Phones have become so much a part of our daily lives that it can be immediately traumatic if you suddenly can’t find or lost your phone. If the phone isn’t stolen, and you just can’t find it, you can have someone call it, but if it is lost, you can either track it with the help of the Police or you could use the Find My Device for Android or Find My iPhone.
In this article, we shall look at the Android bit. However, before getting into the article, the user should know that using these features “Find My Device or Find My iPhone”, should have been enabled in the first place before the phone is stolen.
So, for the Find My Device feature to work effectively, the Find My Device and Google’s Location Services have to be enabled. In addition, the phone has to be turned on and signed in to a Google account. If not, then the feature won’t be effective in any way.
The Find My Device feature comes as part of the standard operating system on all Android phones and is usually turned on by default. Be aware that some Android models may offer a different app; for example, Samsung phones have their own Find My Mobile app.
If you want to use Google’s Find My Device, you can check to see if it’s part of your phone’s version of Android.
- Go to Settings >> Security and look for Find My Device.
- If the app is listed but is turned off, tap on it and use the toggle to turn it on.
Once Find My Device is turned on, next you need to turn on/enable Location. To do this:
- Go to your phone’s Settings and find Location. It will say right underneath the header whether it’s on or off.
- If it’s off, tap on Location and toggle it on.
- You can also check which apps have access to your location, and which have used it recently. If you want to take this opportunity to fine-tune this setting, tap on “App permission” to tweak location permission settings.
- Permission” to tweak location permission settings.
FIND YOUR PHONE
Now, you’re set. If you can’t find your phone, simply go to Google’s search page and type “Find my device.” If you haven’t used it before, you may need to give Google permission to use location data to locate your device. You may also be able to immediately ring your phone from the Google search page to try to find it.
Otherwise, click on the link and you’ll be taken to the Find My Device page, which will name your phone, the last time it was pinged (and the name of the Wi-Fi network it was using), and the current battery power. A Google map will show where your phone was last located.
Once you’ve located your device, there are three options that are listed on the left side of the screen. Which you choose depends on whether you feel the device is in a safe place or not. You can:
- Have the device play a sound (usually, the ringtone) for five minutes so you can locate it.
- Lock the device and sign out of your Google account, so that your data will be safe while you go to retrieve it (recommended if, say, you’ve left it in a cab or restaurant).
- Erase the device. This is for times when you’re reasonably sure it’s been stolen and is not retrievable; you won’t be able to locate your device after that, but your content will no longer be on it.