Locate cell phone for free: android and ios

Locate cell phone for free: android and ios

You have misplaced or lost your cell phone? It may even have been stolen from you? No matter in which way your smartphone got lost- there is a simple solution. This is how both iPhones and Android devices can be conveniently located. The iPhones rely on Apple’s own cloud service "iCloud". In contrast, owners of a smartphone with Android OS can rely on a customized app. This was created by Google specifically for the locating. In the following, we would like to take a look at the topic of free smartphone tracking.

Smartphone lost? For many the supergau

Surely it also happens to you from time to time that you have misplaced your smartphone. This is completely normal. Since people carry iPhones and Android smartphones with them around the clock these days, they are more than happy to leave them. After the initial panic has been overcome, most people quickly adopt a pragmatic approach. Who has a second phone in the house or partner resp. A person who can ask a roommate for a call will first try to reach his or her own smartphone. If you don’t hear a ringtone now, you may rightly panic. After all, the device no longer seems to be around. But here you don’t have to throw in the towel just yet. After all, there are also other ways to find your smartphone. This is how both iPhones and Android smartphones can be conveniently located. Those using this service for the very first time may be afraid of horrendous costs. But this is completely unjustified. In the meantime, you can locate your cell phone easily and, above all, free of charge. However, in order for this to work in an emergency, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Let’s take a look at smartphone tracking.

Locating with and without GPS possible

Of course, one must first activate the location on the smartphone to be able to locate it in a worst case scenario. As a rule, one makes use of another smartphone, tablet or PC when locating it. A particularly practical feature is that GPS does not have to be activated on the lost smartphone. Finally, the tracking also makes use of other smartphone functions. Of course, this will access GPS if it is turned on.

Locate cell phone for free: android and ios

If no GPS data is available, corresponding programs alternatively use the nearby mobile phone masts as well as possible WLAN connections. Even if you don’t need GPS, a signal that is switched on usually makes locating much easier. As a rule of thumb, tracking is most accurate when as many parameters as possible can be used for tracking. Accordingly, tracking is most difficult when the smartphone is switched off. Then you can only view the last known location of the device.

Most convenient location via PC

Many tracking options offer you different ways to track your smartphone. This way you can not only use your PC or notebook, but also another smartphone. Of course, you can also use a tablet with a suitable application. However, those who have the possibility should in the best case make use of a PC or notebook for locating the device. For the vast majority of users, this is simply the most convenient way to find the lost smartphone.

Locate iPhone for free

As soon as you have your new iPhone in your hands, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared for emergencies. Accordingly you should enable the tracking of your iPhone during the setup process. The lynchpin of tracking Apple’s expensive smartphone is the iCloud. In combination with your personal Apple ID this will help you to find your iPhone again. While you have to activate the tracking manually, the Apple ID is usually stored on the iPhone by default. After all, you need this for such basic interactions as the app download from the Apple Store. If you are an iPhone user and don’t have an Apple ID yet, it is advisable to set it up not only for tracking, but also for other basic functions.

Locate cell phone for free: android and ios

To lay the foundation for tracking your iPhone, you need to do this in the settings. Here you go to the item "Apple ID and select the item "Where is?“. Here you can set the tracking functions of your iPhone in detail. Under the item "Find my iPhone you set the sliders now in the best case at "Find my iPhone", „Network where is" and "Send last location on green. To locate the iPhone now, you can use your iCloud. This software allows you to locate your smartphone from any browser under the following link. Of course not every random person can locate your iPhone. Prerequisite is the registration of your Apple ID. Here you will see the last known location of the device.

Locate Android smartphone for free

Of course, your Android smartphone can be easily located as well. This has been possible for several generations of Android OS. The developer Google also relies on a fixed implementation of the location function. As a counterpart to the Apple ID, the basis for locating an Android smartphone is a suitable Google account. But this is not the only parallel. On top of that, you need to be logged in with the appropriate account on the device in question. Last but not least, it is necessary to enable the location determination. Unlike the iPhone, however, there can be differences within Android depending on the device.

Locate cell phone for free: android and ios

First you should go to the general "Settings Go. Here you have to select the item "Location or "Security& Location" select. Now you have the option of "high accuracy tracking" to activate. This is necessary in order to enable tracking. However, in order to be able to locate your smartphone in case of emergency, you must explicitly activate the option "Find my device" activate. Depending on the Android version, you will find this point under "Security", „Google Security or "Security& Location". As uncomplicated as you can set up the tracking, as simple is the tracking of the smartphone. For this you just have to use the appropriate Google service "Find my device" use. ÄAs with Apple, you simply log in with your Google account. The map will show you the last known location of your smartphone.

What to do if your cell phone disappears without a trace?

If all goes well, you can locate your iPhone or Android smartphone as described above. But what happens if it disappeared without a trace? To limit the damage to the value of the device, you should then lock or delete the phone. Fortunately, the services for iPhone and Android smartphones will help you in this case as well.

Lock smartphone

To prevent anyone from messing with your phone, it’s best to lock it. For this you can use iCloud for iPhone and Device Manager for Android smartphone. Of course, you don’t have to be on the device itself to do this. Another particularly practical feature is the ability to have a message displayed on the smartphone. If you still believe in the good in people, you can encourage an honest finder to contact you with a suitable short message.

Play ringtone

Maybe your phone is in a place where no one has found it yet?! In this case, you can activate a handy signal tone. So, for example, if you leave your device in the suburban train or the bus, other people can find it like this.

Clear data

Ultima Ratio is to wipe the phone. You should really only consider this if you are sure you will never get it back. Again, you can use the features of Apple’s iCloud and Google’s "Find My Device" use. Be aware, however, that once the deletion process is completed, further tracking is no longer possible.


Certainly, the location function is a practical matter. After all, this way you can find your lost, expensive smartphone without further costs. However, the item is "free of charge in this area a matter of opinion. Many only have the monetary aspect in mind. But what about your data? Relying on location services inevitably means giving away your location data. This is unavoidable. Since many smartphone users see big tech companies like Apple and Google as giant data octopuses, they don’t use this feature. But here it is worth a look into the settings. This is how you can usually customize the location services to your needs. Google, for example, offers you the possibility to view your "location history" as well as tracking for "web and app activities" to turn off. With Apple, you can regulate the location services so that every app has to ask for permission if it wants to access the location services. So if you take some time, you can reconcile data protection and the ability to locate your lost phone.

alt="Image by Simon Luthje" width="140" height="140" /> Simon Luthje 15. March 2021

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