Put together now so you will discover your misplaced Android cellphone with ease. 

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To not sound overly dramatic, however I feel that sinking feeling that arrives the second you understand your Android cellphone’s lacking is likely one of the worst emotions. Our telephones are intrinsically private, guarding our deepest secrets and techniques and private info. Add to that the truth that dropping a cellphone is a pricey expertise, and that feeling is compounded. 

Ought to you end up frantically looking your pockets, backpack, purse or countertop for a lacking cellphone, do not panic! Each Android cellphone comes with instruments constructed into it that make it doable to safe your info and monitor down your misplaced cellphone with ease. Do not get forward of your self and really feel snug fairly but. There are a number of steps that you must take proper now to set your self up for achievement if or when your cellphone goes lacking — together with should you left it in your home. 

Beneath I stroll you thru the entire steps you may and will take now, in addition to what that you must do when your cellphone goes lacking. 


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Methods to discover your misplaced Android cellphone


Take a couple of minutes to organize now

It would not take lots of time to faucet your approach by a number of completely different settings panes and make sure that the correct switches are turned on, otherwise you’re signed in to the proper companies. Belief me, future you’ll thank current you for taking 5 minutes to do the next. 

Create a safe lock display

Do your self a favor and activate passcode and fingerprint authentication. Do your self one other favor and do not use facial recognition in your Android machine. 

On most Android units, the know-how used for facial recognition could be simply tricked with one thing so simple as a photograph of your face. Google’s Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL are the exceptions right here, as they use a extra dependable system, just like Apple’s Face ID.

Subsequent, create your passcode and arrange fingerprint authentication within the Settings app underneath the Safety part. I understand scanning a fingerprint or coming into a PIN code each time you wish to use your cellphone could be inconvenient, however the concept of somebody gaining access to your images, banking apps, electronic mail and the remainder of your private data is downright scary.

An additional step to unlock your cellphone is definitely worth the effort when you think about the potential influence of exposing your private data to a stranger.   

Learn extra: For those who lose your iPhone, instantly do these 3 issues

Arrange Google’s Discover My Machine service, no matter who makes your cellphone


Be certain Google’s Discover My Machine is turned on. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Any time you check in to an Android machine with a Google account, Discover My Machine is mechanically turned on. Google’s free Discover My Machine service is what you will use ought to your cellphone ever go lacking to trace, remotely lock and remotely erase it. 

Verify to ensure Discover My Machine is enabled in your Android cellphone by opening the Settings app and going to Safety & Location > Discover My Machine. Alternatively, in case your machine would not have a Safety & Location choice, go to Google > Safety > Discover My Machine.

Discover My Machine must be turned on. If not, slide the swap to the On place. 

Lastly, double-check that the flexibility to safe and remotely erase the machine is turned on by going to android.com/discover in your pc, deciding on your cellphone, and clicking Set Up Safe & Erase. A push alert will likely be despatched to your cellphone — faucet it to complete the setup course of. 

Have a Samsung cellphone? There are two completely different companies it is best to test


For those who’ve signed in to your Samsung account on a Galaxy cellphone, you have to be good to go. Nevertheless, it is a good suggestion to double-check. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Samsung has lengthy provided a Discover My Cell service to assist Galaxy telephones house owners monitor down their misplaced telephones. The service is separate from Google’s Discover My Machine providing, and is one thing you may — and positively ought to — arrange. Not solely does it provide you with a backup service you should utilize to trace down a misplaced cellphone, but it surely additionally offers you instruments that Discover My Machine would not have. With Samsung’s service, you are able to do issues like pressure distant backups or see if somebody has swapped out your SIM card. You may want to make use of your Samsung account to arrange Discover My Cell.

Nevertheless, extra lately, Samsung introduced a brand new service referred to as SmartThings Discover. The brand new characteristic works like Apple’s Discover My app by crowdsourcing the situation of a misplaced machine, even when it is offline, however telling close by Galaxy units to search for its Bluetooth sign and report its location if it is discovered. All of which, in fact, is finished anonymously.

There isn’t any hurt in utilizing Google’s providing, along with each of Samsung’s machine monitoring companies. Activate Discover My Cell in your Galaxy cellphone within the Settings app. Subsequent, go to Biometrics and safety > Discover My Cell. Discover My Cell ought to already be enabled should you signed into your Samsung account throughout preliminary setup. If not, take a number of seconds to check in and allow Discover My Cell.


SmartThings Discover will, properly, allow you to discover your machine. 

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As for SmartThings Discover, you will have to have a Galaxy machine working Android 8 or newer. The setup course of ought to already be taken care of so long as you are working the most recent model of the SmartThings app. I had to enter the Galaxy Retailer app and replace it myself, however as soon as I did that the principle web page of the SmartThings app had a map displaying the final location of my Galaxy Buds ($130 at Finest Purchase), together with different Samsung units which can be linked to my account beneath the map. If it is not arrange already, there will likely be a SmartThings Discover card that you must faucet on to finish the setup course of. When you do this, you will see a map with the situation of all of your Discover-enabled units. 

