How to Track and Recover a Lost Smartphone

Introduction

If you lose or misplace your phone there is some options you have to try and locate it. Every major platform has their methods of searching for missing devices. This guide will walk you though some ways to find your missing phone.

As a preparatory step, the first thing we'll do is ensure that location services are on. You can skip that step if you don't have your phone.

Lost Phone logo

General Requirements

  • Phone must be powered on.
  • Phone must have an internet connection.
  • GPS/Location Service must be enabled.

? What type of smartphone do you have?

  1. Apple iPhone
  2. Android phone
  3. Windows phone

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If you lose or misplace your phone there is some options you have to try and locate it. Every major platform has their methods of searching for missing devices. This guide will walk you though some ways to find your missing phone.

As a preparatory step, the first thing we'll do is ensure that location services are on. You can skip that step if you don't have your phone.

Lost Phone logo

General Requirements

  • Phone must be powered on.
  • Phone must have an internet connection.
  • GPS/Location Service must be enabled.
  1. Open Settings on your phone or tablet.
    iOS Settings.
  2. Select Privacy.
    Settings with Privacy highlighted.
  3. Select Location Services.
    Privacy settings with Location Services highlighted.
  4. Make sure Location Services is turned On at the top. Look through the list of programs below, and make sure Cam Remote has "While Using" or "Always" selected.
    Location services with the on off switch highlighted.

Requirements

In order to track your phone, a few requirements must be met.

  • Device must be powered on
  • Device must be either connected to cellular data or Wi-Fi
  • Device must be signed into an iCloud account
  • Device must have location services enabled
  • Find My Device must be enabled on the missing device.
  1. Navigate to https://www.icloud.com/#find in a web browser.
    Browser Address Bar with https://www.icloud.com/#find typed in
  2. If prompted, Sign In.
    1. Type in your Apple ID and then click the arrow.
    2. Type in your Apple ID password and then click the arrow.
  3. Verify you are signed into the correct account that your device is associated with. You will see your name showing in the top right corner of the web page.
    SIgned In
  1. If you are not directly taken to the Find iPhone page, click the Find iPhone button.
    Find iPhone button
  2. Click All Devices.
    All Devices
  3. Select your device from the list that is missing.
  4. If your device is locatable, it will show up on the map.
    Map showing located device
  5. If you still can't find your phone, you can click Play Sound to attempt a verbal approach to finding your device.
    Play Sound button highlighted
  6. If you are still unable to locate your device, you can use Lost Mode to have an e-mail notification sent if your device goes online.
    Lost Mode button highlighted
There is some 3rd party apps and services that can also assist you with finding lost devices. Try checking with any 3rd party services you may have setup to find your phone.
  1. Click on your profile name.
    Profile name highlighted
  2. Click Sign Out.
    Sign Out highlighted
  1. Type in your Apple ID and then click the arrow.
    Apple ID sign in page
  2. Type in your Apple ID password and then click the arrow.
    Apple ID sign in page

Directions to enable location services may differ based on your manufacture's design. The following were taken from an Android device running Android 8 (Oreo)

  1. Swipe down on phone to access quick settings.
    Quick Settings
  2. Tap on the Settings gear.
    Settings Gear Highlighted
  3. Tap on Security & Location.
    Security & Location highlighted
  4. Tap on Location.
    Location highlighted
  5. Make sure the toggle is turned On.
    Toggle highlighted

Requirements

In order to track your phone, a few requirements must be met.

  • Device must be powered on
  • Device must be either connected to cellular data or Wi-Fi
  • Device must be signed into a Google account
  • Device must be visible on Google Play
  • Device must have location services enabled
  • Device must have Find My Device turned on
  1. Navigate to https://myaccount.google.com/ in a web browser.
    Browser address bar with https://myaccount.google.com/ typed in
  2. If prompted, sign in.
    1. In the top right corner click the Sign In button.
    2. Type in your email address and click Next.
    3. Type in your password and hit Next.
    4. If you have 2 Step Verification, you will be prompted to follow additional instructions.
  3. Verify you are signed into the correct account by looking at at the profile icon located in the top right hand corner of the screen.
    Profile icon highlighted
  1. Click Find your phone.
    Find your phone highlighted
  2. Click on the device you are trying to locate.
  3. You may click Ring to attempt a verbal approach to finding your phone or you may click locate to attempt to locate the device.
    Ring and Locate buttons highlighted
  4. If your device is located it will show up on a map.
    Map showing phone location
  1. Click the profile icon in the top right of the page.
    Profile icon highlighted
  2. Click Sign Out.
    Sign Out
  1. In the top right corner click the Sign In button.
    Sign In
  2. Type in your email address and click Next.
  3. Type in your password and hit Next.
    Sign In page
  4. If you have 2 Step Verification, you will be prompted to follow additional instructions.
  1. Tap on the Notifications button.
  2. Ensure location services is enabled. It will be highlighted if it is enabled.
    Location highlighted

Requirements

In order to track your phone, a few requirements must be met.

  • Device must be powered on
  • Device must be either connected to cellular data or Wi-Fi
  • Device must be signed into a Google account
  • Device must be visible on Google Play
  • Device must have location services enabled
  • Device must have Find My Device turned on
  1. Navigate to https://account.microsoft.com/devices/ in a web browser.
    Navigating to account.microsoft.com/devices
  2. If prompted, sign in.
    1. Type in your Microsoft account username and click Next.
    2. Enter your password and click Sign in.
  3. In the top right corner of the web page, verify you are signed into the correct Microsoft account associated with your Windows device.
    Microsoft Account.
  1. Find your device in the list and click Find this device.
    Find my device highlighted
  2. If your device is locatable, it will show up on a map.
    Map
  1. Click on your profile icon, then click Sign Out.
    Signing out of Microsoft account.
  1. Type in your Microsoft account username and click Next.
  2. Enter your password and click Next.
    Password Box
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