What should I do if I lost my phone?
- Use a special phone tracker
- Call or text your phone to get it back
- Lock your device through your Google account
- Find your Android phone using “Find my device”
- Locate your iPhone with “Locator”
- Find your lost phone using a GPS tracker
- Find a lost device by IMEI number
Find phone by number
The best thing you can do if you lose your phone is to use this simple and reliable app to track its location.
In our opinion, the best, most inexpensive, and most effective app to work with is Localize.mobi. It only costs $1, you need to enter the phone number you want to find, and the app will show you the exact location of your lost phone.
How does the Localize service work?
You can also use the other tracking apps that we offer you in this list, they work similarly.
Use a proven phone tracker to locate your cell phone:
Find my lost phone
And now we’ll tell you what other options there are for finding a lost or stolen phone.
What is the first thing to do if you lose your cell phone?
The moment you notice your phone is missing, it is important to take some action to fully assess the situation with your missing phone.
Pick up another phone and try calling your number, if you hear a dial tone, that’s good news, it means you can locate its metro location.
Very often people just put their phone in a strange place or even leave it at home, but immediately they start to panic and think that it was stolen from them. In addition, if the gadget fell out, someone around could see it and pick it up.
In these cases, a call will solve everything and you’ll recover the loss pretty quickly. If your call is answered, ask for your phone back.
What to do if your phone is definitely stolen?
Try sending an SMS to it asking for its return for a fee. Of course, you don’t want to pay the thief for your gadget, but sometimes this is the only way to get your expensive smartphone back. However, there are other ways to find your phone, but then it all depends on the operating system.
If you can’t hear your phone ringing, the situation is much more complicated: either it’s already turned off, or it’s dead, and its last known location is further away from you.
If your phone is not nearby, use your computer or another phone to lock the lost gadget. You should also put it in missing mode and change your passwords and logins to protect your personal information.
What to do if your phone is stolen?
Before you take any action, you need the most important inputs:
- Your phone’s operating system: iOS or Android
- Your phone carrier (Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone in Australia)
Proven ways to find a lost or stolen phone
There are several ways to find a lost phone
Finding a lost iPhone (iOS)
Apple smartphones are very popular with burglars because of their high cost. However, the iPhone manufacturer took care of users and made a special service “Locator”, which allows you to find the iPhone or lock it so that an intruder can not use it in any way. You can also use the “Locator” app on another Apple device you own.
Use this link to find your Apple device: https://www.icloud.com/find
What you need to do in advance before the phone goes missing
The easiest way to find your iPhone is through the iCloud cloud. But to be able to use this feature, you need to activate it first.
Even if it’s too late to do so, read it anyway – so you don’t get into the same situation next time. To activate this feature, do the following:
- Open “Settings”
- Find the list of devices in the Apple ID and select iPhone”
- On the page that opens, select “Find My iPhone” and activate it.
If the system offers you a choice between “Cancel” and “OK,” click on the second option. But this may not be enough to fully prepare your mobile device to search through the iCloud cloud. To check the activity of all the desired systems, once again enter “Settings”, select “Privacy”, then “Geolocation services”.
Here, under “Share Geo-Position”, there’s an option to “Find iPhone” – make sure it’s turned on. That’s it. Now you can view the location of your iPhone on the map. The next step will tell you how to do this.
Searching for iPhone via iCloud
Go to iCloud.com and log in with your Apple ID and password. After that, click on the “Find iPhone” icon in the main menu.
If you have several devices, find the one you want to find in the list and point to it. A map will open showing the current location of your device.
iCloud also gives the owner of a stolen or lost phone three features:
- “Play sound” – the device will start to shrill and whoever is nearby will be able to find it.
- “Missing Mode” – this option is best used if you’re hoping to get your iPhone back, but assume it’s unlikely to happen anytime soon. In Missing Mode, you have to enter a password with which you will subsequently unlock your mobile device. Anyone else holding your phone will not be able to use it, and they will not have access to sensitive information. You can create a message on the screen with your contact information for anyone who happens to find the device and wants to return it to its rightful owner. Also, the phone will turn off the Apple Pay service, and it will not make a sound on incoming messages or notifications.
- “Erase data” is the best solution if you’re in doubt about whether you can get your iPhone back. This function completely destroys the information that is stored in the smartphone memory. It can not be restored, so it is important to have a pre-created copy of important data.
