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How to Track a Stolen or Lost Android Phone and iPhone

Elsa Updated on Feb 20, 2024 Filed to: Parent Control

We understand how much of a hassle it can be when you can't find your phone. In some cases, it's hidden away in plain sight. However, your phone can also be stolen or lost while away from home. Even if you aren't tech-savvy, you can still salvage the situation if you're well-prepared for such circumstances and respond quickly enough.

track a lost phone

In this article, we will share a few helpful resources on how to track a lost phone.

Part 1. What You Should Do First before Tracking the Stolen or Lost Phone

If you misplace your phone, the best action to find it is to have someone else dial your number. You may hear your phone ring if it is not too far away. In case your phone is muted, you can ring it with the Android Device Manager or Google Home.

Keep in mind that changing your Google password and lock screens is the most sensible thing if your phone is stolen. Make sure that no one has unauthorized access to your information. Don't forget that other devices use the same credentials, so they remain connected.

The thief can access your files, crack the coding of other default programs, or access your images by clicking the sign-in button on your device. To track down your missing Android Phone or iPhone, you'll need to make your phone access to the Internet.

Part 2. How to Track a Stolen or Lost Android Phone

There are different ways to find a lost Android phone, the most effective of which include:

1Find My Lost Phone with Android Device Manager

It's also possible to find a lost Android phone if it's connected to your Google account, has internet access, has location switched on, and ADM is configured to locate it before it disappears. ADM can show the exact position of your smartphone by default, except if you have this feature turned off in settings.

It is easy to locate your phone with ADM if you have a Google account and go to Sign in with your Google account and select the specific device.

Android Device Manager

To get a better idea of your device's position, Google provides you with different options:

  • Setting your phone to ring even if it is set to silent
  • If you didn't already have a screen lock, set up a PIN or pattern lock on it. On the lock screen, you can also include a recovery message. An example is, "Kindly phone this number if you have my device."
  • Erasing all of your device's data.
  • You can use another phone to download the "Find My Device" app from the Google Play store and use the Sign in as guest option to locate your phone.

The downside is that ADM can only tell you where your phone was last seen if your phone has been switched off.

2Find Lost Samsung Phone with Find My Mobile

Even if you don't have a Google account, there are still other ways to track down your lost Samsung phone.

Most Android phones have a default tracking app or some other method of finding the device if it is lost or stolen. Let's have a look at Samsung gadgets. There's a feature called Find My Mobile on Samsung phones, similar to Google's Find My Device. You can use their app or website to look up your phone's location if this setting is enabled.

Find My Mobile

Ensure that this option is enabled at all times. That way, you'll be able to get the last known location of your phone. There are a few more features that make it more user-friendly than Google. It's also possible to back up the phone, retrieve your texts and call history, and even extend the battery life with the Find My Mobile option.

3Locate Lost Phone with AirDroid Lost Phone Locator

In finding a missing Android, AirDroid Family Locator is the best lost phone locator out there. Please make sure your phone with this app installed is already paired and connected with the lost Android phone. It keeps track of the device in real time. As a result, you'd be able to pinpoint its specific location easily. You can also use remote operations to monitor the phone's surroundings.

AirDroid Parental Control

Key Features

  • Track the lost phone in real-time
  • Watch and hear what is happening around the lost phone remotely
  • Get an instant alert if the phone has low power
  • Monitor lost phone activity via screen mirroring

Step 1. Download and install the AirDroid Parental Control on the first device. Create and log into your account.

Step 2. Follow the steps on the first device to install AirDroid Kids on the second device. Then, bind the two devices.

Step 3. You can use the first device to locate the second one. You can click Remote Camera to watch the phone's surroundings. The One-Way Audio function will also let you listen to what is happening around your lost phone.

4With Wireless Carrier

Many carriers have their location tracking function. If you are using T-Mobile, you may also use T-Mobile FamilyWhere to find a missing Android phone. You can report your phone as missing or stolen through your wireless carrier's website or app if you need help knowing where or how to get it back. Remotely locking or erasing your device is also possible using this method.

T-Mobile FamilyWhere

5Video Tutorial: How to Find a Lost or Stolen Android Mobile

How to Find a Phone Lost at a Certain Place

Using a smart speaker to locate a missing phone may be useful if you know it is somewhere in your home. To make it easier to locate your phone, sign in to the same account on both your mobile device and your smart speaker.

