A cell phone can be located in several ways, but with some methods certain precautions must be taken so that the location actually works in the event of a case. It is therefore "better safe than sorry", because location services may have to be activated first, depending on the brand of cell phone. The following possibilities are available for Cell phone location available:
Locating a cell phone via the mobile network
Basically, an active SIM card is always connected to a cell of the mobile phone provider, so that a connection with the SIM card (phone call, etc.) can be established.) is actually possible at any time. The location via the cell site is also called GSM location. The results are less accurate than with GPS tracking, but you can still get information about the approximate position of the phone.
Since cell phone resp. As smartphones have become an almost constant companion, the anonymized GSM data can also be used to reconstruct movement patterns in the population relatively well. This made it possible to track, for example, how the movement radius of the Austrian population changed during the Corona Lockdowns.
iPhone& Locate Android phone
Many cell phone brands also offer their own locating functions, which can make it easier to find the lost or stolen cell phone. The location is done by analyzing GPS, cellular and WLAN data. The cell phone must also be switched on for this cell phone location, otherwise only the last location when powered on be detected. These steps are necessary for the cell phone tracking of iPhone resp. Android phones necessary:
Locate iPhone – important steps:
Activate the location service on your iPhone to be able to locate your iPhone via another device if you lose it. For this you have to use the function "Find my iPhone"Turn on. This service is offered via iCloud, for which an Apple ID is required.
Locate iPhone: the worst case scenario has happened, your iPhone is lost. You can now locate your iPhone online by calling up in a browser the Apple location service icloud.com/find call
Enter your Apple ID to retrieve the last known location of your iPhone.
Locate Android cell phone – this is how it works
Native location tracking is also provided for Android smartphones. Check your phone under the Google settings, whether under "Security" resp. "Security& Location" the option "Find my device" is activated.
Locate Android smartphone: if the annoying case occurs and your Android smartphone is lost, then you can use the location via Google by using the location service in a browser android.com/find call.
Log in with your Google account on to retrieve the last location of your smartphone; if the smartphone is no longer turned on, the last detected location is displayed. If the smartphone is in operation, then the remaining battery is also displayed.
Cell phone successfully tracked, now what?
If you have successfully located your phone, then different options can usually be used:
Cell phone ringingIf this function is available, you can let your phone ring for a certain period of time – even if it is in vibration or silent mode; this function is especially useful if you have misplaced your smartphone
Show messageYou may also have the option of displaying a message on the screen (for example, a phone number where you can be reached despite the loss of your phone), so that you can get in touch with possible finders of the smartphone
Lock device: in most cases, you can also set up cell phone locks via the native location service
Erase data: if the chance of finding the smartphone again is hopeless, then usually the data can also be deleted via the tracking function. It should be noted, however, that the deletion of data on SD cards may not be possible.
Unsuccessful cell phone tracking, now what??
If your phone was stolen and it can not be found again, then you should block your SIM card. The blocking of the SIM card and reactivation is often subject to a charge by the mobile phone companies. With a Police report for the cell phone theft you can refund these costs. Therefore, report the theft of your smartphone to the police in any case.
Tracking via third-party apps
Cell phone tracking is not only important when a cell phone is lost or the smartphone is stolen. Many parents use location services to better track where their children are on the road. If the cell phone does not offer its own location service, then third-party apps can be used. Some cell phone tariffs for children and teenagers also offer such an additional function.
Third-party tracking apps are mostly available in an unpaid and paid variant. Before you decide to use a paid location service, the app should, if possible, in any case on the cell phone of the children or. test it on the parents’ cell phone – this way you can quickly find out whether the accuracy of the tracking and the handling in the app contribute to satisfactory tracking.
Deactivate tracking function
The tracking function is not always desirable, because it also means that location data is constantly exchanged with the operators of the tracking service. Depending on the operating system, the pre-installed Tracking function deactivated or just not be switched on at all.
What to do if a tracking service is installed unwanted or for stalking purposes? Basically, third-party apps have to inform if a location service is executed by them, mostly this happens via SMS. But if someone tampers with your smartphone without authorization, then the installation can also be done without your knowledge. Therefore, do not leave your cell phone lying carelessly. Also check the installed apps if you suspect that your phone is being tracked in an unwanted way.
What does GPS tracking mean?
GPS stands for Global Positioning System, which allows a location determination via satellites. Most cell phone brands already have an integrated tracking service, which is based, among other things, on the detection of the GPS signal. The Locating via GPS is more accurate than GSM positioning. But again, the phone must be turned on and GPS tracking must be allowed.
What does GSM tracking mean?
The abbreviation GSM stands for Global System for Mobile Communications. GSM is one way to locate a cell phone. The mobile network of the provider is used to determine the approximate position of a cell phone. The Locating via GSM works only when the phone is turned on and an activated SIM card is inserted. This positioning method is less accurate than the GPS variant.
Can you locate a cell phone that has been switched off??
Even a cell phone that is switched off can be located; however, only the position that was last determined when the phone was switched on can be determined. If you have lost your cell phone, you can use the tracking function to find it, even if the battery is flat, probably in the place where you lost it. If your cell phone has been stolen and turned off, then tracking its location is difficult, especially if the SIM card has been removed. When removing the SIM card also only the last place where the smartphone would have been accessible remains visible.
durchblicker – Tip
Better safe than sorry: activating the location function can save a lot of trouble in case of emergency. Also the tariff comparison with the cell phone tariff can save you trouble and money: find simply on-line the optimal cell phone tariff and annoy you not over a high cell phone bill: