On both Android and iOS devices there is a website to find a lost phone. For Apple iOS, it is iCloud.com and for Android it’s Google.com/android/find (or I just do a Google search for “Find my android”). We teach this in many of our seminars, mainly as a way to point out the importance of knowing the account and password associated with your phone. See What Does This Button Do? Episode 137 for more on finding your username and password and a demonstration of “find my phone.”
If you know the username and password for your phone, you can go to the website above, using any computer, and find your phone. You will see a map with the location pinpointed, and you will have 3 choices:
1. Play a sound: To locate your phone if it is nearby.
2. Lost mode: To lock the screen and display a message with a phone number where the owner can be reached.
3. Erase phone: If you think it has been stolen.
But, none of the above will work if you have not turned on the setting for your phone first. So, how about taking out your phone right now and making sure your “find my phone” setting is on.
Settings, tap your name at the top, then scroll down a bit until you see the name of your iPhone listed. Tap on iPhone. Next you should see a button for Find my iPhone – tap that. There are two settings, Find My iPhone and Send Last Location. Turn both of them on.
Settings, Security, [Android Device Manager] Find My Device – make sure it is turned on.
Don’t you feel better now? If you should lose your phone, you will now be able to use some other device, go to the website and enter your username and password, then locate your lost device.
Of course, you’ll still have a problem if the device is dead. An accurate location can only be found if the device is on and connected. If it’s dead, you may still see the last known location. If you put it into lost mode, or choose to erase the phone, that will happen the next time it gets turned on.
Tip: Have you ever tried to find your phone by calling it with another phone only to realize that your phone is in silent mode? Next time try the “find my phone” method – when you choose to play a sound, it will override the silent mode setting to make it ring.
Chris Guld is President and Teacher-in-Chief at GeeksOnTour.com. She and her husband, Jim, produce a free weekly online show called What Does This Button Do? They have been Fulltime RVers, popular seminar presenters at RV Rallies, and regular contributors to RVTravel.com, for many years.