Smartphones are now an integral part of our lives and the pain of losing one is real. Fortunately, the technology makes it easy to track your lost phone from a distance and, as a last resort, have it completely erased with just the push of a button. If you are in the unfortunate scenario of misplacing your iPhone or Android phone, here’s how to find it.
How to find your iPhone
To make your iOS device traceable in the event of loss, you must first activate “Find My”. You can do this by going to Settings -> Apple ID -> Find My -> Turn on Find My iOS Device. You should also enable “Find my network”, which will allow you to see the last known position of your phone in case it is turned off.
With this option enabled, you can go to www.icloud.com/find on a computer or other mobile phone. On this website, sign in using your Apple ID and you will find plenty of options to find your lost phone.
The first option displays the approximate position of your phone on a map. You can track your phone on this map to try to get it back.
The next option allows you to put the phone in “lost mode”. This mode locks the iPhone which can then be unlocked with a password. You can also choose to display a message on the iPhone screen that will be seen by whoever finds it.
When you are near the location of your lost iPhone, you can make a loud sound to help you locate it. This sound will first emit softly, then gradually get louder. This is a very useful feature and it works even if your phone is in silent mode.
If you still cannot find your iPhone, the last option is to wipe it remotely and prevent your private data from falling into the wrong hands. Just tap “Erase iPhone” and tap the “Erase” button in the pop-up message. Keep in mind that this should be a last resort as an erased iPhone cannot be located or tracked using the above ways.
How to find your Android smartphone
If you’ve misplaced your Android phone, the steps to find it are similar. Again, for tracking to work you will need to enable the “Find my device” option. When this setting is enabled by default, you can always check it by going to Settings -> Security -> Find my device.
Your Android device must also be on, be connected via mobile data or Wi-Fi, have a signed in Google account, and the location setting turned on.
When you lose your phone, quickly go to www.android.com/find and sign in to your Google Account. Remember that this must be the Google Account also associated with your phone. The next step is to select the Android device which is lost.
On this page, you will see an approximate location of your lost Android phone on a map. Once located, you can play a loud sound, which will last 5 minutes even if the phone is in silent mode.
You can also select the “Secure device” option to lock your phone and sign out of your Google account. You can even choose to display a message and another phone number to anyone who finds your phone.
Again, the last option is to wipe the phone remotely. This will remove all personal data from your phone, which might otherwise be misused by someone. Keep in mind that once you use this option, it will no longer be possible to remotely track your phone using the options above.