Thursday, May 25, 2017

How to use Google's Find My Device to find your lost Android phone

Find my device app

Say bye to the panicked feeling you get when you can't find your phone. Google's Find My Device, previously known as Android Device Manager, helps you find lost, missing or stolen Android phones and tablets. It also allows you to do things like locate, lock, ring or wipe a lost Android device.

The Find my device app works on any Android phone such as Tecno, Infinix, Gionee, Samsung, Itel and so on.

If you've ever lost your smartphone, then you should know how traumatizing it can be. You think about the cost of replacing the device, you are scared about your data, private files, photos or images falling into the wrong hands. When you buy a new smartphone you should have some measures in place to enable you locate, recover or wipe your phone, in case it gets stolen.

There are various 3rd party apps on Google play store that can help you locate or wipe your lost Android phone. My favourite 3rd party app for locating a stolen phone is Avast Anti theft. A few years ago, I was able to recover my stolen Tecno phone with the Help of Avast anti theft.

In this post, I will focus on Google’s official app for finding or managing your lost device. This app Find My Device, previously known as Android Device Manager is easy to install and use. Just download it on Google play store, and then install it.

Here's how to get started with Find My Device

If you plan on using the Find My Device app to locate your phone, you must first log into your Google account, download the app and enable some settings.
  • Download Find My Device from Google play store.
  • Go to your device settings
  • Scroll down and tap on security
  • Tap on Device Administrator
  • Enable Android device Manager or Find My device.
  • Go back to the settings and Tap on location
  • Enable location access.
  • Launch the app and grant it all the necessary permissions
  • Log in with your Google account
  • Once you've logged in a pop up will show you your phone and several other options such as Location, play sound, lock, erase. 

How to Find Your Lost or Stolen Device with Find My Device App

Find my device erases, locate ring, infinix Android phone

If your phone is lost or stolen, you can track its location. Wipe it, sound an alarm on it or erase it. Follow the steps below to perform any of these functions.
  • Borrow your friend’s phone or use your spare phone
  • Download the find my Device app or use the web version of Google device manager.
  • Log into the Google accounts you have set up on your lost phone.
  • A map will automatically display the location of your device, the battery level will also be shown, and you will also find information on whether your phone is online or offline as well as its last location. You can zoom in and out of the map to check out the location.
  • You can then report the theft of your device as well as its location to the police.
  • Do not attempt to go to the location alone. You might be endangering yourself.
  • You can tap on the lock, this will lock your device and your android device will request for a password whenever the thief tries to unlock your device.
  • You can also tap on Play Sound. Your device will ring for 5 minutes, which will help you find your device if it’s nearby. This is useful, when you misplace your phone in your car, home or office.
  • Tapping on erase will delete your personal information. I had to use this feature to a friend, we couldn’t locate her lost Infinix phone so we erased it to keep her personal information safe. This also locks out the thief, thereby rendering the phone useless for the thief.

How to Find your Lost Phone with Google

If you can’t borrow an Android phone or you don’t have one. You can also Google where is my phone on any web browser on your computer. A map will show you your device location at the top of Google’s search result page. Here is how to use this feature:
· Open any web browser on your computer. You can also use fetch as desktop feature on a smartphone browser.
Where is my phone on Google search

· Go to and log in to the Google account, you have set up on your lost phone.
· Enter the search phrase “where is my Phone” without the quotation mark.
· Google will display a little map above the search results. This map will try to find your phone.
· Once your device is found, you can let it ring by clicking on “Ring” at the bottom left.
· You can also click on Recover at the bottom left if you couldn’t locate your device.
· This will redirect you to your Google account page where you can ring or sign out of your Google account on your lost phone so that no one else can access it.
· You also have the option to Lock your phone, Try calling your phone, Reach out to your carrier and Consider erasing your device.
Find a stolen phone locate, ring, erase

Are you not able to locate your phone?

There are three reasons that might cause the steps above not to work:
  1. Your device location is turned off.
  2. Your device is turned off or not connected to the internet. Just keep trying to track it until it's switched on or it connects to Google’s services again.
  3. It’s possible that the thief has signed out your Google Account on the device. If that happens, neither the find my device app nor the Google search tool will be able to locate the device, since this feature only works when the device is logged into your Google Account.
  4. Your phone has been formatted by the thief.
To protect your new Android smartphone from being stolen, install a tracking app or an anti-theft app. Make sure you configure all the necessary settings correctly.

When you are able to locate your phone don’t try to recover it yourself. I have heard about a guy who tried to recover his stolen phone by himself at Kogi state in Nigeria but he was kidnapped instead.

Have you ever been able to recover your stolen smartphone? Which app did you use to find your lost phone?

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  3. hi thank you for sharing this article your details are really helpful.

  4. Hello Deepak,
    You explain this step by step. So it's more helpful for us. Thanks for sharing with us.

  5. good piece. found it helpful. thanks

  6. i wanted to share this helpful write up of yours, but the share button aint working.

  7. It works perfectly I found My wife's phone just too good 👍


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