Losing your phone is always a possibility, and some people even lose their phones multiple times a day. You’re lucky, if you lost it at home, or it’s under your car seat. If you’re unlucky, it fell out of your bag or pocket when you were walking around, it fell out of your car, you left it behind at a restaurant, or someone stole it.
The moment you realize your phone is gone can be a moment of panic. However, there are several things to do before losing your phone to ensure you can find it when it’s lost. Then, you’ll have no problem finding it whether it’s powered on or off.
In those first new moments when you’ve lost your phone, it’s critical to take steps to evaluate the missing device situation in its entirety.
- When you first notice your device is lost, find a phone and try calling yours if you can hear it and requires retracing your steps.
- If you can’t hear the phone ring, it’s best to assume that the device’s last known location is farther away. Thus, you’ll want to use the following methods to help locate your lost phone.
- If it’s nowhere nearby, use a phone or computer as soon as you can to lock your phone. You also need to put it in lost mode or change passwords and logins to protect your personal information.
Your Phone’s International Mobile Station Equipment Identity (IMEI) number is a 15-digit number that serves as your phone’s device code. The IMEI code is information you should record when you have your phone’s custody. It helps you search when you lose it. If you lose your phone, you can give the IMEI number to either your service provider or the police, and they can use it to track it down. Many times, it is mentioned in the invoice generated during phone purchase. Different devices have different locations to store IMEI code.
Here are the steps to find the IMEI number on your iOS phone:
Step 1) Go to the Settings app to find the code.
Step 2) Click on “General” and “About”
Once you scroll down, you should find the IMEI number to write down for future reference.
Locating the IMEI Number on Android
There are three places on your Android device where this number may reside. There’s one place you may find it internally and two externally.
Here are the steps to follow to find the IMEI Number on Android:
Step 1) Some Android phones may have the IMEI number on the back cover. If you find it there, you won’t have to go to the next steps.
Step 2) Go to Settings and look under “About device.” Scroll down until you locate the IMEI number of your phone.
Step 3) All these do not work; you can find the IMEI code inside the phone’s protective covering.
Locate a Lost Phone Using GPS Trackers Software
Another option if you lost your mobile phone is to add a third-party application that uses GPS, such as mSpy, so that you can find your phone when it’s lost.
mSpy uses the device’s information to create a link between it and its servers. It can then access information on the phone, including location and battery percentage. It’s also a good option for making remote changes to your phone if you discover that it’s not in close range.
Follow these steps to use mSpy to find your phone:
Step 1) Use a computer, tablet, or another phone to log into your mSpy phone tracker account.
Step 2) Browse your dashboard to find your phone. Real time location data from your phone may take a few minutes to reach your control panel. However, location data is usually real-time.
Before your lost Android phone goes missing, there are some steps to take to make sure that you can find it later. However, this function isn’t always turned on, so you need to activate it.
Activating Your Phone Location on Google Maps for Samsung
Here are the steps to activate it for Samsung devices:
Step 1) Access the Settings.
Step 2) Scroll down to Biometrics & Security.
In this section, you’ll find an option for Find My Mobile, which you should turn on.
Step 3) Scroll down to “Location” and turn on Improve Location Accuracy for better accuracy when locating your device. Use this option to make it easier to find your lost Android phone via Google Maps.
Activating Your Phone Location on Google Maps for Google Pixel
Here are the directions for activating it on a Google Pixel:
Step 1) Go into Settings
Step 2) Go to the Security & Location section.
Step 3) From there, choose to use Find My Device, then scroll down to “Location.”
If you activated your location-finding option through Google Maps before you lost your phone, it’s easy to use Google Maps to see if your phone is at home, at a location you just left, or in transit.
Here are the steps to find your phone with Google Maps:
Step 1) Use another phone, computer, or tablet to log in to Google. Type “find my phone” into the Google search bar. This search should result in a map showing you where your phone is.
Step 2) This website will show the approximate location of your device, and it will also tell you about the radius for your search.
Step 3) After you see where your device is, you have four options:
- Ask Google to make your phone ring. This is possible even if you have turned your ringer off.
- Completely erase all data from your phone, resetting it.
- Secure the device using a button that remotely locks until you can retrieve it. When you enable lock mode, you’ll be the only one that can unlock the secure device via the Google Maps website.