You can tell Google to find your phone by saying, "Okay, Google, find my phone," if you have a Google Home HubTM. After that, your smart speaker will confirm your request and ring the device you asked. What's the most exciting part? It will still make a noise, even if you've put your phone on mute or vibrate mode.

Part 3. How to Track a Stolen or Lost iPhone

1 Find My App on Your iPad or Mac

Apple, like Google, offers a simple way to locate a misplaced iPhone. Find My App is available for all Apple users with the latest iOS. When you turn on your Find My Network, you can use the Find My App on any device with the same Apple ID. Even if the device is offline, its last known location can be seen for up to seven days.

To locate lost iPhone with Find My App on your iPad or Mac:

  • Open the Find My App on your iPad or Mac
  • Select the device or item option
  • Choose the device you want to locate on the map. You can locate devices using the same Apple ID or a device added to a family-sharing group.
  • Select "Direction" to open the device location in Maps.
Note: When Find My Network is activated, you can locate any device, whether there is a network connection. However, you may not locate a device on Find My App if more than seven days have passed since the device location was sent or you haven't activated it.

To set up Find My on all your devices:

  • Sign in to the device with your Apple ID.
  • Turn on location sharing.
  • Turn on Find My (iPhone, iPad, iPod, Mac, Apple Watch).
  • An activation lock is turned on to protect the device when lost.

To add your iPhone to Find My App:

  • Connect your device to your Apple ID.
  • Go to settings.
  • Go to (your name) and "Find My."
  • Log in with your Apple ID if you haven't done that.
  • Turn on Find My iPhone.

You can connect all your devices to your Apple ID and turn on Find My Network to locate all devices with the same Apple ID.

To add Mac to Find My App:

  • First, turn on the location service
  • Choose the Apple menu from the icon
  • Go to system settings and click on "privacy and security."
  • On the right, select location services
  • Turn on the location services
  • Turn on Find My in the list of apps using location.
  • Set up Find My on Mac
  • Go back to system settings on the Apple menu
  • Click your profile at the sidebar. If your name doesn't appear, you haven't connected your Apple ID to your device.
  • Sign in with your Apple ID and password to connect your device. If you don't have an ID, create one.
  • Select iCloud and click Find My Mac
  • Turn on Find My Mac
  • Click Allow when prompted to "allow Find My Mac to use the location of your Mac."

2 iCloud Location Tracking

Another way to locate lost iPhones is through iCloud location tracking. Yes, not only can you use iCloud to back up all your files from all your devices (iPad, iPhone, Mac), but you can also track your missing or stolen iPhone. You may even lock the device's screen, erase data, or ring the device.

To locate a lost iPhone using iCloud location tracking;

  • Go to the iCloud website
  • Log in with your Apple ID and password.
  • Select find devices.
  • Click "all devices" to see all the devices connected to your ID.
  • Choose the device you want to locate.
  • The device will be displayed at the center of the "Find My Device" toolbar.
  • If the device cannot be located, it appears offline. But the last known location is displayed on the map.
  • If the device is available, it appears on the map so you can locate it.
  • iCloud location tracking

Note: If more than 24 hours have passed since the device was powered off, you cannot locate it with iCloud location tracking.

3Using Apple Watch

Unlike Find My iPhone, the Apple Watch's search function won't trigger any iCloud emails indicating your device has been sent a noise; it's a much easier and less complex Find feature.

Here's how to use the feature:

Step 1. On your Apple Watch, choose to Find Devices and tap on a device.

Step 2. Press the "Play Sound" button. Suppose the gadget is connected to the Internet For roughly two minutes. In that case, a sound rings out after a small delay and progressively increases volume. The device also makes a buzzing noise (if applicable). The smartphone's screen flashes with a Find My [device] notice.

press Play Sound

Step 3. An additional email is sent to the address associated with your Apple ID to serve as a confirmation. "Sound Pending" is displayed if the device is offline. The sound will play when the device next connects to a Wi-Fi or cellular network.

4Find My App on Other's Device

Find My App is an app that allows iOS users to locate a lost iPhone. When activated, you can find lost iPhones using other devices too. But first, you have to turn on the app.

If you've activated the Find My app, you can find a lost phone with it on other devices.

  • Open the Find My app on another device. You can do that from the device's web browser or by launching the app.
  • Sign in with your Apple ID. Since you're accessing Find My App on other devices, you may need to sign them out first.
  • The sign-out option is at the upper-right corner of the app's screen
  • Login to the Find My app with your own Apple ID after logging the owner out
  • A list of devices will appear below the map with their location displayed.
  • Tap your phone to locate it.
  • The last known location will be displayed if the device has been powered off or has run out of charge.
  • Next, you can "play a sound" if the phone is nearby or "activate lost mode" if it's not nearby or you think it's lost.
Note: The lost mode creates an unlock code for the device. It sends a message and contact number to be displayed on the locked screen.

