how to track lost phone

How to Track Your Lost Android Without a Tracking App (6 Methods)

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 to track your lost phone if you had the foresight to install them before you lost your device. 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.

If you’d like to take preventive measures and install an app, we suggest you read our list of  Best Android Tracking App to Find It All.

Method 1: How to Use Google’s Find My Device

Google not only does search engines really well, but it also can conduct searches for your device. Find My Device can also be used to ring, erase, or lock your Android. However, to do this, your device has to be connected to your Google Account.

Step 1: Open Find My Device

There are a few ways to do this:

  • You can gain access to its website by going through your Google Account.
  • You can use the Find My Device app.
  • 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.

If you want to know more about using Find My Device to find your phone, we suggest you read our article: “How to Find Your Phone Using Google Find My Device”.

Method 2: Hot to Use Your Google Account’s “Find Your My Phone” Feature

This method allows you simply to use Google’s search engine on your computer.

Step 1: Log into your Google account on your browser

Google uses some of the same features from Find My Device in its search engine.

Step 2: Type “Find My Phone” into Google’s search engine.

You can also use the phrase “Where is my phone?” or “Lost Android.”

Found Phone
Locate Your Device

Method 3: How to Use Your Timeline (Previously Google Maps Location History)

This is perhaps the best solution when your phone isn’t turned on.

Step 1: 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.

Google Maps Timeline
Timeline and Calendar

Step 2: Select today’s date on the calendar

Step 3: Click “Show Timestamps.”

Show Timestamps is located underneath the calendar. To the left, there is a list of all recorded locations should appear, as well as a corresponding timeline. Even if your phone has died, you might still be able to search for it at its last location.

Method 4: How to Use Your Manufacturer’s Site to Find Your Phone

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.

Step 1: Go to the manufacturer’s or cellular provider’s website and sign in

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.

Manufacturers Website
Motorola Website

Step 2: Select  “Locate my device”

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.

Sony website
Located Sony Phones

Method 5: How to 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.

Step 1: From Apps, tap on “Find my device”

You can find Apps by swiping to the left.

Step 2: Touch “Start.”

This will light up your Samsung’s display and cause your smartphone to emit a loud noise.

Step 3: 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: How to 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.

Step 1: Download Lost Android

Google Play

The device does need to be logged in to your Google Account in order for the app to function.

Step 2: Request Administrator Rights

Tap on the button in the middle of the app screen.

Request Rights
Administrator Rights

Step 3: Go to www.androidlost.com.

You can use your Google Account sign-in to access the app.

Step 4: Click on the “Controls” menu

You should see a pop-up message confirming the connection between the phone and the website.

Find Your Lost Phone – Even without preventive apps!

As you can see, you will have far more options if you are proactive before you lose your phone. Despite this fact, there are still many ways you can find your device. Odds are that you already have the “Remotely locate this device” option enabled and therefore you are ready to use Find My Device to track your phone and even clear data remotely. Google’s “Find My Phone” feature makes locating your device as easy as a Google search.

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? Don’t hesitate to share your opinion with us down in the comments below!

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2 Comments

  1. 2days ago I lost my phone, but I have LEO Privacy on my phone, so I used my preserved number to send the commands. Then I finally found my phone back. I’m so happy for that, so here I want to recommad this app to you all~ hope to help you.

    1. Hi There,
      Thank you for sharing your opinion and your experience with the app. Those looking for one will definitely take into consideration your comment. =-)

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