As soon as it is turned on, you may view the situation of your machine(s) by opening the SmartThings app and choose SmartThings Discover. In fact, should you lose your cellphone you will have to make use of one other machine to entry the SmartThings app to find your machine. Both you may signal into the app on a buddy or member of the family’s machine, or use one other one in all your units to search out it by way of the app. 

If you view the misplaced machine’s location, there is a Extra Choices button that may take you to Samsung’s Discover My Cell service the place you may then use its controls to lock down your machine, remotely again it up and even erase it. 

Methods to lock down, monitor a misplaced or stolen Android cellphone

Use Google’s Discover My Machine service to search out your cellphone

Play a sound, lock your cellphone or erase it utilizing the Discover My Machine web site. 

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Utilizing Android’s baked-in service requires you to recollect one factor: android.com/discover. That web site is the place you will go within the unlucky occasion that you simply lose your cellphone. Be certain to check in to the identical Google account that is linked to your Android cellphone.

Not close to a pc? You should utilize one other Android machine and the Discover My Machine app, which you will must obtain individually from the Play Retailer. Instantly after you check in to the positioning or app, Google will try to find your cellphone.

An alert will likely be despatched to your cellphone to inform whoever has it that it is being tracked. Use the menu on the left-hand aspect of the Discover My Machine web site to play a sound (useful should you misplaced it in your house!), lock down your machine or erase the machine altogether.

Choosing Safe Machine will lock the cellphone, show a message of your selecting on the lock display and signal out of your Google account. Don’t be concerned, you may nonetheless find the cellphone after it is locked. For those who use Google Pay for cellular funds, locking your cellphone will forestall anybody from utilizing your cellphone to make a purchase order.

For those who use the Erase Machine characteristic, you’ll not be capable to monitor the cellphone. Reserve this characteristic as a final resort.

Ought to the thief flip off your cellphone, you will not be capable to monitor it till it is turned again on and has a mobile or Wi-Fi connection. Google will ship you an electronic mail as soon as it locates your machine.

As soon as you discover your cellphone, you will have to enter your PIN or passcode to realize entry. That ought to additionally eliminate the lock display message. You may additionally must log in to your Google account, simply to confirm it truly is you accessing the cellphone — you need not flip something off within the Discover My Machine app. 

What to do in case you have a Samsung cellphone

Samsung’s Discover My Cell has lots of choices for monitoring and controlling a misplaced cellphone. 

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Samsung Galaxy house owners take pleasure in utilizing Google’s or Samsung’s respective companies to find a misplaced machine, however I like to recommend utilizing Samsung’s providing. As you will see beneath, the added capabilities are invaluable.

To trace a misplaced machine with Samsung’s service, that you must go to findmymobile.samsung.com. There is not a companion app, so you will want to make use of a cellular browser on one other cellphone or a pc.

Register along with your Samsung account, then choose your misplaced machine on the left aspect of the display. A map will show the place your cellphone is at the moment situated, and a menu of choices will present up on the proper aspect of the display.

Begin by locking the cellphone, which can show a personalised message on the lock display, droop your Samsung Pay playing cards and stop the cellphone from being powered off.

Subsequent, create a backup of your cellphone. Must you lose it for good, you will wish to have a present backup of your cellphone. If the cellphone is transferring areas, use the Observe location characteristic.

Enabling this characteristic will monitor your cellphone each quarter-hour. Lastly, activate the Lengthen battery life characteristic — this may disable virtually the whole lot on the cellphone however the location monitoring.

Just like Google’s Discover My Machine service, Samsung’s service solely requires you to enter your PIN after finding your cellphone. You do not want to return to the web site and switch any of the monitoring options off. 

Life Professional Tip: Do not confront thieves 

In case your cellphone has been stolen and also you’re capable of monitor its location, don’t try to get better it your self. Doing so may result in you or another person getting harm, and regardless of the significance of a cellphone, it is merely not price it.

As an alternative, contact native legislation enforcement and allow them to know you need assistance recovering a misplaced or stolen cellphone that you’ve got been capable of monitor to a particular handle.

Unable to retrieve your cellphone? Contact your service, file an insurance coverage declare

Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL

Contact your service to file an insurance coverage declare as quickly as you understand you don’t get your cellphone again. 

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If it turns into clear that you simply’re by no means going to get your cellphone again, contact your service and report your cellphone as misplaced or stolen. Doing this may blacklist the cellphone from the service’s database, stopping one other individual from utilizing it.

If you name, your service will wish to droop your service as properly. This can be a good concept if you wish to forestall somebody from utilizing your cellphone. Nevertheless, needless to say should you’re nonetheless monitoring your misplaced cellphone, you will lose a cellular connection to it — and until the cellphone is one way or the other registered on a Wi-Fi community, you will lose the flexibility to trace it.

Lastly, should you pay for insurance coverage in your cellphone, you will have to file a declare and pay the deductible to get your alternative cellphone. Get the insurance coverage declare course of began by your service, who will then seemingly refer you to the third-party insurance coverage firm that may substitute your cellphone.

Good luck! We hope you by no means must undergo the emotional curler coaster of dropping a cellphone, monitoring it down and attempting to get it again.

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