Find a lost Android phone
If your phone uses the Android operating system, you can find your Android phone on a satellite map using the standard Google service: https://www.google.com/android/find
According to Google Support, to find an Android phone, lock it, or delete data from it, the following conditions must be met:
- The device must be turned on
- It must be linked to a Google account
- It must be connected to the Internet
- It must be available in the Play Store
- The “Location” feature must be enabled
- The “Find Device” feature must be enabled
How to find an Android phone
On your computer, go to https://www.google.com/android/find with your Google account and if your phone is online, you will see its location on the map.
You will also have the ability to make it ring (even if the sound is off, the signal from the phone will go at full volume), lock the phone, and set a message to be displayed on the locked screen or erase data.
Find your Google phone
If your phone isn’t connected to the internet, you’ll see its last location, and the time it was online, and you’ll also have the ability to track its movement history by clicking on the “Google Maps timeline” which is saved by default, as long as the phone is not on power-saving mode.
Another official Google page for finding your phone if you’ve lost it or had it stolen is https://myaccount.google.com/find-your-phone. After logging into it, you will see a list of mobile devices in your account.
Once you select the device you want, you can “Ring” the device (so that it beeps), lock the phone, call it, log out of the account on the phone, erase all data, or go to the map from the first item by clicking on “Find”.
If you want to find your phone from another phone, you can follow the same steps as on your computer by going to the mentioned official Google pages or downloading the official Find My Device app from Play Market: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.adm.
Once you’re in the app with your Google account, you’ll have the same options for finding your phone’s location on the map, playing audio, or deleting data from it.
Important if you decide to remotely erase all data from your device. This feature will initiate a factory reset of your phone.
When deleting, you will be warned that the data on the SD card may not be erased: the phone’s internal memory, which mimics the SD card (defined as SD in the File Manager) will be erased. A separate SD card, if installed in your phone may or may not be erased – it depends on the phone model and Android version. After the reset, it will be impossible to find the phone.
How to search for a phone through an operator
With the help of the operator alone, the owner is unlikely to be able to find the phone: it most often requires the involvement of the police.
The search with the help of a cellular operator is based on the SIM card. If you are sure the phone is not lost or stolen, contact the operator’s office with the phone number and IMEI. Only the owner of the SIM card can do this. The carrier will trace the last location of the phone using cell tower signals.
How to find a lost mobile phone in Australia?
If you live in Australia, you probably use one of three phone carriers: Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone. Each of these three operators has different solutions.
In our opinion, the best service in this regard offers by the operator Telstra, take this into account when choosing an operator.
Finding a lost Telstra phone
If you use Telstra, you can use the Telstra Device Search feature: https://www.telstra.com.au/mytelstra/device-locator.
This function allows you to find lost iPhone, iPad, and Android devices, as well as phones and tablets with a SIM card that is registered with Telstra.
What you can do with Telstra Device Locator
- View all your registered devices on one map (Telstra Device Locator works with iPads, iPhones, and Android devices).
- Play a sound on your phone to draw attention to it.
- Send a text message with a contact number to help get your device back.
You can find out how to set up the My Telstra app on the Telstra website at the link we provided above.
Finding a lost Vodafone phone
If you use Vodafone in Australia, you can report a missing device by calling 1300 650 410. If you’re not in Australia, use this phone number: +61 426 320 000.
This will block your SIM card to prevent unauthorized charges to your account, or block the IMEI of your device so it can’t be used with any other SIM card.
Finding a lost Optus phone
If you use Optus, you can also block your SIM card on the company’s website. You can also text or call customer support and ask for help.
Find your lost phone using GPS tracker software
Another option for tracking your phone is to add a third-party application that uses a GPS tracker, such as mSpy or uMobix.
uMobix phone tracking app
uMobix uses information about your phone to create a connection between it and its servers. It can then access information about your phone, including location and battery percentage. uMobix This is a good option for remotely making changes to your phone if you find that it is not at close range.
mSpy phone tracking app
The mSpy service works similarly to uMobix and is also very good for comprehensive tracking of the phone you need. With mSpy you can not only track the location of the phone, but also access the phone book, sms messages, correspondence in social networks, and much more.
These applications have quite similar functionality and pricing. We have tested both services and we can say that they work great.
How to find the phone by IMEI number?
