Locate your cell phone: how to find your smartphone again

Locate cell phone in case of loss

Some things on the cell phone should really be set by everyone. The cell phone tracking is also one of them. Because no matter if it’s stolen or just because you’re a bit scatterbrained – if your phone is gone, you’ll track it down again with location: and it’s free of charge. You don’t need a special app, Android and iOS have everything you need to locate your cell phone.

  • Cell phone tracking via GPS, WLAN and mobile network possible
  • Possible for both Android and iOS
  • No additional software needed
  • In an emergency: Delete data remotely

There are days when you lose and days when you can’t win. If you have a bad day, it can also happen that you lose your cell phone. Because not only prototypes of smartphones are often stolen, every day cell phones are left in trains, buses and subways or are deliberately stolen. But if you take precautions, you can easily locate a cell phone with Android and iOS, block access to it and even remotely delete the data on it.

Locating a cell phone via GPS, WLAN and mobile network

Determining the location of a smartphone is not particularly difficult and works in several ways. When it comes to locating a cell phone, many people first think of GPS – it’s also the most accurate way to determine where a smartphone is within a few meters.

But even with GPS switched off, the location of a cell phone can be determined. Because location is also possible via the mobile phone provider’s transmission towers, but this is not quite as accurate as via GPS.

In addition, you can also use known WLANs in the area to locate the phone. Android and iOS use all of these techniques to determine location. If you have lost your cell phone, you can use all these options. But there’s one thing you should know in advance: You need to set up cell phone tracking so you can locate it in an emergency.

Locate Android smartphones: here’s how to do it

Google also offers a lost cell phone location service for phones running Android. For this to work, you must have the "Find my device" function on your smartphone activate. To do this, go to the app "Settings and navigate to the security settings.

Depending on the manufacturer, you can find this under the item "Security, "Device security", "Security& Location" or similar. Activate the function "Find my device" in the security menu. In addition, you must go to the settings for the "Connections" or "Location – depending on the manufacturer and model – make sure that the location services of your phone are activated.

  • If you lose your phone, you have to go to the Android website android.go to com/find and log in with your Google account. Click on the device you lost on the page. Now Google determines the location of your Android device and displays it on a Google Maps map.
    If the service cannot find the cell phone, for example because it is switched off, it shows the last known location. On the device now appears simultaneously a message that you have reported the phone as lost.
  • Alternatively, you can locate your Android smartphone with another device and the app "Find my device" search. The app is available in the Google Play Store. If you use your own second device with the same Google account, you can search directly for the lost device. If you use the app on a friend’s smartphone, you have to log in to the app as a guest with your Google account.

Now you have several options on Android as well. You can let the phone ring to find it, if it is close by. lock the device so that no unauthorized person can access your Android phone. At the same time you can send a message or phone number to the lock screen, so that an honest finder can return the smartphone to you.

By the way, some Android smartphone manufacturers also offer their own location services, which all work very similarly to the Google service. For Samsung, for example, the service is called "Find My Mobile".

Locate iPhone free of charge via iCloud

If you have lost your iPhone, you can find your phone by using the "Find my iPhone" feature or, if you have already installed the latest iOS 13, via the app "Where is the iPhone??" locate and retrieve. The whole thing works via the iCloud service. Of course, to use the service you need to set it up on the device before it gets lost. And it works like this:

"Where is?" for iOS 13: In order to find your iPhone with the new iOS 13, you first need to enable the location services on the device. To do this, go to the app "Settings and then go to the menu item "Privacy. Here you need to use the "Location Services" activate. After that, go to your user account in the settings and select "Where is the location of your smartphone??" and then "Find My iPhone from. Activate the functions "Find my iPhone, "Enable offline search" and "Send last location.

iOS 12 or older: Go to your user account in the settings of the phone and in the menu item "iCloud". Scroll down and tap on the entry "Find my iPhone". Activate here the items "Find my iPhone" and "Send last location.

If you are unfortunate enough to have lost your iPhone, you can easily locate it using the iCloud service. You have various options for this:

  • With a PC or Mac: In your browser, go to the icloud website.com/find and log in with your iCloud ID. Call the "Find my iPhone" function at. Here you can see the location of your phone on a map. In case of emergency, you can switch the device to the "Lost" mode at this point move it "lock or delete the device.
  • With another iPhone or iPad of your own: Open the app "Where’s the last location" on your second device?" and tap there on "Devices. If you select the lost phone, you can also show it on a map, where the iPhone is located, mark it as "lost" or, if you already have the current iOS phone, mark it as "lost" mark or delete your personal data remotely.
  • With a friend’s iPhone: In this case, also open the app "Where is my iPhone??", tap on the "Me" tab and select the option "Help a friend". Now you have to log in with the Apple ID of your own iPhone and then you can also locate the smartphone, mark it as lost or delete the data.

Stolen phone? Lock smartphone!

Being able to locate a phone is one thing – if it shows that it’s just at a friend’s house, everything is fine. But if you notice that the phone moves, for example, because a thief has it in his fingers, you can take further measures. For example, Apple and Google allow you to lock your smartphone remotely as well as track it.

At the same time you can display a message on the device, such as your landline number with a request for a call. A signal can also be played on the smartphones in this way to alert people in the vicinity.

Delete smartphone data as a last resort

If you are not sure that you will ever see your phone again, you can go one step further and remotely erase all the data on your phone. But be careful: this step really deletes all data on the smartphones and thus a new location is no longer possible. This can also be done via Google’s "Find my device" or via Apple’s iCloud portal.

In any case, you should also contact your cell phone provider if you have lost your phone. Because the locks your SIM card and thus prevents the use of SMS and phone services – so no additional costs are incurred. And maybe even the loss of your device is covered by your mobile phone contract. If you have taken out extra insurance for your cell phone, you should report the loss there: You will need the insurance number and the IMEI number, i.e. the serial number of the device. In case of theft, you can file a report with the police.

tracking services of the manufacturers or security apps

In addition to the solutions mentioned above, Samsung also offers an in-house service to locate a lost cell phone: FindMyMobile. If the manufacturer of a smartphone has not developed its own app, there are also third-party applications, such as "Find my cell phone" or security software like "Avast Mobile Security".

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