There are a ton of apps out there that can harness the ability of your GPS to pinpoint your phone’s location. They can be the perfect solution if you had the foresight to install them before you lost your phone. But maybe you are just like the rest of us—you like to wait until the situation is a disaster of immense proportions until you realize you need to take action. No app is going to help you now. Your phone is lost.
Or is it?
With the right app alternative, or software that came with your phone, there is no need for your Android stay lost. We’re going to discuss some solutions that don’t require any preventative effort on your part.
Alright, so one of them is an app, but hear me out. This app is special because it can function remotely. Unfortunately, it does need to be registered from the phone itself.
If you are still using Android 2.3 Gingerbread or lower, you will probably find it worthwhile to check out Lookout’s Plan B. The download is right below, or you can search for it in Google Play. If it’s actually tracking apps you are after, read the article below. If you are running a newer OS, let’s explore some more options.
Must Read: 10 Best Android Tracking App to Find It All
Method 1: Use Google’s Android Device Manager to Help You Out
Google not only does search engines really well; it also can conduct searches for your device. Android Device Manager can also be used to ring, erase, or lock your Android. There are a few requirements.
Your device does need to be connected to your Google Account. If you are searching for a device with multiple users, only the owner will find the Manager to be of much use. Android Device Manager’s “Remotely locate this device” does have to be switched on through “Security” located in Google Settings.
Pay a visit to Android Device Manager.
- You can gain access to its website by going through your Google Account.
- You can use the Android Device Manager app.
- You must accept the Terms and Conditions.
- Or you can use an Android Wear Device if it’s connected to Bluetooth and your device is in close proximity.
- Initiate by saying the phrase “OK Google” or by touching any blank space on your screen.
- Find and touch “Start.”
- Tap on “Find My Phone.”
The site will automatically attempt to track your phone.
If there are multiple devices, click the arrow next to your missing device.
You can view the device’s location, ring your phone, or wipe its data.
- No PC is required. You can use someone else’s Android to track your device, but they will have to download the Android Device Manager app.
- You can also use Android Device Manager to add a different contact number to your device’s lock screen.
- Once you’ve selected your device, select “Lock.”
- Type a contact number in the “Phone Number (optional)” field.
- A message will show up on the device itself, stating that it’s been located. If someone has stolen your phone, this might be enough to scare them off. Under no circumstances should you try to confront them, though. Contact the police if necessary.
Method 2: Use Your Google Account’s “Find Your My Phone” Feature
This method allows you simply to use Google’s search engine on your computer.
Log in to the same Google account on your browser that corresponds to the one you use on your phone.
Google uses some of the same features from Android Device Manager in its search engine.
Type “Find My Phone” into Google’s search engine.
You can also use the phrase “Where is my phone?” or “Lost Android.”
Be patient while Google displays a map that pinpoints your device.
When your device is found you can cause it to ring by clicking the “Ring” option in the bottom-left corner.
Method 3: Use Your Timeline (Previously Google Maps Location History)
This is perhaps the best solution when your phone isn’t turned on.
Go to “Your Timeline.”
You will need to go in through your personal Google Account history.
If you were previously unaware your device was doing this, the tracking can seem a little creepy, but it’s useful for our purposes.
Select today’s date on the calendar.
Click “Show Timestamps.”
- Show Timestamps is located underneath the calendar.
- To the left, a list of all recorded locations should appear, as well as a corresponding timeline.
- If your phone has died, you might still be able to search for it at its last location.
Method 4: Use Your Manufacturer’s Site.
You will need access to the Internet and it’s highly likely your device will need to be registered on its website. This method is very similar to the Google “Find My Phone” method discussed earlier.
Go to the manufacturer’s or cellular provider’s website.
- You will need to use a search engine if you don’t know it off the top of your head.
- Some search terms you might find useful are “How to use (fill in manufacturer name) website to find lost Android.
For example, you can find Sony devices by going to www.myxperia.sonymobile.com.
If it doesn’t happen automatically, sign in.
Ensure your device is connected to your account.
Select any available and applicable “Locate my device” option. If you don’t see any option with that verbiage, click on your device icon.
A lot of manufacturers will also give you more choices, like locking your device, erasing its data, or giving it a ring.
Method 5: Use Samsung Galaxy Gear or Gear 2 To Find Your Samsung.
Samsung Galaxy Gear also offer an auto lock feature to provide security when you walk away from your phone. This method will only work if your device is within Bluetooth range of Galaxy Gear or Gear 2.
From Apps, tap on “Find my device”.
You can find Apps by swiping to the left.
This will light up your Samsung’s display and cause your smartphone to emit a loud noise.
Stop the search when your device is found.
- Tap “Stop” on Galaxy Gear.
- You can also swipe the “X” on your smartphone.
- How is this different than calling your phone? It’s not by much. However, it can be helpful if your phone is on silent.
- Feeling a buzz on your wrist when you get close may prove helpful as well.
Method 6: Find Your Device Using Lost Android.
Although technically an app, it is one that offers a lot of features that can be executed remotely. Just to name a few, you can read sent and received SMS messages, send SMS from a web page, erase your SD card, create a message pop-up, forward calls, start or stop GPS and Wi-Fi, receive a call list, take pictures, use text-to-speech, start or stop the data connection, and more. Did I mention that this is free? Once you get your phone back, this is the app to install.
Download Android Lost from the Google Play Store.
- The device does need to be logged into your Google Account in order for the app to function.
Open Lost Android.
Request Administrator Rights.
- Tap on the button in the middle of the app screen.
Go to www.androidlost.com.
- You can use your Google Account sign-in to access the app.
Click on the “Controls” menu to start controlling your phone from afar.
- You should see a pop-up message confirming the connection between the phone and the website.
If you don’t have this active on your device, one of the other methods might work for you. But remember, you don’t want to wait until it is too late to think about how you can get your phone back if it’s lost. Take the time and install or activate a way for you to get it back.
Which method worked the best for you or what advice do you have on how to disable encryption on the Nexus 6? Send us your thoughts on all of these topics.