How to find a lost mobile phone for free

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Aina Prat
@ainaprat
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Prerequisites

Find a cellphone it can be quite a simple operation, provided the right precautions are taken. Regardless of the operating system installed on your smartphone, certain settings must be active and the device must meet specific conditions.


The first tip to keep in mind is that a cell phone can be traced if this is first to and that its battery is charged. In fact, some smartphones, when they reach the minimum battery charge threshold, go into energy saving mode, deactivating some features that can be useful for remotely locating the device. It is therefore important to ensure that there are no processes that have a high energy consumption.


Some tools, such as the geolocation or the Internet connection, are other essential prerequisites for the default or third-party applications for tracing the smartphone to work properly.

Trivial as it may seem, if you intend to use the native features of Android or iOS to track your smartphone, it is important that a Google account (for Android) or iCloud (for iOS).

In the next few lines, I will show you some tips to apply both on Android devices and on those with iOS operating system, in order to be sure that you can find your lost mobile phone without any hitch.

Android

Track down a lost Android cellphone it is an operation that requires that you have activated some features in the settings of your device. In the next few lines, I'll give you some tips, so that both the native Android functionality and third-party apps can work at their best.


If you want to ensure access to Google's native service to track down an Android smartphone (Find My Device), which I will tell you about in the next paragraphs, you will have to follow some procedures. The first step is to verify that your Android smartphone has a Google account registered. To do this, tap onicon with gear symbol that you can find on the home screen, so as to access the Settings of your device. Then go to the section Account, through the voices Account > Google and, if in this section you see a Google account (gmail.com), it means that your smartphone is correctly connected to this.


If not, in section Account, fai tap sul pulsating Add account and select the item Google. Then enter your Google account or, if you don't have one, press on the wording Or Create a new account. In both cases, follow the on-screen procedures to associate an account from your device. If you want to know more about this topic, you can consult my guide on how to add a Gmail account or on how to create a Gmail account.

After verifying the correct association of a Google account to the device, it is time to activate the settings to allow other services (native or third-party) to access the location of the mobile phone. Then open the Settings, through theicon with a gear symbol that you find on the home screen, and access the sections Google > Safety. Then tap on the wording Find my device and move the lever on the top bar from left to right into position ON.


Also, on the home screen of the panel Settings, presses on the wording Geolocation and move the lever up ON, in order to enable this feature. Then tap on the item modality (below) and select the option High precision.

If you use third-party applications instead, in general, the Geolocation and the only feature you will need to make sure is active.

Finally, I advise you to better manage the battery consumption on your mobile. In case, you can check out my guide on how to save battery on your Android device.


iOS

If you have lost your iPhone, you can arrange to track it through the native functionality Find my iPhone or through some applications used for this purpose, to be installed in advance. For these to work properly, however, you need to have your device set up for this.

To use the feature Find my iPhone, which I'll tell you about in the next few paragraphs, you essentially need to make sure that your iPhone has a iCloud account connected and also the tracking and localization settings are active. But let's go in order.

To verify that you have associated a iCloud account to your iPhone, tap on the icon Settings (the'icon with a gear symbol), which you find on the home screen, and verify that in the upper section there is your account, which shows yours Your name. If not, you have to tap on the wording Log in to iPhone and enter the access data of your iCloud account, following the instructions on the screen. If you are having difficulty associating an Apple account with your iPhone or creating one, you can consult my guide on how to create an iCloud account or how to change an Apple ID on iPhone.


If your iPhone is properly connected to an iCloud account, the next step you need to take is to check if native feature tracking is enabled Find my iPhone.

Then access the panel of Settings, as I indicated in the previous lines, and tap on yours Your name, which you find at the top of the screen. Then press on the rumors iCloud > Find my iPhone and then move up ON the lever near the wording Find my iPhone. Also, make sure that the option too Send last position is active, which is important in case your device's battery is low (in fact the last known position of the phone will be stored before it runs out of charge).


Finally, to ensure the functionality Find my iPhone, as well as third-party applications, can work, you need to activate the location on your iPhone. To do this, log back into Settings, tap on the items Privacy > Location and move the lever up ON near the wording Location, in order to activate the location services that use the GPS, Bluetooth and the Internet network of your device.

Even on iOS devices you have to pay attention to the processes that are active in the background, to avoid that the battery is "drained" quickly and risk not being able to locate it in time, before it is completely discharged. In this regard, I suggest you read my guide on how to save iPhone battery.

