Having your phone stolen or losing it by mistake can be an awful experience, especially if you have a lot of personal data and information stored directly on your device.
If you are reading this article because you or someone you know lost or had a phone stolen, fear not. There are some things you can do to track, reset, or lock your handset.
Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to track and find the exact location of your lost Android phone, perform a remote wipe of data, or ring it phone at full volume. Yep, even if it is in silent mode.
In the unfortunate event something happens where you cannot find your phone, follow the below steps as soon as possible.
How to find your phone
Android smartphones come built-in with a feature called Find My Phone, which can be used for tracking the location of your phone and ring it from a remote location by using your Google account. This is a default feature on most modern Android smartphones, so you need not download or install any additional app to make use of this feature.
Keep in mind that this feature will accurately work only if your Android device is connected to a WiFi or a mobile network and your location settings are set to high accuracy. However, you might at least get an approximate location of your Android phone even if the location settings are turned off or are set to phone only or battery saving modes.
To use this feature either search for ‘Find my phone’ on Google or go to the website and then log in with the same Google account that you have used on your lost or stolen Android device. You can also download the Find My Device Android app from here.
Once you have logged in to the Google account, the Find My Device feature will almost instantly pinpoint the location of your Android device and allow you to track it on Google Maps.
You can now find the current location where your lost or stolen device is at and can visit that place and use the ‘Play Sound’ option to ring your device at full volume to exactly know where it is. This feature will work even if your phone is on silent mode.
In the unfortunate case that you are unable to find your Android device, you can also use the ‘Secure device’ and ‘Lock device’ options to either lock your device with a password and log out of your Google account or simply erase all the data on your device and perform a factory reset.
This will prevent anyone who might have your stolen phone from getting access to your personal data. You can still have access to almost all of your personal data as Google automatically takes a backup of your photos, videos, contacts, calendar entries, and even your messages.
Find My Mobile – Samsung
If you are a Samsung device user you can perform a few additional options if you use the Find my mobile feature by Samsung. By visiting the website and signing in using your Samsung mobile account, you can track your phone.
With Samsung’s Find My Mobile feature you can perform additional actions like remotely backing up all your data (media, documents, and installed apps) and retrieving your calls and message logs to track any potential calls or messages made by the person who stole or found your phone.
The ‘Lock’ option will not only lock your device but will also allow you to display a message on your screen and prevent your phone from being manually powered off.
You can also use the ‘Extend battery life’ feature to set your phone to the maximum power saving mode to ensure that it doesn’t run out of battery while you are trying to track its location. This feature will almost disable the usage of all apps and services on your device, except the ones that are required for tracking your device.
Samsung also allows you to set up “Guardians” by providing contact details of your friend’s or family members.
What if you cannot find your phone?
In some unfortunate cases, you might not be able to track or locate your phone even after trying the aforementioned methods. Your phone’s battery might be dead or the device may have even gotten damaged. What if you cannot find your phone? What to do now?
Report your phone as stolen
The first thing you can do is to report to the police that your phone has been stolen and get any necessary documents needed for filing an insurance claim.
The police might ask for details such as your phone’s make and model, the exact location where it was stolen, and/or your phone number and IMEI. Make sure you have any of these details before you file the report.
You can find all of this info on the box your phone came in, including your unique IMEI number.
Terminate or pause your mobile service
You might also need to report to your carrier and mobile service provider and request them to terminate or pause your mobile phone service. This can prevent someone from using your phone or SIM card to make calls or send messages.
You might also try requesting your service provider to use any GPS tracking service that they have to aid in tracking your phone. Different service providers have varying policies and tools but it might be worth a try as a last resort.