Lost or stolen Android phone? Here’s how to get it back right now

You can depart a message so the one who has your phone can attain you.


Jason Cipriani/CNET

It occurs within the blink of a watch. You place your phone down on a counter on the money register or really feel a slight bump as you get off the subway, solely to later notice your phone is gone. Regardless of the way you lose it, be it from theft or a easy mistake, shedding your phone is a demanding expertise.

Not solely does it reduce off your entry to the remainder of the world, however your phone is essentially the most private gadget you personal. And changing it’s a pricey nuisance.

In the occasion your phone goes lacking, do not panic! There are instruments constructed into each Android phone that make it potential to lock and observe down a misplaced phone with ease. In order for that to occur, you will must take some steps to set your self up for achievement if and when your phone does go lacking — even in the event you solely left it in the home.

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How to seek out your misplaced Android phone



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Be ready

Create a safe lock display screen

Do your self a favor and activate passcode and fingerprint authentication. Do your self one other favor and do not use facial recognition in your Android gadget. 

The expertise used for facial recognition on most Android gadgets can be easily tricked with one thing so simple as a photograph of your face. Google’s Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL are the exceptions right here, they use a system just like Apple’s and must be much more dependable than earlier facial recognition

Next, create your passcode and arrange fingerprint authentication within the Settings app below the Security part. I notice scanning a fingerprint or coming into a PIN code each time you wish to use your phone may be inconvenient, however the concept of somebody getting access to your images, banking apps, electronic mail and the remainder of your private data is downright scary.

An additional step to unlock your phone is definitely worth the effort when you think about the potential affect of exposing your private data to a stranger.   

Read: If you lose your iPhone, immediately do these 3 things

Google’s Find My Device

google-find-my-device

Make positive Google’s Find My Device is turned on. 


Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Any time you signal into an Android gadget with a Google account, Find My Device is already on. Find My Device is what you will use ought to your phone ever go lacking to trace, remotely lock and remotely erase it. 

You can verify to ensure Find My Device is enabled by opening the Settings app and going to Security & Location > Find My Device. Alternatively, in case your gadget does not have a Security & Location choice, go to Google > Security > Find My Device.

Find My Device must be turned on. If not, slide the swap to the On place and exit out of the Settings app.

Samsung’s Find My Mobile

samsung-find-my-mobile

If you’ve got signed in to your Samsung account on a Galaxy phone, you ought to be good to go. However, it is a good suggestion to double verify. 


Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

If you’ve a Samsung phone, then along with Google’s Find My Device service, you may — and will — arrange Samsung’s Find My Mobile service. Not solely does it offer you a backup service to trace down a misplaced phone, however it additionally provides you instruments that Find My Device does not have.

With Samsung’s service, you are able to do issues like power distant backups or see if somebody has swapped out your SIM card. You should have a Samsung account to make use of Find My Mobile.

On your Samsung phone, open the Settings app and go to Biometrics and safety > Find My Mobile. If you signed into your Samsung account through the preliminary gadget setup, the Find My Mobile ought to already be enabled. If not, take just a few seconds to signal into your Samsung account and allow Find My Mobile.

Remotely lock and observe a misplaced phone

Use Find My Device

Play a sound, lock your phone or erase it utilizing the Find My Device website. 


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Using Android’s baked-in service requires you to recollect one factor: android.com/find. That web site is the place you will go within the unlucky occasion that you simply lose your phone. Make positive you check in to the identical Google account that is linked to your Android phone.

Not close to a computer? You can use one other Android gadget and the Find My Device app that you will have to obtain individually from the Play retailer. Immediately after signing into the positioning or app, Google will try and find your phone.

An alert might be despatched to your phone to inform whoever has it that it is being tracked. Use the menu on the left-hand aspect of the Find My Device website to play a sound (useful in the event you misplaced it in your house!), lock down your gadget, or erase the gadget altogether.

Selecting Secure Device will lock the phone, show a message of your selecting on the lock display screen, and signal out of your Google account. Don’t fear, you may nonetheless find the phone after it is locked. If you utilize Google Pay for mobile funds, locking your phone will stop anybody from utilizing your phone to make a purchase order.

If you utilize the Erase Device characteristic, you’ll now not be capable of observe the phone as soon as it is erased. Reserve this characteristic as a final resort.

Should the thief flip off your phone, you will not be capable of observe it till it is turned again on and has a mobile or Wi-Fi connection. Google will ship you an electronic mail as soon as it locates your gadget.

Once you discover your phone, you will must enter your PIN or passcode to realize entry. That ought to additionally get rid the lock display screen message. You may also should log into your Google account, simply to confirm it truly is you who’s accessing the phone — you needn’t flip something off within the Find My app. 

Samsung telephones

Samsung’s Find My Mobile has a number of choices to trace and management a misplaced phone. 


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Samsung Galaxy house owners benefit from utilizing Google’s or Samsung’s respective companies to find a misplaced gadget, however I like to recommend utilizing Samsung’s providing. As you will see beneath, the added capabilities are invaluable.

To observe a misplaced gadget with Samsung’s service, it’s good to go to findmymobile.samsung.com. There is not a companion app, so you will want to make use of a mobile browser on one other phone or a computer.

Sign in along with your Samsung account, then choose your misplaced gadget on the left aspect of the display screen. A map will show the place your phone is at present situated, and a menu of choices will present up on the suitable aspect of the display screen.

Start by locking the phone, which is able to show a customized message on the lock display screen, droop your Samsung Pay playing cards, and forestall the phone from being powered off.

Next, create a backup of your phone. Should you lose it for good, you will wish to have a present backup of your phone. If the phone is transferring areas, use the Track location characteristic.

Enabling this characteristic will observe your phone each 15 minutes. Finally, activate the Extend battery life characteristic — this may disable virtually every thing on the phone, outdoors of the situation monitoring.

Similar to Google’s Find My Device service, Samsung’s service solely requires you to enter your PIN code after finding your phone. You do not want to return to the web site and switch any of the monitoring options off. 

Don’t confront thieves

If your phone has been stolen and also you’re in a position to observe its location, don’t try and get well it your self. Doing so may result in you or another person getting damage, and regardless of the significance of a phone, it is merely not value it.

Instead, contact native regulation enforcement and allow them to know you need assistance recovering a misplaced or stolen phone that you have been in a position to observe to a particular handle.

Contact your service, file an insurance coverage declare

Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL

Contact your service to file an insurance coverage declare as quickly as you notice you do not get your phone again. 


Sarah Tew/CNET

If it turns into clear that you simply’re by no means going to get your phone again, contact your service and report your phone as misplaced or stolen. Doing this may blacklist the phone from the service’s database, stopping one other particular person from utilizing it.

When you name, your service will wish to droop your service as nicely. This is a good suggestion if you wish to stop somebody from utilizing your phone. However, remember the fact that in the event you’re nonetheless monitoring your misplaced phone, you will lose a mobile connection to it —  and until the phone is one way or the other registered on a Wi-Fi community, you will lose the power to trace it.

Finally, in the event you pay for insurance coverage in your phone, you will must file a declare and pay the deductible to get your substitute phone. Get the insurance coverage declare course of began by means of your service, who will then possible refer you to the third-party insurance coverage firm who will exchange your phone.

Good luck! We hope you by no means should undergo the emotional curler coaster of shedding a phone, monitoring it down, and making an attempt to get it again.

Originally printed final yr. Regularly up to date. 

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Tarun Banerjee

Professional Web Designer & Developer,Expert in SEO & Digital Market, Founder of Tech Hunt.

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