How to find my Android

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Judit Llordes
@juditllordes
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Android Device Management

The theft and loss of the smartphone are very unpleasant events but, alas, also very frequent. If you don't want to be caught unprepared for such an event and you don't want to end up wondering "How to find my Android" when it is too late, take precautionary and active action Android Device Management.

As already mentioned above, Android Device Management is a free service offered by Google that allows you to locate your smartphone remotely and control it via PC. To be more precise, it allows you to make the phone ring to attract the attention of bystanders (a useful function if you are in the vicinity of the device and want to easily locate it), to lock it with a security code by displaying a personalized message in the lock -screen and format it. This last option should only be used in the most desperate cases (i.e. when there is no longer any hope of recovering the mobile phone) as it prevents subsequent localization of the device.



In short, Android Device Manager is an excellent tool to locate Android smartphones remotely and protect them in case of theft / loss, however it is not free from defects. For the service to work correctly, in fact, the smartphone to be located must be to, connected to the Internet and with localization functions active. It goes without saying that, in case of theft, if the thief has the simple foresight to turn off the phone or disable the Internet connection on the latter, Android Device Manager becomes quite useless. This is why I will tell you about alternative solutions later.

But now let's get back to the topic. If you want to check the operation of Android Device Manager on your smartphone before losing it, go to the settings Android (the gear icon), swipe to Geolocation and, if necessary, activate the lever relative to the localization functions.



Afterwards, go back to the menu of settings, select the item for Google i went his Safety. At this point, if necessary, activate the functions Locate this device remotely e Allow remote blocking and wipe and Android Device Manager will automatically start working.

If you don't find any icon dedicated to Google in the Android settings menu, go to the drawer (the menu where there are all the apps installed on the phone) and select the icon Google settings from the latter. The rest of the procedure is identical to what is written above.

Once the anti-theft service of your Android smartphone has been activated, if necessary, you can locate and control the device remotely simply by connecting to the Android Device Management site and logging in with your Google account (the same one the phone is associated with. to locate). Once logged in, wait a few seconds to view the geographical position of the phone and use the buttons that appear at the top left to control the device remotely.

The Android Device Manager functions are so intuitive that I don't think they need too many descriptions: Make it ring makes the phone ring; Block locks the phone using a security code and allows you to display a personalized message on the device lock screen while Clear formats the smartphone memory by deleting all the data inside it.

If you don't have a computer at hand, you can also find your Android smartphone via other smartphones and tablets using the official Android Device Manager app. It is compatible with all devices animated by the operating system of the green robot and works almost identical to the Web version of the service I just told you about.



Common Android Device Manager Problems

  • If on your smartphone can't find the google settings panel, chances are you have a cheap and / or import phone that doesn't include Google apps due to licensing issues. To fix this, try following my tutorial on how to install Google Play.
  • If Android Device Manager returns the error message "No registered device", go to Google settings and disable the options Locate this device remotely e Allow remote blocking and wipe. Then go to the menu Impostazioni> App of Android and clears the data of the following apps: Google Play Services, Google Services Framework e Google Play Store. After this step too, remove yours Google account from the phone (make a prior backup of the data, please!), restart the device, reset the Google account and the anti-theft services in the Google settings and everything should work again.

App to find my android

As already mentioned above, Android Device Manager has quite limited functionality and therefore it may be a good idea to associate it with more complete third-party solutions. Here are a couple that might be right for you.

Android Lost (free)

Android Lost is one of the most popular free anti-theft applications for Android. It disguises itself by assuming the icon of a notepad (in the drawer it is displayed as Personal Notes) and comes with a bunch of cool features. It allows to locate the smartphone remotely, to control it via SMS (so it can work even when the Internet connection is not active on the phone), to take pictures remotely and to activate / deactivate both the GPS and the Internet connection (only on some devices supported, unfortunately, not on all). There are also some "premium" features, such as running apps remotely and searching for contacts, which require you to purchase a license for 3,35 euros, but I would say they are not essential for the app to function.



If you want to download Android Lost on your phone, all you have to do is open the Play Store and proceed with its installation as you would with any other application. When the operation is completed, start Lost Android and press the buttons Request Administrator Rights e Actived to authorize the app and give it all the permissions it needs to work.

At this point, to connect Android Lost to your Google account (and therefore to your smartphone), connected to this web page, click on the item Sign In located at the top right, log in with your Google account (the same one with which the smartphone is associated) and press the button allow.

If you also want to activate SMS commands, select the tab SMS on the Android Lost website, enter the number from which you want to send the SMS to control the smartphone in the field SMS allow and click on the button Allow. The list of commands that can be given to the phone via SMS is the one you find in the box Available SMS commands.

Now you can remotely locate your smartphone by connecting to the AndroidLost.com website, selecting the tab Controls and clicking the button first Basic e poi quello Send location.

To control the phone remotely, however, you have to navigate the tabs at the top and select the various functions available in them. For example in the tab Basic you can find the basic functions of Lost Android (such as the location of the mobile phone or the function to make it ring), in Status you can find the functions to activate or deactivate GPS, Bluetooth, etc., in the tab Security you can find the functions to lock or unlock the smartphone, in Messages you can send messages to be displayed on the phone and so on.

Cerberus

If you are willing to spend some money in order to protect your smartphone against theft, I suggest you try Cerberus: it is an excellent anti-theft app that allows you to locate your phone remotely, take photos and videos remotely, get the history of calls and messages, reactivate the GPS in case of deactivation, control the phone via SMS and much more. It costs 5 euros per year but you can try it for free for 7 days. Some functions are only available if you have rooted your smartphone.

To download Cerberus on your smartphone, open the Play Store and press the download button of the app as if it were any other application downloaded from the Play Store. When the operation is completed, open Cerberus, press the button Create a Cerberus account  and follow the setup wizard to create your account and authorize Cerberus to take control of your smartphone. It's about pressing on the buttons Enable device administratorActivedGrant Superuser permission (if you have rooted on your device).

Once the configuration is complete, you can locate your smartphone with Cerberus simply by connecting to the official website of the app, by clicking on the item Login located at the top right and logging in with your account data.

So wait a few seconds for the phone to appear on the map and use the drop down menu which is located at the top left to control the device using one of the many functions available (eg. Lock with code to lock it with a code).

To configure the Cerberus functions on your smartphone, all you have to do is start the app and press the button which is located at the top left. Among the most interesting functions that you can activate, I would like to point out Automatic photo capture which allows you to take pictures automatically to catch thieves in the wrong, Lock Power menu to prevent thieves from turning off the phone e SIM checker to receive alerts if your SIM is changed.

What to do if your smartphone is stolen

In the unfortunate event that your smartphone has been the subject of a theft, in addition to blocking it via the Android Device Manager, you must request the blocking of SIMs. e IMEI to your telephone operator and you must report the theft to the competent authorities. This way you will be able to get a new SIM with your old phone number and you will be able to get your phone blocked on the national network.

For more details on the procedure that you must follow in case of theft of your smartphone, consult my tutorial on how to lock your phone in which I have illustrated all the steps that you must take in case of theft of your mobile phone.

How to find my Android

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