It’s undeniably overwhelming and heartbreaking to lose a phone. The good news is that technology has significantly advanced, and a simple online search like “how to find my iPhone” can help you learn what to do in the event of losing a phone.
Even better, tools and apps, such as Find My Phone, leverage the power of GPS to help you find your phone’s location, lock it, or delete data. Just type “locate my phone” on Google, and you’ll be amazed at the options you have for tracking your mobile phone.
To make things easier for you, here is a simple guide for tracking a lost phone and possibly recover it.
Find Your Phone
The moment you realize you’ve lost your phone, you can borrow a friend’s phone to call your phone. It’s possible that you may have misplaced it in your house or the office. Or, you can simply retrace your steps to find it. Try remembering the last place you had it and what you were doing at that very moment.
If the phone is in Do Not Disturb or silent mode, it’s likely that it won’t ring. But there’s a workaround for this scenario. You can easily text your phone to get the location. A great app you can use is the Location SMS for Android, which lets you text ‘Where are you?’ to find your device.
Another option is to contact carrier, but they’re likely to direct you to the police. In some cases, they can replace your phone. If your phone had a dead battery, tracking it using GPS is not possible. You’ll need to determine the last known location of the device using iCloud or Android Device Manager.
If you have iPhone, log in to your iCloud account and activate “Notify Me When Found.” This setting sends you an email alert with the current device location when someone powers on your phone.
Find My Android
With an Android device, you can easily set up find my phone using your Google account. Visit Myaccount.google.com, and click the “Settings” tab. Scroll the page about midway down, and you should see the “Your Devices” section. Click on “Find a lost device” to locate your phone.
Or, if you already have an account, just search “where is my phone” on Google, and you should see “Find your phone” as the first result on the search result page. If you’re sure you have misplaced it, you can make phone ring at full volume.
With your account, you can remotely locate, ring, lock, or erase all data on your phone to prevent someone from accessing your contacts and information. Bear in mind that you might not be able to use Find My Device again after erasing your phone’s data.
Find My iPhone
It’s always advisable to set up Find My iPhone the moment you buy the device. The application is available for free on the App Store. With the app on your phone, you can use any iOS device to locate it and protect your data.
You must sign in with the Apple ID you use for iCloud to use the app. Then access the Lost Mode feature to turn on tracking, lock your device, and display a custom message on the screen. You can play a sound on your lost iPhone for two minutes at full volume, even if it’s set to silent.
While in the Lock Mode, you can also view the recent location history of the device.
It’s possible to get driving directions to your phone’s location using the app. It will also display your battery charge level. If you have iOS 9 or newer versions, you can view your current location and the location of your lost device on the same map.
If Your Phone Is Stolen
If you’re wondering what to do if your phone is stolen, then there are several approaches you can take.
Track Your Phone
The first step is to track down phone. You can do this yourself with an app or any tracking service that uses GPS to locate your phone. Such services and apps allow you to use a map to find the current or last known location of your device.
Alternatively, you can enlist the help of the police. They can track your phone using International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI). Every device has a unique IMEI, which can be quite effective in locating a lost phone.
Lock Your Phone
Once you have lost your device, be sure to lock phone remotely. For Android phones, you can easily do this using your Google Account via a web browser. You’ll only need your email to access your account.
If you have an iOS device, the Find My Phone app is useful in locking your phone. You can use any iOS device that has the app to access your account and lock your lost phone. Remember to add a custom message just in case the person who finds the phone is willing to return it to you.
Erase Your Phone Data
If you’re unsure about finding your phone, then wipe phone remotely to protect your data. Both iOS and Android devices allow you to remotely erase all the settings and content on your lost device.
Use Find My Phone to wipe your iOS device’s data and Android Device Manager to delete your Android phone’s content. Erasing the data can protect you from identity theft and blackmail.
In The Future
There are several steps you can take to avoid losing your phone in the future. First, you might ask, “Can I register my phone?” Well, there are services that allow you to register your phone’s IMEI number. You can contact your carrier to find out if they offer the service.
Phone registration can help to prevent someone else from using your phone when it’s still registered under your details.
You need to take precautions when in public places or events to avoid losing your phone. Use a strong screen password that’s hard to crack. Always activate your GPS anytime you’re away from home and use a “find my phone” app to locate and protect your device.
It’s also recommended to attach a note to your phone. Just in case you drop it, an honest person can get it back to you if you have a note with contact details. Remember always to back up your contacts, videos, and photos to avoid losing them if your phone gets lost.
You can also use a phone tracking service to locate and retrieve your phone. Bear in mind that some of these services can be costly. However, they can help you keep track of your lost phone before you find the means to retrieve it.
For some people, losing a phone is simply a nightmare. But it doesn’t have to be when you take precautions like recording your device’s IMEI and installing a “find my phone” app. These two measures can be useful in tracking your phone and possibly retrieving it.
If you recover your phone, it’s advisable to wipe it just to be safe. Someone might have installed a malicious app or spyware. Be sure to factory reset before using the phone.