You can use native Google and Apple services to find your lost phone. Or use third-party applications.
What To Do if Your Android Phone is Lost
On any device that is synchronized with a Google account – for example, a PC or laptop, you need to launch a browser and type in the Google search bar: “how to find a lost phone.” Another option is to go directly to the service using a direct link. A map will open showing the location where the phone last connected to the network. On the phone itself, the notification “Someone is looking for this device” will appear.
You can call a lost phone within 5 minutes; the ringtone volume will be maximized even if the phone is set to silent mode.
You can lock your device using your PIN, password, or pattern. In addition, you can send a message that will be displayed on the screen – it is convenient if the phone was in the hands of not a thief, but, for example, a waiter of the cafe where it was left.
You can also erase all data from your phone by clicking “Clear device” (however, you will not be able to restore them). The Find My Device function will be disabled, but you definitely can not be afraid of revealing important personal information.
The options described above are available under several mandatory conditions: the phone is turned on, linked to a Google account, connected to the network, and available on Google Play. Also, in the phone settings, the “Location” and “Find device” functions must be activated.
If the Phone is Off
When a lost Android phone is turned off, it can be tracked using a Google map: in the upper left tab, click “Timeline” – and select a search period. Important: this option works only if “Location History” and “Sending geodata” are active in the Google maps settings.
Android Phone Finder Apps
Google has a separate app for Find My Device. Samsung and Xiaomi also have to Find My Mobile and Mi Cloud, respectively. From third parties, Lost Android and Cerberus can be used. The search function is built into many antiviruses: Avast Mobile Security, AVG AntiVirus, Bitdefender Mobile Security & Antivirus.
What to do if the iPhone is lost
Apple also has a web service and app for finding iOS and Mac OS devices called Find My. You can call a lost iPhone, put it in Lost Mode, and erase all data.
When you enable Lost Mode, the phone is locked; at the same time, Apple Pay cannot be made from the lost iPhone. You can send a message to the device with your contact information for communication.
All these actions are possible only after you have previously enabled the Find iPhone and Geolocation functions in the gadget settings. Otherwise, immediately after losing your iPhone, it is recommended to change the password in your Apple ID account to protect personal data on the device.
In addition to your iPhone, Find My can find your iPad, Mac, AirPods, and Apple Watch.
If the iPhone is off
Lost Mode, which locks the device, can be activated even when the iPhone is off. As soon as the phone is turned on, it is immediately locked.
What to Do if Your Phone is Stolen
When there is a suspicion that the phone has been stolen, it is better to contact the police. First, you need to write down the IMEI number of the phone (it is indicated on the box for the device and in the warranty card), and also find an agreement with a mobile operator. With this data – come to the local police station, where to write a statement about the missing phone. The police then send a request to the operator, who can track the phone by IMEI, even if the thief uses a different SIM card.
Mandatory Steps for Those Who Just Bought a Phone
- Activate Find My Device and Location Tracking.
- Protect your phone with a password or using Touch ID.
- Write down the IMEI number of the device.
- Save the contract with the operator.