Have you ever dipped your hands in your pockets and can’t find your phone? Trust me, I swear, that feeling would make you want to pee on your pants.
Well, if you’re that person who doesn’t panic so quickly, you won’t pee on your pants or get a cold sweat even when the air conditioner is turned on. You keep searching; you keep looking. Your bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, inside the couch (you think it must have dropped in the corners of the couch), or even the refrigerator and the kitchen cabinets. It’s nowhere to be found. You checked if it’s on the charger too. No there! Your heart begins to sink gradually into your intestine, cold sweat begins to break out in the cold breeze. Your phone is gone! You’re not even sure whether it has been stolen or you dropped it somewhere. You go ahead to dial the number, but it’s not connecting. Your phone is missing!
Trust me, almost everyone has lost their phones one way or the other. I have also misplaced my phone too. In fact, it was stolen. My first android phone was stolen and the second one dropped from my pocket on public transport. Now, if I had the knowledge of tracking my lost phone then, which I’m about to share with you now, that’s a different story.
Thousands of phones are stolen or misplaced every day with no knowledge of how to trace them or track stolen phones. You’ll surely be worried that all your files information, messages, and contacts are getting into unknown hands; exposed. In this post, you’ll learn how to track a stolen phone using different methods. Even if your phone is an iPhone or a Samsung, make sure you read to the end of this post.
Well, before moving on to the main guide on how to track a stolen phone, take about 2 mins to read the pre-guide below. This is in case your phone would get stolen next time again. Although, we don’t ever think of that happening ever again.
The pre-guide you’re about to get in this section is like a preparation for the worst; for whenever your phone would get stolen.
It doesn’t take 10 minutes to tap your way through a few different settings on the Settings App and ensure the right boxes are ticked or the right switch is toggled on and you’re signed in to Google.
Now, follow the procedure below to prepare your phone or set up your phone. Remember, this is in case it would get stolen or misplaced in the future.
Create a Lock Screen
Now when you get a new phone, it’s quite important you put some security on it by setting up a PIN, password, or pattern. You know that kind of thing. These security methods are known to you only and those close to you.
Also, there is the fingerprint setup and Face ID that is personal to you; only you can unlock your phone with these security features.
Although, the Face ID might be tricked, especially on most Android devices. The fingerprint security setup is usually more effective along with the pattern, password, or PIN.
Android phones now have a Phone Master that features app locks too. You can check your phone’s manual to set that up too. This is especially important for your messaging apps, Gmail apps, and banking apps.
Switch on the Google Find My Device service.
Regardless of your phone’s manufacturer, please take a little time to set up this Google inbuilt feature. You’ll be grateful for doing it right now should anything happen to your phone in the future.
Anytime you sign in to a newly bought android phone with your Google account, the Find My Device service is automatically toggled on. This feature has been designed specifically for situations like this— a missing phone.
- Settings app on your phone
- For Tecno, Infinix, or itel phones, scroll down and look for Google
- And Check for Find My Device if it is turned on.
Samsung has its own phone tracking feature/ service too just like the Google Find My Device service. It is known as the Find My Mobile service.
If you’re using a Samsung, you should definitely set this up. It provides you with a backup service, you can track your lost or stolen Samsung with it, and it also provides you with tools Find My Device doesn’t have.
With this Samsung phone tracking service, you can do force remote backups. You’ll need to set up a Samsung account to set up Find My Mobile.
Having talked about these steps let’s get into the main guide: how to track a lost or stolen phone.
Using this Google inbuilt feature on Android devices is what should come to your mind first. Android phones and Google have partnered purposely for this kind of frustrating situation— when you lose your phone.
To use the Google Find My Device service your location should have been turned on on your lost phone, right? And the Google Find My Device service has been turned on too, right? In fact, once you’re signed in to this Google account on your phone it is automatically turned on.
Get to an internet-connected computer and search android.com/find. You can also type in Google Find My Device in the search box. It brings it out and makes sure you sign in.
Immediately you’re signed it Google will attempt to give the approximate or near-exact location of your phone, i.e, if it isn’t turned off.
A notification will be sent to whoever has your phone that it has been tracked.
You can use the menu options to ring your phone, lock your device or even erase all contents from it remotely. The erase feature will come to your mind as a last resort when you can’t locate it— the exact location.
Samsung’s Find My Mobile service has more features than the Google Find My Device service. So, it is recommended that you use the Samsung built-in feature if you have one.
Visit findmymobile.samsung.com on a computer or another phone browser. It doesn’t have an app.
Sign in with your Samsung account, and then select your lost device. Then, a digital location of where your phone is will be displayed on the screen.
You may start by locking your phone, suspending your Samsung pay cards, and even preventing the phone from being turned off. If you feel you can’t get to the exact location of the phone, losing it for good, then you can create a backup.
Also, you can use the track locations feature if your phone keeps switching locations.
You can track the location of a stolen smartphone using WhatsApp. Follow these steps:
Launch WhatsApp on your phone and share and open then contact chat you won’t share your location with. You could share a live location which is actually better. Tap attach icon right beside your message box.
In the send location settings, tap “Share Live Location” and chose the contacts and group you want to share a live location with.
In this step you choose how long you want to be tracked; 15 minutes, 1 hour, or 8 hours.
This process requires an internet connection between both devices.
It is quite important to note down your phone’s IMEI numbers and keep them in a safe place for future purposes; well, in case of situations like this.
If your phone is missing, you can find your phone’s IMEI numbers on the Phone box, and phone manual.
If you still have your phone dial *#06# or check your underneath your battery (if removable) or on the battery if non-removable.
As said before, it is important to know your IMEI numbers to help you track your stolen phone.
Get another Android phone and get on Google Play Store.
Note that the Android phone you’ll be using should be Android 5.1 or a higher version.
On Google Play Store, search for the IMEI tracker. There’ll be quite a number of results of apps showing IMEI trackers, tracking your phone location, and all that. Find AntiTheft App & IMEI Tracker All Phone Location in the search results. Click on it and start downloading.
After downloading, the app will begin to install automatically.
After installation, launch the app and make sure you grant all permissions it asked for. This app should have the permission to access your contacts, call logs, storage, SMS, and most importantly, location. This permission should be enabled for its full functionality.
The app requires an internet connection and the most annoying part of this app is that it is filled with ads. You can’t skip these ads, unfortunately, but you can have some patience and get its full functionalities.
Now the screen where you put your IMEI number comes up. Input the IMEI and tap track. A small window with a list of places will appear indicating the location and the close proximity of your phone.
With the IMEI tracker app, you can do a few things like Lock the Screen and erase data.
Many phone users think it’s impossible or quite difficult to track a switched-off phone. After all, an experienced phone thief will immediately turn off the stolen phone or even flash it. That’s even worse. Phone manufacturers have made it quite easy to track a stolen phone that is switched off.
iPhones have Find my iPhone just like Google’s Find My Device. They have another amazing feature that allows you to track when it’s offline. It’s called “Send Last Location“
Already when you sign in to your Apple account, you enable the Find My iPhone feature. The Send Last Location service gives you a location where your phone was turned on last.
Now follow these steps…
From another iOS device, log on to your iCloud account and click on the Find My iPhone option.
Click on All Devices from the drop-down menu
Choose the lost device.