If the phone is online, it locks immediately. If the device is offline, it will lock once it is powered on.

How to Activate the Find My app:

  • Click on the gear icon on your device to open the device settings.
  • Select "Apple ID." It is at the top of the options. It contains your name and picture if one is added.
  • If you haven't sign-in, tap " sign in to your device."
  • Enter your Apple ID and passcode.
  • Select "sign in."
  • Go to iCloud. It's the next section in the menu options.
  • Under "apps using iCloud," select Find My iPhone.
  • Toggle the switch in front of it to turn it on.
  • Also, turn on the "send the last location" switch. The device will send its location to the app if the battery is very low or about to go off.

Why Is My Daughter's Phone Not Showing Up on Find My iPhone?

Reason 1: Find My iPhone has been disabled.

It's only possible to locate your AirPods, iPhone, or Apple Watch if the Find My iPhone feature is activated on your iPhone or other Apple devices. You can see if FMI is still active by performing the outlined actions.

  • Go to Settings > Apple ID card with your name on it.
  • Select the Find My iPhone option.
  • Turn on the Find My iPhone option if it's turned off.

Reason 2: FMI has been uninstalled.

Your daughter may have uninstalled your FMI app, and that's probably why her iPhone is not showing up in Find My iPhone.

  • Scroll to the bottom of the screen in the Apple Store app.
  • In the upper right corner, tap on the Account option. Then, tap on the Purchased button.
  • Afterwards, tap the "Not on this [device]" button to see if the FMI app has been removed.

Reason 3: iPhone has been turned off.

iPhone's Find My iPhone app will be automatically disabled if the device is switched off. The FMI app always runs in the background when your iOS device is turned on.

We hope these three explanations have addressed your question of why your daughter's iPhone is not showing up on Find My iPhone.The solutions to these issues are straightforward and may be implemented by anyone. Otherwise, you can use the blog to find a solution to the problem of a lost iPhone not appearing in Find My iPhone.

5Google Maps

Google Maps "maps" out all location data from your iPhone. It uses this data to locate a lost iPhone. However, it only works if location reporting and history are enabled on the device.

To locate a lost iPhone on Google Maps;

  • Go to the Google Map website and click Your timeline from the menu.

    Google Maps TimelineGoogle Maps Timeline

  • Log in with your Google account.
  • Click "Today" at the top left side of the screen to display the most recent timeline.

    today's Timeline

  • Scroll through the timeline to identify the last known location of the lost iPhone.
  • Verify if the device is staying still or moving. If it's still, it's probably lost or misplaced. If it's moving, it's probably stolen.
  • Locate your lost iPhone using the GPS displayed on the screen.
Note: If you still need to activate location reporting and history on your iPhone, you cannot use this option.

Protect Privacy and Property If Your Phone Is Stolen

Losing a phone is a stressful experience. Still, if you're not careful, it can also be a major privacy and security concern. In case you have sensitive or private data on your phone, it's crucial to know how to get rid of it as soon as possible after losing the device.

To minimize the risk of unauthorized access to your data, here are the steps you can take to delete data after your phone is lost:

1Remotely Lock the Lost Phone

The lost mode locks the phone and displays a message with contact information and a call button on the screen. You can enable the lost mode for both iPhone and Android.

Enable Lost Mode (iPhone)

  1. You can enable lost mode on your iPhone through iCloud or the Find My app.
  2. Sign in with your Apple ID on the iCloud website.
  3. Select "Find y iPhone."
  4. Select "all devices" from the options.
  5. Select the device you want to activate lost mode on.
  6. Choose lost mode from the options displayed at the bottom.
  7. A message containing the contact information will be displayed on the lost phone for finders to contact the device owner.

Enable Secure Device (Android)

  1. Go to on your web browser.
  2. Sign in with the Google account connected to the device.
  3. The device will be displayed at the top of the screen.
  4. Click the lost phone, and it will get a notification.
  5. The phone's location will be displayed on the map.
  6. Choose "secure device." The phone will be locked.
  7. You can add a message/phone number to be displayed on the screen.