All modern smartphones, including even ordinary cell phones, have a special identifier – a code of 15 digits. IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) is a unique 15-digit identifier of the phone, that is given by the manufacturer. Knowing phone’s IMEI, you can define the following gadget status:
- Whether the phone is lost or stolen;
- Whether the phone is wanted;
- The country of manufacture of this phone;
- The phone model itself.
See your phone’s IMEI code:
- On the phone’s back cover
- On the phone’s battery;
- On the box itself;
- inside the phone’s warranty card.
Also, to find your IMEI, you enter the combination *#06# on your phone. IMEI will appear right after you enter the characters.
To find the phone by IMEI number you need access to the database of all mobile operators. You can apply to the police, only they have access to the IMEI database of phones.
In what cases can’t the phone be found?
Is it possible to find your phone if it is turned off, and you can’t call a dead or turned off the phone?
In this case, you can check its last location on the maps using the methods described above. You can also lock it or clear its memory so that no one can see it after you turn it on. But all of these methods will work if you’ve turned on its detection mode in your phone’s settings.
iPhones continue to leave their location data even if they’re turned off – they need to be updated to the latest iOS model to do so.
Can I find my phone if it’s been zeroed out through a hard reset?
You can’t track down a phone that’s been reset to factory settings on your own.
What should I do if I can’t find my phone?
If you can’t find your smartphone and are worried about it falling into the wrong hands, you still have some ways to protect against identity theft and bank card money.
Lock your phone and delete data from it. All of the services from Google, Apple, Samsung, etc. discussed above have this option. But they all work only if your phone is in discoverable mode.
Disable card payment. You can block NFC payments at Google Pay and Apple Pay.
How to remove cards from Google Pay:
- Log in to your Google account
- Tap the “Payments and subscriptions” line
- Click “Customize Payment Method”
- Remove bank cards
How to remove cards from Apple Pay for iPhone:
- Log in to your account with Apple ID
- Select the stolen phone under “Devices”
- At the bottom of the page, under the list of cards, click “Delete All”
How do you keep yourself safe from going missing?
Grab your smartphone and turn on location detection as described above. That way you’ll have a chance to track your device, lock it, or delete your data.
You can also install any tracking app, but they largely duplicate the official services of Google, Apple, etc.
Here are more ways that may come in handy when searching.
Use geolocation from mobile carriers. All major carriers have geolocation tracking services for a fee. They check your location against cell towers, GPS satellites, and nearby wifi networks, so you’ll see your phone on the map even if you have internet and geolocation turned off. It is enough that it is turned on, and it has the SIM card of the owner.
Most often such services are used by parents of underage children, but there are different situations. For example, these services are connected by spouses to make it more convenient to take each other from work or other cases by car, or by people who need to know where their elder relatives are.
Install a phone finder application
You can use programs to track your phone by GPS – such as uMobix, mSpy, Cocospy – but they, too, must be pre-installed on your lost phone.
Predicting such an event is not easy: these apps are usually used to track the location of children.
Install Google Maps
Google Maps has a “share location” feature. To access it, click on the user’s picture to open a menu.
This feature lets you show your family where you are. The Google Maps app will need access to your contacts – tap “Allow” on the pop-up window. In the settings, you can choose who you’re willing to share your location with and for how long. You can send them a link to track their location in a messenger or social network right away. If your phone gets lost while this feature is working, it will be easier to find.
Another feature in the same menu is Chronology. It doesn’t work in real time, but it shows you where you’ve been on a particular day. To turn it on, click “Enable Location History.
Observe the minimum rules for safety:
- Do not carry your phone in plain sight, in unbuttoned pockets or bags;
- Do not leave it unattended, especially in public places while charging;
- Do not sit with it on public transport close to the doors.
- Observing all these rules will increase the chances of not losing your phone forever.
Briefly about finding a lost phone
If your phone is lost, it can be tracked using smart devices and geolocation. For geolocation tracking to work, you need to turn it on in your phone’s settings, but usually, the prompt to do so pops up when you first set up your phone – so you may have already done so.
If someone has found your phone, they’re often willing to give it away for free. But if you call your number and the person hangs up and their intentions are clear, it’s worth going to the police.
At the police, show everything that confirms your ownership of the phone: receipt, box, warranty card. In your statement, give the details of the phone: color, model, the color of the cover, and any chips or scratches. If you have information about the phone’s location by geolocation, attach it. Include the name of the mobile operator, phone number, and IMEI.
If it becomes clear that the phone can no longer be returned, it can be cleared remotely, including your bank card details.