How to find an Android mobile

If you have followed everything I indicated in the previous paragraph to the letter, now it will be child's play track your android smartphone via native functionality Find my device (Find My Device) from Google. This free tool allows, in fact, to locate the Android device associated with a Google account and to perform some operations, such as emitting a sound for acoustic tracing, blocking the device in case of loss, resetting to factory settings. remotely and the display of the position in real time on a map.

If you want to use Find my device, you can access its web panel via browser or via the application available on the Play Store. Of course, you need to use another Android device to use the app.

Since the operation of Find my device is similar from the web and from the application, all you have to do is choose where you want to connect from: if you want to use the application, download it from the Play Store via the link I provided, by doing tap on the button Download and then apri. If, on the other hand, you want to access it from the Web, you will need to use a browser to browse the Internet (eg. Chrome).

After reaching the home screen of the service Find my device, you will first have to log in with your Google account, the same one associated with the lost Android smartphone. Once logged in, you will be redirected to the page of Android Device Management. Then tap on the icon at the top left of the phone you lost and wait a few seconds for its location to be shown in real time.

If the smartphone is near your location, press the button Play audio to make it make a sound. If it is in a distant location, you can use the feature Lock the device to set the screen lock with a personalized message. Finally, if you no longer have a way to recover it and you want to make sure that no one can get hold of the data in its memory, in addition to accessing your Google account, use the feature Reset the device, to reset it to factory settings. In this way, however, you will no longer be able to locate it, as the Google account will be disconnected from it.

How to find an iOS mobile

You have lost your iPhone? It is not a problem, if you have followed the advice I have suggested in the previous paragraphs. If you have paid attention to activating the settings I have suggested, you will be able to use the service Find iPhone, available both from the web and via the app, already pre-installed on iPhones and still available on the iOS App store.

Using this service from an app or from the web is indifferent, as this works identically in both versions. If you log in from the web, you will need to use a browser to browse the Internet. If you want to use the dedicated app instead, you will have to run it on another iOS device and log in to the Apple ID associated with the iPhone you lost.

Then go to the “Find iPhone” app or web service and wait for a map to appear showing the location of the iPhone in real time. If you have more than one Apple device connected to your Apple account, tap on the item All devices and select the one to track. A green dot will be shown next to it to identify that it is online and ready to transmit its position, as well as carry out the commands you can give it remotely.

In fact, by selecting it, you can decide to make it emit a sound (Make it ring), lock its screen with a personalized message (Lost mode) or perform a factory reset (Initialize the iPhone, through which, however, you will no longer be able to locate the phone).

App to find a mobile for free

Use a third-party application for locate a lost mobile phone it could be a useful alternative to the tools provided natively by the Android and iOS operating systems. This is because applications often have additional features that can extend the user experience. In the next lines I will therefore show you some free applications that you could install on your devices and they will help you locate the mobile phone you have lost.

Prey (Android / iOS)

If you want a cross-platform and free application to manage all your devices with one account, you can consider Prey. This app is in fact available both on the Android Play Store and on the iOS App Store.

Generally speaking, the two applications are perfectly identical to each other, as it is not necessary to manage anything through them. All management takes place via the web panel, which allows you to view the position of the devices associated with your account and execute some commands, such as sending a sound or a message or, for Android devices only, block the device , reset it or recover the files within their memory.

To use this service, you can create a free account that will allow you to manage up to three devices. To increase the number of devices and add more features, you need to subscribe, the amounts of which are available at this link.

The first thing you will have to do, therefore, is to download the application. If you have a device Android, use the link I provided and tap the buttons Install e apri. After starting the app, you can decide whether to create a free account via the button Signup or whether to log in, using the wording Login.

After logging in with your credentials, tap the button Access to my account and then Activate protection. Now, you should see an Android settings panel on the screen to give Prey device administration powers; then tap the button Actived and, after returning back to the application, presses the button Give permissions. Then give access permissions to some smartphone features by tapping the button Approve and then Allow four consecutive times. Back at the main application screen, press the button again Give permissions, in order to complete the configuration procedure.

On devices iOS, since this operating system is more "closed" than Android, the configuration of Prey consists of fewer steps. First, download the application via the link I indicated in the introduction and tap the button Get and finally on apri.

Once the application is started, tap on OK, regarding the access permissions to the camera, and then tap on Allow always to the remaining requests for access to the device functions. Then tap on OK to confirm the configuration.

