Phones have become so much a part of our daily lives that it can be instantly traumatic if you suddenly can’t find your phone – whether you’ve left it in the cab, accidentally dropped it from your pocket, or lost its bed. If you have an Android phone, you can (hopefully) find your phone using the Find My Device feature.
Find My Device depends on two actions: a feature (of course) and Google Location Services. In addition, your phone must be turned on and signed in to a Google Account.
The Find My Device feature is part of the standard operating system on Pixel and several other Android phones, and is usually turned on by default. Note that some Android models may offer a different app. for example, Samsung phones have their own Find my cell phone application.
If you want to use Google Find My Device, you can check if it’s part of the Android version of your phone.
- Go to Settings> Security and find Find Device.
- If an app is listed but is turned off, tap it and turn it on with the switch.
If you don’t have the Google app but want to use it instead of the app installed by the manufacturer – or if you want to search your phone or watch on an Android tablet instead of your computer, you can go to Play Store and install Google Find My Device as well.
Next, you can check if the location is enabled:
- Go to phone settings and search for Location. Below the title reads whether it is on or off.
- If it is off, tap Location and turn it on.
- You can also check which apps can use your location and which have used it recently. To use this opportunity to fine-tune this setting, tap “Application Permission” to adjust the location permissions settings.
Find your phone
Now you are ready. If you can’t find your phone, go to the Google search page and type “Find my device.” If you haven’t used it before, you may need to give Google permission to use location information to locate your device. You can also call your phone right away from the Google search page to find it.
Otherwise, click the link to be taken to the Find My Device page, which gives your phone a name, the last pinch (and the name of the Wi-Fi network it uses), and the current battery power. Google Maps shows you where your phone was last located.
Once you have found your device, there are three options on the left side of the screen. What you choose depends on whether or not you feel the device is in a safe place. You can:
- Let the device play the sound (usually the ringtone) for five minutes so that you can find it.
- Lock your device and sign out of your Google Account to keep your information safe when you go to pick it up (recommended if you’ve left it in a cab or restaurant, for example).
- Remove the device. This is when you are reasonably sure that it has been stolen and cannot be retrieved. you won’t be able to find your device after that, but your content is no longer on it.