2Change Account Passwords

As an additional precaution, change the passwords for any accounts logged into your lost phone. For instance, email accounts, social media accounts, banking applications, and any other service that contains sensitive information. By changing the passwords, you ensure that even if someone gains access to your accounts, they cannot continue accessing them.

Moreover, If you haven't already, enable two-factor authentication (2FA) for your important accounts. This adds an extra layer of security by requiring a verification code and your Password when logging in. It can help prevent unauthorized access even if someone has your login credentials.

3Remotely Swipe Data

If you have the latest Android or iOS device paired with a Google or Apple account, you can erase all data on your phone, restoring it to factory settings.

Step 1: Go to (Android) or (iPhone) on your web browser.

Step 2: Login with the same Google or Apple account paired with your smartphone.

Step 3: From here, you can track the live location of your device or even restore it to factory settings. Select "Erase Device" or "Erase iPhone."

Step 4: Enter the Password if needed and confirm the action.

4Notify Service Providers

Contact your mobile service provider and report the loss of your phone. They can assist you in deactivating your SIM card or suspending your phone service to prevent unauthorized usage. Also, inform your device manufacturer about the situation, especially if your phone contains sensitive or confidential information.

5Alert The Police

If you think your phone is stolen, not misplaced, you should file a police report. Although it may not be considered a high-priority case, it can help in other ways. The device is added to a blocklist and wouldn't work with any carrier within the country. You can also protect your information and avoid potential theft or fraud.

The police may also help you track the lost phone via the IMEI number.

Take Action before Phone Is Lost

Prevention, they say, is better than cure. It would be best if you took action before your phone is lost. These actions will help you increase the chances of your phone recovery when it is lost.

1Add Alternate Contact Information to Your Phone's Lockscreen

The additional contact information on the lock screen shows the details of the device owner in case the phone is lost or an emergency. Most phones have the same way of adding additional contact information to the lock screen.

  • Swipe up on the home screen to access the device icons.
  • Go to settings and tap display.
  • Go to "advanced" to open more display options.
  • Scroll to the lock screen and tap it.
  • Tap "add text on the lock screen."
  • Type in the information and save it.

2Always Charge Your Phone Fully

There is no foolproof method of finding a lost phone that is switched off. It is easier to locate a phone that is online than offline.

Hence, always ensure that your phone is fully charged at all times. Plus, the contact information added to the lock screen will only be seen if the phone is still on.

3Take Care of Your Phone

The majority of phones reported stolen or missing are out of carelessness. You need to handle your phone with care. Please don't leave it lying around carelessly.

Also, know where your phone is at all times. It will help you keep an eye on it if you need to retrace your footsteps.

Phones should be kept in pockets, purses, or clutches. At home, have a designated place to keep your phone. Preferably on the nightstand or a side stool.

AirDroid Business MDM Solution
  • Use a real-time GPS tracking feature to know where your corporate devices are whenever you need to.
  • Check a device's location history by selecting a time duration to see its complete route at different points in time.
  • Remotely lock/wipe data or uninstall apps when the device is lost or stolen to prevent data breaches.
  • Set up geofences around specific locations and receive notifications when devices enter/exit the geofence.

FAQs about "Locate a Lost Phone"

Is There a Free Way to Find a Lost Phone?
You can find a lost phone free with Google Find My Device or Apple Find My App. Both methods are free. You only need to have a Google account or an Apple ID. Connect your device to your google account or your Apple ID. Only then can you find a lost phone for free.
Can You Track Someone's Lost Phone?
You can track someone's lost phone on Find My Device or Find My App if they have linked their device to Google or Apple. Just sign in with their apple ID or google account on your device.
How to Find a Lost iPhone without Find My iPhone?
You can find a lost iPhone without Find My iPhone using google timeline. Go to the google timeline website. Sign in with your Google account and scroll through the timeline to locate the lost iPhone.
Can You Find a Lost iPhone That Is Turned Off?
Yes, you can locate a lost iPhone that is turned off if "send the last location" is activated. You can do that from Find My iPhone or Find My Network on the Find My app.
Can You Track Your Lost Android Phone without An App?
You can track your lost Android phone without an app from the Find My Device website. Sign in to the website with your account to track your Android device.
How Can I Track My Lost Phone without the Internet?
You can track its last location on the Find My service. If it doesn't work, report the stolen device to law enforcement so that it can be tracked even without an internet connection.
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Elsa has worked on a number of iOS & Android solutions, she can always find her way around almost any application. She is an accomplished, skilled and versatile writer with more than 7 years of technical article writing experience.
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