A mobile phone is an incredible gadget that helps us stay connected with our family and friends. As technology progressed, this gadget evolved along. And today, it is no less than a mini-computer.
You can access your social media accounts and emails, click and back up photos. And the list goes on. But if you lose this by accident or it gets stolen, all these accounts and your data become vulnerable.
We know you’ll try to avoid such scenarios, but not everything goes as planned. But that doesn’t mean you can’t track your lost phone. You track your phone at the earliest with the correct and possible measures. And with this, we have collected these measures in this guide below.
8 Ways To Find Your Lost Android Phone
In the unfortunate event of phone theft, the hopes of getting your lost device back are pure of luck. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to locate the mobile device.
There are a few ways to track your phone in this technically advanced era. Even if the phone’s battery is dead or if it is power off mode. Read more to learn more about these effective measures.
Find your Lost Android Phone With Dead Battery
- Use Google Timeline
- Use Tracking apps Installed on the Phone
- Using IMEI number
1. Use Google Timeline
Google Maps location history is now known as – Timeline.
The Timeline from Google maps has a primary feature to use your phone’s location. This comes in handy when you are traveling or planning a trip. Furthermore, it also maintains a record of your previous visits to different cities.
Yet, this service can get hampered if your phone loses its battery backup. Nonetheless, it is capable of listing the last active and recorded location. And that is the key to finding your lost phone without a battery.
Before we move toward the detailed steps, this process has some pre-requisites. They are:
- Your phone should have your Google account logged in.
- Your device should have had access to the internet. This works if your phone is currently powered off or if the battery is dead.
- The option for location reporting and location history was enabled on your mobile device.
With these being active in the background, let’s get started to find your lost phone.
1. Open your Timeline
Login to your Google account on a trusted device and open your Timeline. Or Use Google maps to open your travel history. You can access the exact data either way.
2. Update date time
Sometimes, the system picks up a default date different from the current day. To avoid confusion from this perspective, you should check the system’s calendar. And update it if necessary.
3. Follow the map
Now that you can access the Timeline, you should be able to visualize a route or the places on the map.
And you can find the last known location where your phone was busy using the internet.
Interestingly, this location history feature uses internet and cell tower IDs to mark a location. This helps in tracking your phone to the possible locations it was used; before its communication skills were hampered.
2. Use Tracking apps Installed on the Phone
There are many tracking apps available in the Google play store for Android users. And they are helpful if your phone gets stolen. But, you can only use any tracking app if it is installed on your lost phone. Additionally, some apps need admin permissions on your device.
Some of the useful features they offer are:
- Basic location tracking
- Trigger an alarm as per settings
- Wipe your phone’s data
- Take hidden pictures of the surroundings
- Kept hidden in the app drawer – this is available among a few apps.
- Flash ZIP installation: This is helpful for rooted Android devices. The tracking app will still be there if the thief resets your phone. As a result, it can be handy to track your lost cell phone.
- Remote access to your phone: Some tracking apps allow remote access to the stolen device. This is possible using their desktop or mobile website. But you’ll have to log in using the same account you used on the phone. Once you are in, you can use the remote features provided by the 3rd party.
3. Using IMEI number
While this is a long shot, it can help you find your lost cell phone. The primary rule is that you should have the IMEI number of the phone with you.
Assuming that you do, you have 2 approaches.
1. Notify the local authorities of the incident, and they can help you track it down. This generally involves the usage of a government portal. The portal’s name is the Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR). Although, it can take some considerable time.
2. Second, you can use the tracking apps which use IMEI to keep a tap on your lost phone. Provided you had them installed and configured on your phone.
Find your Lost Android Phone With Battery
But stealing is not always the case. It can happen that you mistakenly left your phone at a store or in a bag in a public place. In such cases, you can be hopeful that someone in good faith has kept it aside for you to get it back.
There are also ways to track your lost phone for those rare but possible scenarios. Let’s have a look at the methods one by one.
- Google’s Find My Device
- Use Google Photos
- Use Samsung’s Find My Mobile
- Use Dropbox
- Use Android Lost
1. Google’s Find My Device
One of the reliable ways to locate your phone by yourself is using the Find My Device service by Google. It was earlier known as Google’s android device manager.
