Where is my phone? Here’s how to track, find and block a lost smartphone – Android and iOS

In the current world of technology, do you ever wonder that if you lose your phone, how can you track it? Here how to find out where your phone is.

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Wondering "Where is my phone"? Here's how you can find your lost smartphone.

In the current world of technology, do you ever wonder that if you lose your phone, how can you track it? It is one of the most frightening experiences, indeed, because apart from the fact that you lose an expensive device, you also have your personal data, images, and perhaps your financial details stored in there. Your smartphone is basically a treasure trove for not only thieves but also for hackers and cyber criminals. Fortunately, there are a few ways to recover smartphones. However, prevention is better than cure and that essentially means that you need to have a system in place to help you in such situations. Having said that, there might still be ways to recover your device, even if preventative measures were not taken. Here is a list of ways to find or track your phone, using apps or otherwise.

How to find and Android smartphone: Have you lost you Android phone? Here are two ways to track it down. If your smartphone is still switched on and there is a signal, you will be able to track it from you PC using “Device Manager”. If your device seems to be switched off or out of coverage area, you will be able to check the smartphone’s last reported location from a PC. In order to use “Device Manager”, you will have to sign into the Google account (which you used on your phone) from a PC or another phone. This should prompt Google’s Device Manager to show you your device’s location on a ‘Google Maps’ page. In the Device Manager, there are more options which you can make use of, including locking your phone, making the phone ring, or remotely wipe its contents and data clear. You can check the phone’s last recorded location by visiting the webpage: “”. Once there, you will have to click on “Places You Go,” and “Manage History.” It should be noted that these services are dependent on Wi-Fi and mobile signals instead of GPS, hence it will not be as correct as the Device Manager while locating your phone.

How to find you Apple iPhone: The best way to try and locate a lost iPhone is to use the app called “Find My iPhone”. You are needed to download the through the Apple Appstore if it is not present on your device. This feature is quite accurate. However, in order to work, it is important that the iPhone is switched on and connected well with the web. You will have to use a PC or another phone, to log into your iCloud service and choose “Find My iPhone” option. Once you open it, the location of you iPhone will appear on a map. You can use this to track your phone’s movement. Interestingly, a ‘Find My iPhone’ feature enables you to also remotely make your iPhone make sounds. This can alert you or other people near your device). You can also send a message with contact information to your iPhone, as well as clear the data and pictures off your device.

Here are some of the apps which you can use to find your lost phone:

Family Locator: This app enables users to create a group with your friends and family where you can keep track of where they are via their smartphone. This essentially means that the app will also help you in recovering your phones. The best part is you can control who can find you or your phone. The bad part is that this app is a people locator, not a device locator. This means it does not have many popular features like device locking or wiping. Still, a decent option.

Cerberus Anti Theft: Cerberus has been a popular anti-theft app for a long time now. It has a diverse set of features that includes locking and resetting your phone, sounding alarms, displaying messages on screen for thieves to read, and it even has access to the front facing camera so you can take a picture of the thief. You can also hide ‘Cerberus’ from the app drawer so people do not suspect that it is present in the phone. Check out this app, it has good features.

Pre-Anti Theft: Prey is an app that has been around for some time now, and it has garnered the trust of the people, according to its reviews. Its entire purpose is to help you find your phone if it goes missing. However, it is also more lightweight than something like Cerberus. It has the basic features like finding your phone, locking your device, and setting off an alarm. You will also be able to take pictures to see where your device may be and gather network information to see where your device has been. It is not all that different from Android Device Manager and may function well as a backup to that. It’s also completely free

Other manufacturer apps: Some manufacturers like Samsung and HTC, have “find my phone” features built into their devices. Generally, you have to sign up for an account through the company. You can then use that account to find your phone. The services are usually free and the phone will usually prompt you to set these accounts up when you first turn on your phone. There is no list of which exact phones have this feature, so you will have to check if your device has one.

How to use IMEI to find your phone?
The IMEI, or International Mobile Station Equipment Identity, is a 15-digit number that is hardwired into every phone. This number, because it’s unique to each phone, means it can be used to track your lost or stolen device. You will have to file a FIR at the nearest police station and then contact the manufacturer of your phone to locate or lock the smartphone.

How to find your IMEI number:
For Apple iPhone: 1. Go to Settings, 2. Go to General, 3. Go to About, 4, Scroll down to IMEI
For Android smartphones: 1. Turn off your cell phone, 2. Remove the battery cover, 3. Remove the battery, 4. Find your IMEI number from the label on the back of your phone.
This number can also be accessed by dialling *#06# and it is advisable to make a note of it as soon as you purchase your handset.

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First published on: 23-06-2017 at 17:55 IST