Losing smartphones or any phone for that matter that contains lots of personal information is a nightmare scenario that most of us dread and want to avoid at any cost. Despite all the care every now and then we do end up misplacing phones or they get stolen or simply forget where we placed them. If you have lost your phone somewhere and are looking to find ways to track Android phone then keep reading this post. Here we are going to show you in detail how to find lost Android phone without tacking app. It is possible to find lost phone without any tracking apps installed on it. This is where you will learn methods to track lost phone and find them without losing a sweat.
First thing you should do when purchasing a new phone is to install phone tracking apps on it. Recovering lost or stolen phone without any tracking app on it used to be a virtually impossible task but not anymore. Our tips and tricks would enable you to remotely control and track phone even without any recovery app.
Here are some sure shot solutions to find lost Android phones.
1 – Use Find My Mobile Feature (Samsung Users)
For this solution to work your device must have access to the internet, your device should be registered with Samsung via your account, and your Samsung device should have Find My Mobile feature enabled with remote control access.
If you are the owner of Samsung device then it is possible to find lost Samsung phone with Find My Mobile option enabled. For that, create Samsung account and register your device with it but do it when you have the phone with you, don’t wait do it until after it is lost.
After that go to Samsung Find My Mobile device website. Login, and check left sidebar and select Locate My Device in the sidebar and click the locate button. Your device must be connected to the account before it was lost for this to work. You can see the current location of your device if your lost device is connected to the internet with location service feature on along with remote control feature. Now you can remotely lock your device, wipe all data on it and call on it to find out who has got it.
2 – Track Lost Phone with Android Lost
For this to work make sure that your device was linked to Google account prior to getting lost or stolen, it was connected to the internet and was running Android 3.0+ or higher.
Now follow steps below and hope that your lost device is still connected to the Google account:
step 1 – Install Android Lost App
Go to Google Play and install Android Lost app on your browser and it will be automatically installed on the lost device as well if it is still connected to the internet.
step 2 – Enable Android Lost
Send an SMS text message to “androidlost register” to your phone to register it remotely. This will register Android Lost account to link itself with Google Account. Android tablet users need to install Jumpstart for AndroidLost on the device before it was lost to register it with Google account.
step 3 – Login to Android Lost
Sign-in to Android Lost website with Google account which will give you remote access to your lost device. You can perform following tasks with remote control access:
- Get device’s location
- Erase all data including external SD card data
- Read texts being send and received on your phone
- Access device’s camera remotely to take picture of the person in possession of your device
- If you forgot where you put your device then play loud alarm on it with flash light
- Lock your phone
If your device is running on Android version earlier than Android 3.0+ then this method won’t work on it. Click here to see a complete list of features available on Android Lost.
3 – Dropbox to Track Lost/Stolen Phone
For this to work your device should have internet connection enabled on it, Dropbox with camera load access activated and wait for the other person to take picture from stolen/lost phone.
Have Dropbox installed on your device or any other cloud storage service for that matter with camera upload feature activated. This way as soon as person in possession of your device takes pictures or selfie it will be uploaded on camera upload folder of the cloud service and you would be able to see who has your phone from selfie or by identifying location from background in the picture.
4 – Lost Phone Tracker for Android 2.0 – 2.3 devices
If your lost device was running on older Android version from Android 2.0 – 2.3 then there is a way of finding it. For that, your lost device must be connected to Google account and internet connection.
Now download Plan B’s Free Lost Phone Tracker Android app on your device. This app sends your phone location to Gmail account, every set time intervals it sends you updated information about phone’s current location to your Gmail address. Or borrow friend’s phone, install this app on it and send SMS with text ‘locate’ to your phone to get the location information via email.
This only works on Android 2.0 – 2.3. Not many users would be using this one but still those who are can follow this method. I am not sure about success rate with this app because it’s been a while since the app last received an update.
5 – Track Lost Phone using Google’s Android Device Manager
Here are some prerequisites that must be met if you’re to succeed in finding stolen or lost device with this method: Make sure your device was connected to Google Account and internet when it got lost, from setting app on Android phone enable Android Device Manager to track your device, although this option is on by default but still check it to make sure. Also, Allow Android Device Manager to remotely lock the device from settings and wipe out its data, this feature is off by default, so tap the toggle to turn this feature on.
Android Device Manager is official device tracking tool from Google. There is no need to install any app for it, just make sure that from your Phone’s setting this option is on and connected to your Google Account and has internet connection enabled.
Now, log in to your Google account and go to Android Device Manager after which your device’s current location will be tracked and shown on the screen. You can register multiple android devices with Android Device Manager, so make sure you have selected the right one from the list to track.
If your device was updated with latest Android version then it would allow you to use Android Device Manager to track device directly from Google search engine. Just type ‘where is my phone’ and Google search brings up a map with location of your device if it was registered Android device. After locating the device this feature lets you ring the phone.
You can track, ring, wipe register Android device with Android Device Manager, you cannot control your device remotely to lock it or let you access camera to see who has the device using ADM function.
If you are not around PC then borrow someone’s Android device. If it has Android Device Manager, well and good, if not, then download it here. Install it on the device, login with your Google Account as guest user and track your phone to ring to delete personal stuff. This works only if your lost device is still on, connected to the internet and Google account.
6 – Use Google Maps to Track your Device
With this method you can track lost device even if it is off. For this to work your device should be connected to the internet and logged in to Google account, location services must be enabled on the device. You can switch location services on from Android phone’s Settings app.
With Google Map Location History (now known as Your Timeline) you can see a list of all recently visited places along with their name, location and date, which makes locating lost device easier.
Although this is meant to help to see all places you visited recently but you can also use it to track lost phones. For that, go to Your Timeline with current date on the calendar. Here you see on the screen’s left sidebar the timeline of recently visited places along with the time and on the right side there will be the address of that place.
Your Timeline uses 3G/4G/4G LTE and WiFi to collect and save location data. It means even if your phone is off, it will record the last place where the battery went dead or phone was switched off.
Common Tips & Tricks:
Hope above method proved helpful in finding lost Android devices. Change your Google account password immediately after losing your device to prevent someone else to access personal information attached to all Google Services and apps on the Phone.
Only way to track stolen or lost device if it has been factory reset is to install Cerberus Anti Theft app on the rooted Android phone. Also tracking your device via IMEI isn’t easy so best thing you could do is to have the device blocked by contacting the network service provider.
With Android Device Manager and Android Lost solutions above you can find the device even if some has changed the sim card on it as long as it remains connected to the internet and your Google account.
What You Should Do to Prevent Phone Theft/Lost:
First thing to do is to install reliable anti theft or phone tracking app on your Android device. With tracking apps you can remotely access lost device to lock it, wipe out its data, access camera to take picture of the thief, see location history and see text and call history with time.
Other thing that should be done on new phone or just recovered one is to head to Android device’s Settings and enable Android Device Manager and Location History to see latest information about phone location on Google Maps along with the address of that place. For that go to Settings > Security and enable the Android Device Manager option. Then go to Settings > Security > Location and enable Google Location History. This last tip is obvious one, keep your device password locked.
I hope this extensive guide proved fruitful in helping you recover lost Android device. Keep coming back for more interesting and helpful guides.