Smartphone Tricks: How to Locate a Lost or Stolen Android Phone

It happens to all smartphone owners.

In fact, I can say with almost 100 percent confidence that at some point in your life as a smartphone owner, you will utter the words, “Have you seen my phone?

Maybe you left it somewhere in your house and you can’t remember where it is “somewhere”. Maybe you left it at a restaurant after taking photos of your delicious food to make fun of your friends on social media (karma, friend). On the other hand, maybe someone with grappling claws decided to run away with their precious device a la Gollum.

However, now you want to find your phone soon and you would like to know how to do it. Just like the “Find My iPhone” feature for Apple’s smartphone, Android smartphone users have a built-in phone tracking option, as well as the courtesy of Android Device Manager.

For older phones, you may need to set up Android Device Manager beforehand in order to use it, which will prove to be a tricky situation if you have already lost your phone. Owners of newer Android phones those on our Android Phone Fight feature, however, will likely already have this feature turned on.

The following information should apply no matter who made your Android phone: Samsung, Google, Huawei, Xiaomi, etc.

When I tested a Samsung Galaxy Note Edge, for example, I was able to use Android Device Manager’s tracking feature without having to set it up. The only caveat is that you need to have a Google account (eg Gmail, Google Play Store) synced with your phone, which you probably did when you first set up your phone because it’s a necessary step to fully use it (it’s also a good idea). idea in case you forget your Android device’s screen lock password and want to reset it).

Well, actually, there is one more caveat: your phone needs to be on because it needs it to emit a wireless signal for this whole process to work. The lesson, as always, is that preparation is the mother of discovery. Or something like that.

Anyway, assuming you’re ready to get started, here’s how to find your lost or stolen Android phone with Android Device Manager. (For people who have forgotten their security code, be sure to check out our tutorial on How to Remotely Reset Your Android Lock Screen Password.)

Go ahead and launch Android Device Manager through its app or go to the web browser of your choice and visit its site. To get to the site, you can search for “android device manager” or go directly to the site at: Also, make sure you sign in with the Google account associated with your locked device.

Once you’re in Android Device Manager, you’ll be presented with a screen that includes a map and a menu box showing the devices associated with your Google account. If everything is set up correctly, the map will finally load your phone’s location.

This is especially useful if you lost it while visiting different places, as you will know which store or specific place you left it at. If it was stolen, well, confronting the thief probably isn’t a good idea, but at least you can remotely lock or wipe your phone by tapping the “Lock” or “Wipe” icons in Android Device Manager. You can even remotely change your lock screen passcode from here.

If you lost your phone at home, the map feature won’t be as useful as you’ll probably just have a circle around your house. This is when you’ll want to tap the box menu’s “Ring” feature, which will make your phone ring at a high volume, even if it’s on silent.

Admittedly, Android Device Manager is not a perfect solution, especially on older phones. Once, it highlighted a two-mile circle when I used it on my Galaxy S3, for example. Welp. Other times, I got the dreaded “location not available” message and had to search multiple times. However, it usually works fine on newer devices, so it’s still a useful trick to know.

For more mobile tips and features, check out our various Android tips or visit the Tablet and Smartphone hub