Android

How to Track an Android Phone | Digital Trends


Losing your mobile device — especially a smartphone — is the ultimate stressor. That’s because our devices carry the vast bulk of our private information and potentially sensitive data that could have disastrous or heartbreaking consequences if lost or stolen.

If you use an Android device, some tools and processes can help you find its location if you misplace or lose it or are the victim of theft. Here are some handy resources at your disposal that you can use as long as your phone is on and connected to a mobile or Wi-Fi network. We strongly discourage using phone trackers to follow people or for any illicit purpose.

Find My Device

Google’s Find My Device app is a must-have for Android users and one of our favorite Android apps. If you’ve added a Google Account to your Android device, then Find My Device will be enabled automatically. You can check the service is running by going to Settings > Google > Security > Find My Device and making sure Find My Device is toggled on.

The following sequence was recorded on an LG V40 ThinQ running Android 10. One search tracks all devices you’re signed into. Features include tracking your phone, tablet, or smartwatch via GPS, remotely erasing, playing a sound, or locking your device.

The app makes it simple to locate your lost device, and it’s free to download from the Play Store. After you install the app, it will ask you to log in and make sure location tracking is enabled. Once the app is installed and running, you can locate your device, as long as it’s turned on and connected to Wi-Fi or mobile data.

To track your device, you can also use Find My Device’s website in any browser, whether on your computer or another smartphone. If you’re logged into your Google account, you can type “find my phone” into the Google search box. If your lost device has access to the internet and location tracking is on, you’ll find out where it is. One of the outstanding features here is that you can lock the device and write a message with an accompanying phone number. That way, if someone finds or has your device, all they have to do is press the Call Me button on the screen to call the specified phone number. You can also play a (very) loud sound or erase the phone remotely.

If you use a browser to track down your smartphone, go ahead and sign in to your Google account. Since you’ll usually only access this service when your device is missing, you’ll probably be logging in from a device that belongs to someone else. Don’t forget to log out of all your accounts when you’re done. If you leave yourself logged in, anyone who accesses that device later will be able to track your phone. It takes about a minute to download the app and start setting it up. Since it’s incredibly easy and user-friendly, it should honestly be your go-to for recovering your lost Android smartphone.

Find My Mobile

Samsung offers the Find My Mobile phone locating service for Samsung users with phones like the Samsung Galaxy S10. Only people with a Samsung account can use this particular feature. Check out your settings to find the Find My Mobile option. Navigate to Settings > Biometrics And Security > Find My Mobile. Once you’re there, switch the toggle on. From here, you also need to choose whether or not you want to enable the Remote Unlock and Send Last Locations settings. In the Remote Unlock setting, Samsung will record your PIN, password, or pattern, allowing you to unlock your device even if you happen to forget. Once this is set up, you can control your phone even remotely. The Send Last Location setting is an important one, as it senses when your battery is about to die and sends your last known location to Samsung’s servers. Samsung users also have a second option to log into Samsung’s website on any browser to trace their lost phone or tablet.

Alternative options

If your phone’s manufacturer doesn’t provide a phone tracking service such as Find My Mobile, and you’re not a fan of Google’s Find My Device option, you still have a few other means of finding your phone. Nearly every major phone carrier in the U.S. provides some level of “find my phone” accessibility. However, some of these can be pricey add-ons. You can also find a few third-party phone-tracking apps to do the job. However, they will probably hit you with a subscription fee. Make sure to thoroughly read the privacy policy before signing up if you choose to use a third-party app.

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