What is lost when a cell phone disappears? Information and data, important files, unrecoverable photos are lost. Calm and the joy of living are lost. And it is not for less, because these devices have become an intrinsic part of us, an extension of our people. Fortunately, if you find yourself in that situation, you can still do something: here we explain how to locate a lost phoneregardless of make or model.
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How to locate a smartphone
If the lost phone is a smartphone, Apple and Google include recovery technology in them. It usually works through the account associated with your device. For Android models, this will be Google’s; for iPhones, iCloud.
Both platforms allow you to remotely lock and wipe your phone, make it ring, and set up special messages to alert whoever finds it. Of course, these features are great… as long as the your phone’s battery stay alive. If your smartphone battery dies, none of them will do much, really.
Another important thing: we advise you to exercise extreme caution if you communicate with anyone who has found your smartphone. Be careful not to divulge any personal information — like your home address, for example — until you know you’re dealing with someone you can trust.
Offer to go where he or she is, somewhere public. Share and save phone numbers or email addresses to communicate with this (possible) good samaritan who might return your phone.
Android not only offers Google’s own service to find and manage your device remotely. There are also a number of third-party apps designed to find your smartphone.
The easiest to use is Find My Device, which is integrated directly into the Android phone through Google Play Services; although it can also be used in a browser or downloaded from the Google Play Store. Most devices running Android 2.3 or later should be able to use this feature.
Using it is as easy as using Where is my phone on Google, which will cause the service to start searching for your phone. Find My Device also has the ability to call the phone, set a new password, and make your phone ring from afar, along with a wide variety of other features that it uses for notifications.
While you can set up ahead of time, the service should still be available in case you lose or misplace your phone. It will use wifi or GPS to help you huntingr your device.
Step 1: go to Settings > Google (or Google Services) > Security and make sure remote location of this device is turned on in the Find My Device section. You will probably be prompted to sign in.
If you can’t find your phone, you can always remotely wipe it to prevent sensitive information on it from getting into the wrong hands.
However, your device will need an internet connection and enough power to communicate with you. In Android 5.0 Lollipop, Google also introduced Factory Reset Protection (FRP). It’s designed to prevent potential thieves from stealing your phone, erasing it, and then using or selling it.
If you factory reset an FRP-enabled phone and try to set it up as a new device, you’ll be prompted to enter the username and password of the last Google account that was signed into the device, and if you can’t, the phone will remain locked.
There are also third-party apps that you can install to make it easier to find your phone. Prey Anti Theft is a great app that offers remote access and control, allowing you to get more information about the whereabouts of your phone.
It provides a number of additional features, such as more detailed control over how to track the device, screenshots of what the device is doing, camera shots to catch the would-be thief, and other more detailed notifications that Find My Device doesn’t offer if your device is rooted.
It has even more features available to prevent someone from rebooting or shutting down your device until you can get it back.
Another option for some Samsung phones is the Find My Mobile service. You can use it to locate, lock or erase a lost phone. You need a Samsung account and remote control options enabled on your device. To check and see if Find My Mobile is available for your model, please do the following.
Step 1: go to Settings > Biometrics and security.
Step 2: If you see Find My Mobile in the menu, you can use the service.
Step 3: Enable remote control options via Settings> Biometrics and security> Find My Mobile> Remote controls.
The best way to find your iPhone is with the app that comes with the phone called Find my iPhone. The application comes with the service pre-installed and shows you your cell phone on a map. You will need another Apple device with this application to see this feature. We use a lost iPad running iPadOS 14 as an example.
He passed one: Choose Settings > Apple ID (name) > Find My.
He passed two: This will take you to the Find My section, where you need to touch Find My iPhone to turn it on if it is off. (Note: it should never be off).
He passed 3: With Find My iPhone on, tap the switches Enable offline search Y Send last location. Those help you determine where you last left your phone, in case internet services are turned off.
He passed 4: With those controls ready, go back to Settings > Apple ID and scroll down to see all your devices in a list.
He passed 5: Touch the missing device and it takes you to a section of Device Information which allows you to search for it directly.
He passed 6: play Find My (iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch) and then touch Show in Find My iPhone and a map will appear showing your exact location and directions on how to get there.
The service also gives you the option to play a sound on your device, mark it as Lost and send a message to the phone in lost mode. You have the option to erase the device, in case it is in the wrong hands. Find my iPhone can locate your Mac, iPod, and iPad. It is an effective tool to track almost any iOS device.
Your iPhone maintains a high level of security in the event of theft through the use of an activation lock. Enabled by default, Activation Lock requires you to enter your Apple ID and password before turning off Find My iPhone, erasing your device, or reactivating it.
With simple or non-smart cell phones, there aren’t as many app-based or programmatic options available to help you find a lost phone. However, there is always a basic protocol to follow when you lose it. Try to do the following.
Step 1: call your cell phone. Try to listen to its sound or try to feel its vibration: maybe it is closer than you think, and nobody has stolen it from you. Now, if your phone is really lost and in the hands of someone else, they will probably reply to you if they intend to return it.
Step 1: come back after your footsteps. Do a full visual search. If you can’t hear a ring or vibration when you call, don’t assume it’s lost, or someone has stolen it: its battery might just be dead.
Step 3: send a text message to your phone. If you think someone has stolen it or found it on the bus, taxi or cafe you were in, send a message with your contact information, email address, landline number and promise of a reward – if you decide do it There are many online services that allow you to send free text messages.
Step 4: alert your service provider. If you’ve given up hope of finding it, call your wireless provider and let them know your phone is missing. Ask them if they offer a GPS location service. Otherwise, ask them to suspend your phone service as soon as possible to avoid possible fraudulent charges. Carriers have different policies in these situations, but it’s always worth a try, even for a non-smart phone. This FCC page has a handy list of numbers to call.
Step 5: register your phone as lost. If you know the IMEI number of your phone, or if you have it written down somewhere, enter it into Immobilize.
Step 6: be ready for the next time you lose your phone. Maybe you’re one of those people who is always losing their phone (I don’t know about you, but I have several friends who are total disasters with their phones…) If so, consider signing up for a tracking service like Accu Tracking.