How to locate an Android, iPhone or non-smart phone

Losing your cell phone is the worst thing that can happen to you. Well … maybe not the worst, but that’s how it feels. It is definitely an existential panic much worse than when you lose something like your wallet or house keys. It makes sense, because in addition to the money invested, our phone is full of important and highly private information, and the idea of ​​a stranger accessing it is chilling. That is why it is important to know how to locate a lost phone. If you are here because you can’t find yours, don’t worry; there is hope.

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Smartphones

If the lost phone is a smartphone, Apple and Google include a recovery technology in them. It generally 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 configure special messages to alert whoever finds it. Of course, these features are great… as long as your phone’s battery stays alive. If your smartphone’s battery dies, none of them will do much good, really.

Another important thing: we advise you to be very careful 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 that you are 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 reach this (possible) Good Samaritan who may return your phone.

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How to track an Android

Android not only offers Google’s own service to find and manage your device remotely. There are also a number of third-party applications designed to find your smartphone. The easiest to use is Find My Device, which is integrated directly into the Android smartphone through Google Play Services; although it can also be used in a browser or downloaded from the Google Play Store. Most devices with Android 2.3 or later should be able to use this feature.

Using the feature is as easy as searching: “Where is my phone?” on Google, which will cause the service to start searching for your smartphone. Find My Device also has the ability to call the phone, set a new password, and have your phone ring from afar, along with a wide variety of other functions that it uses for notifications. While you can set up ahead of time, the service should be available in case your phone is lost or misplaced. It will use Wi-Fi or GPS to help you hunt down your device.

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1.- Go to Settings> Google (or Google Services)> Security and make sure this device’s remote location is enabled in the Find My Device section.
2.- You will probably be asked to log in.
3.-When you open the application or search in the browser, you will see all your devices at the top, so just select the corresponding tab to find the specific device.

If you can’t find your smartphone, you can always clean it to prevent confidential information on it from getting into the wrong hands.

Nevertheless, your device will need an internet connection and enough energy to communicate with you. In Android 5.0 Lollipop, Google also introduced Factory Reset Protection (FRP). It is designed to prevent potential thieves from stealing your phone, cleaning 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 will be prompted to enter the username and password of the last Google account that was registered on the device, and if this cannot be done, the phone will remain locked.

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There are also third-party apps that you can install to more easily find your phone. Cerberus Anti-theft is a great application 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 photos to catch the potential thief, and other more detailed notifications that Find My Device does not offer if your device is rooted. There are even more features available to prevent someone from restarting or shutting down the device until you can recover it.

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Another option for certain Samsung smartphones is the Find My Mobile service. It can be used to locate a lost phone, lock it, or erase it entirely. However, you will need a Samsung account and the remote control options enabled on your phone. To check and see if Find My Mobile is available for your smartphone, you must follow these steps:

1.- Go to Settings> Biometrics and security.

2.- If you see Find My Mobile in the menu, you can use the service.
3.- Activate the Remote Controls options through Settings> Biometrics and security> Find my mobile> Remote controls.

Find a lost iPhone, or another cell phone

The best way to find your iPhone is with the application 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 app to see this feature. We use a lost iPad with iOS 13 as an example.

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1.- Select Settings> Apple ID (name)> Find My.

2.- This will take you to the Find My section, where you must touch Find My iPhone to turn it on if it is off. (Note: it should never be off).

3.- With Find My iPhone activated, tap the switches Enable offline search and Send last location. Those help you determine where you last left your phone, in case internet services are turned off.

4.- With those controls ready, go back to Settings> Apple ID and scroll down to see all your devices in a list.

5.- Touch the device you are missing and it takes you to a section of Device Information which allows you to search for it directly.

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6.- Touch Find My (iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch) and then tap Show in Find My iPhone and a map will appear showing your exact location and directions on how to get there.

7.- 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.

8.- You also have the option to erase the device, in case it is in the wrong hands.

9.- Find my iPhone can also locate your Mac, iPod and iPad. It is an effective tool for tracking almost any iOS device.

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How to find your “not so” smart phone

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 no one has stolen it. Now, if your phone is really lost and in the hands of someone else, they will probably answer you if they intend to return it.

2.- Go back after your steps. Do a full visual search. If you can’t hear a buzzer or vibration when you call, don’t assume it’s lost, or that someone has stolen it – its battery might just be dead.

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3.- Send a text message to your phone. If you think someone has stolen it or found it on the bus, taxi, or café you were in, send a message with your contact information, email address, landline number, and promise of reward — if you decide. do it. There are many online services that allow you to send free text messages, such as txt2day.com.

4.- Alert your service provider. If you’ve given up hope of finding it, call your wireless provider and let them know that your phone has been lost. 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-smartphone. This FCC page has a handy list of numbers to call.

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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 in Immobilize.

6- Prepare for the next time you lose your phone. Maybe you are one of those people who is always losing their phone (I don’t know about you, but I have several friends who are a real mess with their phones …) If this is the case, consider signing up for a tracking service like AccuTracking .

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