- Have your phone ring or make noise, so locate it.
If you still cannot see your device even with the settings turned on, wait until the device can get Wi-Fi or data connection.
Dropbox is an app that can help find a missing phone device if the settings are “on” for Camera Uploads. The app will make it so that every photo taken will link to the Dropbox Cloud to estimate where your device is from its location history.
Using Dropbox to find your phone from its location history is a good option if you are traveling or believe your phone has the possibility of theft. Whenever you or a potential thief take a photo, it will show up on the Cloud with the real-time location that the app associated with the picture.
However, this is another option that requires an internet connection. If you cannot see any photos, wait and see if any populate once the phone connects to the internet either by WiFi or data connection.
These devices allow you to use another phone, tablet, or computer to see the tracker’s location. However, this option doesn’t have a lock mode for a secure device like others and only shows where you can find the device without the remote locking features.
A voice-activated smart home speaker, such as Google Home, provides one of the easiest methods of finding your phone, even if you turned off your ringer.
Here’s the process for using your smart home speaker to locate your phone:
Step 1) Use your voice activation command, such as “Hey, Google,” to activate your smart home speaker.
Step 2) Say, “Find my phone.”
Step 3) Listen for your phone to ring inside your house. If you don’t hear it, try again. If you don’t hear it inside your house a second time, try opening your car door to see if you can hear it inside your car.
There are several methods to find your phone, even if the power is off. Both these options involve your phone’s device settings.
Here are the important steps that you need to follow:
Step 1) If you want to ensure that you’ll be able to find your phone, it’s lost, and off, you’ll need to go into your phone Settings app.
Step 2) Ensure that the setting to find your phone is set to “on.” If you have an iPhone, ensure that the “Find My Network” and “Send Last Location” options are turned on, too.
Step 3) You will also need to make sure that you have the Find My Device app (for Android) or Find My app (for iPhone) downloaded to your phone and any other devices you might use to find your phone later.
Step 1) Use another device to go to the Find section of the Android website or use the Find My Device app on another Android device.
Step 2) The site or app will prompt you to sign into your Google account linked. Be sure to use the Gmail address that you associate with your phone.
Step 3) Select your phone from the list of devices. You will be able to see location of your phone. You will also have additional options from this screen:
- Play a sound
- Secure your device
- Erase your device
How to Find an iPhone if it’s Off
Step 1) Open the Find My app on another iOS device or go to the Find section of the iCloud website.
Step 2) Go to the Devices section of the app to choose your iPhone.
You can see a general radius of the location of your iPhone. If it’s near you, it with say, “with you.” Otherwise, you can find your iPhone fairly close to the middle of the circle.
Step 3) If you find that your phone is not near you, you can use the iCloud website or Find My app to choose from these options:
- Play a sound
- Erase the phone
- Enable Lost Mode
Lost Mode will prevent someone else from using your phone and display contact information.
Android phones allow you to add a lock screen message so anyone who finds your lost iPhone can contact you by phone, email, or social media.
Here are the steps to access this option:
Step 1) Head into your Settings.
Step 2) Tap on “Lock Screen,” and then click on “Contact Information.”
In this section, you can add the contact information if the phone goes missing.
Step 3) Once you complete entering the lock screen message, hit “Save” and exit.
Step 4) You should remotely lock your Android to ensure it properly saves the information. Then you’ll be ready if the unfortunate situation of a lost device occurs.
❓ Can I Locate My Device If Someone Changed the Sim Card?
You can find a device without a SIM card because location services use an internet connection and not the SIM card to send location history.
To find your device without a SIM card, you need to have stable internet access and have your device signed into your Gmail account and/or Apple account. If you don’t have access to these accounts, it could be harder to find your device.
Make sure to also have the IMEI number, as well, in case of a possible sign-out situation.
⚡ Can I Track My Lost Phone If Someone Made a Factory Reset?
Yes, you can still find a device after a factory reset. However, since this is a sign-out situation where your device isn’t linked to your accounts anymore, you’d need the IMEI number of the device.
Remember, this number is located in settings or (on the outside/inside of the phone). When you get your phone, make sure to write this number down and keep it with you so that you can locate your device after it goes through a factory reset.