Before proceeding, it is important to understand that this interface differs from the search results feature. Find my device offers a better range of features than the latter one.
But for its abilities to be well utilized, it has certain requirements as mentioned below.
- Connection to a Google account
- Connection to the internet
- Permission to locate your device – it is on by default.
- Permission to lock your device and wipe its data is off by default and should’ve been enabled.
Now that the pre-requisites are available let’s get to the steps.
1. Visit the Find my device website using your Google account. You can also achieve this by signing in using guest mode. And then provide your account email and password. Once you are in, the site will automatically get to work.
But you may have more than one device registered under that account. Then, you’ll have to specify which one the site should focus on manually.
2. Once located, you can use the ring feature or wipe the entire data of your phone.
Additional benefits include accessing this site from any device, such as a laptop or tablet. You can also use mobile browsers to use the interface.
2. Use Google Photos
Google Photos has far more capability than arranging and backing up your photos. But because it does the essential neatly, they can serve well to locate your phone as well.
Let’s take a look at the requirements to make this approach a success:
- Active connection to the internet
- The photos app has enabled the sync option.
- Some pictures are clicked using your mobile.
So as per the situation, whosoever has your phone tries to access its camera. Once they click a photo, it gets backed up as sync is allowed. While this happens, your image and the location are also uploaded. This feature can work with mobile data as well as public Wi-Fi networks.
Assuming this happens, here’s how you can verify the new images:
1. Log in to photos.google.com in a browser using your Google account used in the lost phone.
2. Try to identify if any new pictures have been added recently and if they belong to you. If they don’t, then someone else is using your phone.
3. Click on any such unidentified image. Then tap on the icon in the top right corner of the website.
4. You’ll see an option to view the information related to the image. This will also include the upload location.
With this feature enabled, it can give a dominant lead to the authorities to locate your phone.
3. Use Samsung’s Find My Mobile
If you were a Samsung mobile user, then you have a chance to make this approach to locate your phone. You can use the Find My Mobile service provided by Samsung.
You are going to need the following:
- An active internet connection of the Samsung phone
- The device should have been registered using a Samsung account.
- Find My Mobile service completely set up on the mobile phone.
So, let’s find your Samsung device using the steps below:
1. Log in to Find my mobile’s website using your Samsung account.
2. Use the menubar on the left and check if your device is linked to this account.
3. If yes, click on the ‘Locate my device’ icon and then the locate button.
With all the least requirements ready, you should have an update on your Samsung device. This should not take longer than a few minutes. Now with the remote control at your tips, you can lock the screen or the phone and secure the device. You can also make it ring and erase all the data.
4. Use Dropbox
Dropbox is another utility of the digital world that provides online storage. It is applicable for documents and images and saves the load on SD cards. These files can be backed up on the Dropbox servers for Android and iOS users.
But certain conditions are required for it to work in the case of a lost phone. They are:
- An active mobile data or internet connection
- Dropbox app installed on the lost device
- Permission to upload camera files to dropbox.
- New photos to be clicked with the lost phone
With this backup working fine, you should be one step closer to locating your phone. Now, the background work initiates as and when someone uses your phone to click some images. With the instruction to upload images, Dropbox will start uploading the new files.
As of now, Dropbox only shares the IP address of desktop PCs and laptops. Thus, the trick lies in the background of the images uploaded.
If you are lucky, the background of the new images clicked by this unauthorized user can give you definite hints about their location. If any of these images contain their face, that can be a jackpot for the authorities to assist your better.
5. Use Android Lost
Android Lost is an app that is created to serve the purpose of locating your lost phone. There aren’t any requirements to use this approach. Hence, follow the below steps to locate your phone.
1. You’ll have to arrange someone else’s smartphone, such as family members and friends.
2. Log in to the Android Lost website using the mobile browser. You should use the same Google account logged in your currently lost phone.
3. After this, you’ll be able to send an SMS to your Android phone. The message will contain the keywords – ‘Android lost register.’ This is important because you can’t manually activate the app on your phone.
4. Once the SMS is received, the Android Lost app will be installed on your device.
5. With installation done, check the mobile website again. It would help if you now had remote control of the device. You can now track your lost device. You’ll also have a set of other options such as erasing SD cards, erasing data, clicking pictures remotely, and more.