Now, access the Prey web panel and log in by entering the login credentials to your account, previously created through the application. Once logged in, you will be able to view on the left the devices that are registered, thanks to the installation of the app that you have already performed.

Then click on device that you have lost and wait for the information to be updated: you will be shown its position on the map, which you can view in the center of the screen.

You can also execute commands on the lost mobile phone, although these are not all the same for both operating systems: you can for example emit a sound (Sound alarm), send a message on the device screen (send message) or disguise the application of Prey (Toggle camouflage) as if this were a video game (on iOS) or hide its icon on the home screen (on Android).

In addition, for Android devices, additional functions are available, such as device lock (Lock device), reset to factory settings (Wipe data) or remote file recovery (Retrive files). However, these last two functions are subject to a fee and therefore require a subscription.

Wheres My Droid (Android)

Another useful application for your purpose is Wheres My Droid, available for free on the Android Play Store. This app is very similar to the one I mentioned in the previous paragraph, but it has some additional features, such as the ability to take a photograph from the front or rear camera. Some of these tools, however, require the subscription of a subscription, of which you can view the details via this link. However, the GPS location functionality and the emission of an acoustic signal are among the features available for free, useful for tracking down your lost Android smartphone.

If you are interested in using this application, download it via the link I have provided you; then tap the button Install and then apri to run the application. At the first start, you will have to tap the button Agree and begin setup, then followed by Next. Now you agree to all the requests that are shown to you on the screen, relating to access to the permissions to use some Android features.

On the next screen, enter your account login details or create one by following the on-screen procedure. After logging in, enter the device name in the corresponding text box and then tap the buttons NextAllowNext e Done. By following this procedure, you will have successfully configured the application to perform the basic features available in the free account.

To monitor the location of your smartphone, access the web panel for device management by tapping the button Login that you find at the top. Then enter the login data you used in the application and, in case you are asked to confirm your email address, log in to your mailbox and click on the link you received from this service.

After logging in, you will be shown a panel where you can manage your smartphone remotely. In the center of the screen you will be able to view a map, where a bookmark will be placed indicating the location of the mobile you are looking for.

In case you want to execute some commands, you can use the sidebar located on the left. The only remote control available in the free version, in addition to localization, and the emission of a sound to identify the position of the smartphone nearby. If you want to activate the SIM monitoring, in case it is removed, you must enable the functionality directly from the app, as well as entering a PIN to protect the application from changing its settings.

More apps to find a mobile for free

In addition to the apps that I indicated in the previous paragraphs, you can use others to locate the location of your lost mobile phone. Obviously these applications will have to be previously installed on your device, so that you can trace it in case of need.

  • Lookout (Android / iOS) - Like all applications for remotely locating a device, Lockout offers the possibility of viewing its position and possibly playing a sound for its identification, in case it is nearby. It also offers other features, but which are different depending on the operating system on which it is installed, such as locking the device and resetting to factory settings, available only on Android. The application is free, but to access some features it is necessary to subscribe.
  • McAfee Mobile Security (Android / iOS) - This free app is similar to the previously mentioned apps, but, in addition to real-time location, it offers other features, such as web browsing protection (on Android) or memory data protection ( on iOS).

What to do in case of theft

If you have lost your mobile phone because it was stolen, all the tricks and tools I have indicated so far can be useful to help the authorities to catch the attacker. The first step is to report the theft to the competent authorities. To do this, however, you will need to have the IMEI code of your device. I refer you to my guide on how to check the IMEI code of a mobile device to be sure not to make mistakes.

By losing your cell phone, you will also have lost the SIM that is inside it. For this reason, you will then need to contact the Customer Service of your telephone company and request the SIM lock, which you can contact through the dedicated assistance channels. If you don't know how to do it, you can go to a point of sale of your operator or use the telephone assistance. If you find it useful, you can consult my guide on how to contact a Vodafone, TIM, Tre or Wind operator.

At the same time, in addition to blocking the SIM, you could also request the mobile phone lock via IMEI code. To do this you need, precisely, the IMEI code of your device, which I have already told you about in the previous lines. Therefore, carefully follow the advice and forms to fill out that the operator will indicate to you, in order to be able to block the mobile phone that has been stolen. For more details about the whole procedure, I refer you to my stolen cell phone tutorial: what to do.

How to find a lost mobile phone for free

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