetting your device or turning it off until you can restore it.
Another option for selected Samsung smartphones is the Find My Mobile service. It can be used to find, lock or completely delete a missing phone. However, you need a Samsung account and the remote control options on your phone. To check if Find My Mobile is available for your smartphone, go to Settings> Lock Screen and Security . When you see the Find my phone menu, you can use the service. You can enable the remote control options via Settings> Security> Find My Mobile> Remote Controls .