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How to Find Your Phone Using Google Find My Device

Bag, wallet, keys, phone…

These are the things that I always check before I leave my house — and for a good reason, right? Losing any of these would be such a hassle, and it could affect your entire day.

So, what if your phone gets stolen or misplaced? Now we have a problem.

When you lose your phone, you don’t just lose an expensive gadget. Unless you have a cloud backup, you also lose hundreds of contacts, important emails from work, cute photos of your pet, and a whole lot more!

Fortunately for you, it might not be too late just yet, because there’s still a way to find your phone.

How?

Well, by using Google Find My Device. That’s how.

What’s Google Find My Device?

Find My Device is a feature created by Google to help locate lost devices running on Android 4.4 and up.

Google Find My Device was formerly known as Android Device Manager. Its forefront was that it can be used to remotely unlock your Android phone or tablet using a different device, as long as you have the logins of your Google account.

It was then, however, in 2017 that Google updated it and ditched the unlock feature because some users found it troublesome. At the same time, Google also changed its name to Find My Device.

On the other hand, Google kept important features that let you lock your device or make it ring.

For now, we’ll first talk about how to locate your Android phone using Google Find My Device.

3 Steps in Locating Your Lost Android Phone with Find My Device

Whenever you forget where you placed your phone — or it gets stolen, God forbid — it’s all finding a needle in a haystack from there. Luckily, Google made it easier to locate our Android devices with only three simple steps.

1. Access Find My Device

Go to google.com/android/find using a computer or any other device with internet.

Find My Device sign in interface
Signing in to My Google Device

2. Sign-in Find My Device

After that, you will see the interface of Find My Device as shown below.

Google Find My Device Interface with Google Maps
Google Find My Device Interface

3. Choose your device

Find My Device select device
Select Your Device

After choosing a device, the map on the side of the interface will automatically populate like in the image below.

Find My Device interface with a located device
Android Device Located

If you click or tap on the green icon in the map, a new tab will open another map interface. In this map, Google will show the details of the location of your device like in the image below.

Google Maps interface
Approximate Location of Android Device

Note that this is only an approximate location of your device. However, it is still useful if you want to know if your phone is at home, or if you need to know at least the area where your phone is.

If you’re convinced that your phone is truly lost, you can choose from the three options that Find My Device will let you do. 

Must Read: 10 Best Find My Android Phone Apps to Bust a Thief

Google Find My Device Remote Options

The latest version of Find My Device as of 2019 boasts three options that you can choose from, namely Play Sound, Secure Device, and Erase Device. These options allow you to control your phone remotely, and hopefully eventually get it back.

Play Sound

The Play Sound option allows you to make your phone ring even if it’s on silent. The ringing will last for five minutes, or until you click or touch the “Stop Ringing” button like in the image below.

Find My Device Play Sound interface
Play Sound Selected

When you have finally found your phone, you can also stop the ringing by pressing the power key on your device.

This is my personal favorite because, with this option, you can easily find your phone if you don’t have another device to make it ring. I’ve used this option a couple of times now, and it has helped assure me that I don’t have to panic because my phone is just around.

Secure Device

The Secure Device option allows you to remotely lock your device with your PIN, password, or pattern and logs it out of your Google account. It also lets you leave a message and a phone number to notify whoever lost it.

When you select the Secure Device option, your screen will show an interface like in the image below.

Find My Device Secure Device interface
Secure Device Selected

I deliberately used this option with my phone to give you guys a better view of what it looks like when you select this option, so you guys owe me big. Kidding.

Find My Device on the screen
Find My Device on the screen
Lock screen in Google's Find My Device
Lock screen in Google’s Find My Device

And as expected, my phone was logged out of my Google account, and a notification like in the image below will appear on your phone.

Screenshot of notifications
“Account Activation Required” Notification

This, of course, is only visible as soon as your phone has been successfully unlocked by you or someone else.

If your phone has been unlocked, Find My Device will show a notification text below the interface.

Find My Device interface with Lock Screen Has Been Unlocked notification
Lock Screen Has Been Unlocked

Erase Device

I like to call this option as “the point of giving up.”

Why? Well, because the Erase Device option will literally erase everything on your phone, and you will no longer be able to locate your device.

This, of course, is permanent. Hence, never choose this option if you still believe that you’ll get your phone back.

The image below shows the interface of the Erase Device option. You’ll notice that it says that your phone will have to be online for the data wipe to be successful, but the erasing will still push through as soon as the device is online.

Erase Device interface
Erase Device Selected

Before Anything Else

Now, all of the above options will not be executable if your phone doesn’t follow some conditions set by Google.

Find My Device will only be usable if your Android device is:

  1. Turned on
  2. Signed in to your Google Account
  3. Connected to the internet
  4. Visible on Google Play
  5. Location-enabled
  6. Find My Device active

I know what you’re thinking. You’re probably worried about your phone’s battery life. I don’t blame you, I was at first, too. So what I do is, I always turn on my phone’s GPS or location whenever I go out.

Just to be safe, though, you should get yourself a power bank. Since you’re here, I linked Amazon’s best selling power bank down below. It’s called Anker PowerCore, and it can charge up to three devices. It’s also compact, light, and, best of all, it has fast charging capabilities. Don’t hesitate to check it out!

Anker Power bank

Anyway, just in case you’re not sure if your phone’s Find My Device is active, go to Settings>Security & Location (or Google > Security) > Find My Device. If your Settings has the search feature, just type Find My Device, and it should appear.

Never Lose Your Phone Again

Before this technology, we only prayed and hoped that we get our phone back. With luck, it could just be lying underneath your bed or hiding in the depths of your couch.

However, if your phone gets stolen, chances are you’ll never find it again. With Google Find My Device, you can at least have a clue about the proximity of your phone. Plus, you can bring the cops with you and catch that ne’er-do-well.

So next time you lose your phone and Find My Device helped you get it back, don’t forget to thank Google.

Have you ever successfully located your Android device with Google Find My Device? Share us your story in the comments below!

Next Read: Find My Phone Android

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