How to find your lost phone

Jan 25, 2021 | 42Gears Team

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With thousands of queries per month, “how to find my phone” is one of the most common problems that people face in everyday life. This guide will help you find lost phones, locate stolen tablets, and more. Of course, everyone has different devices, as evidenced by the popularity of search terms like “how to find my Android phone.” For this reason, the guide will include the appropriate phone locator tools for your device model.

Overview

It is very stressful to lose devices of any kind, be they phones, tablets, or workplace ruggedized devices. This is even more true if you are trying to help someone else find their device- be they a friend or employee.

Still, there are different challenges if you lose personal devices versus work devices. This guide will first cover personal device use, and how to find lost or stolen personal devices. Then, you will find strategies if a work device was lost or stolen.

How to Find Lost or Stolen Personal Devices

How Do I Find My iPhone, iPad, or Other Apple Device?

Apple makes it easy to find lost phones, locate stolen tablets, and so on.

If you’ve lost an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, you can use the Find My app through Apple’s iCloud service, which will show you the last place where a given device was seen. From there, you can locate it by playing loud noises, leave a message for someone who finds it, or lock it down. 

One of the most exciting features of the Find My app is how to find offline devices. Apple utilizes local device detection across all the personal devices it offers. Consequently, if someone walks by your device with an Apple device that allows for offline detection, you will be notified about the location of your device.

You must make sure that the device’s privacy settings allow for Find My functionality. Otherwise, you won’t be able to locate your iPhone or iPad using Find My.

How Do I Find My Android Phone or Tablet?

If you need to find your Android phone or tablet, you have a few tools at your disposal.

No matter what type of Android device you have, you can access Google’s Find My Device service to find it. From there, you can play a sound, lock the device, or even completely wipe all content for maximum security.

Unfortunately, there are some contexts in which Find My Device will not work. For instance, the device must be signed into a Google account, be connected to the Internet, and have the appropriate permissions selected. Therefore, if the device is offline, the service will not work.

That said, there is an exception for Samsung Android devices. Samsung offers an exclusive Find My Mobile system. This includes additional options as compared to the standard Google system – for example, it offers an “offline finding” mode like Apple’s Find My.

How Do I Find Feature Phones, Or Any Other Device That Does Not Run iOS or Android?

You will face a steeper challenge if you lose a device that doesn’t run iOS or Android. Still, you should by no means give up. Particularly if you have done some preparation beforehand, you can find your phone – or at least, neutralize theft concerns.

If you have recorded the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity), Mobile Equipment Identifier (MEID) number, or the Electronic Serial Number (ESN) number, you can contact a local police station and submit a report for the police. From there, this will allow officials to search for the device.

Moreover, you can block mobile service in the country where a device was initially obtained by reporting the IMEI number to your carrier.

How To Find Lost or Stolen Business Devices

If the device you lost belonged to your workplace, it is especially stressful. Of course, the strategies above can help locate stolen business tablets and other device. Still, there are some additional strategies regarding how to find lost phones and tablets that only come into play with business devices.

Check for Manufacturer-Specific Tools Phone Locator Tools

Workplaces often require special ruggedized devices that meet the demands of tough environments. When using rugged work-focused devices, locating devices can be especially hard. This is why some heavy-duty device manufacturers have created their own tools, like Zebra’s Device Tracker

Use The Help of Mobile Device Management

Possibly the best phone locator method you can use at work is mobile device management (MDM) software. If you’re not familiar, MDM software lets workplaces supervise, monitor, and locate workplace devices.

If your company have mobile device management in place, your network admin can help you locate and lock down your device, or wipe it if necessary. 

MDM software is also notable for helping to prevent thefts in the first place. Admins can use an MDM solution to track every device at work and ensure each has a complex password. Plus, admins can set location boundaries (known as “geofences”) for devices, and get alerted if devices cross those boundaries, serving as a phone locator while theft.

Admins can also set up protections regarding network connection status. If device tries to connect to a non-secure Wi-Fi network, admins will receive a notification. This can potentially deter or stop theft.

If you don’t handle IT work, and your company doesn’t have MDM software in place, ask your admin about the possibility of using it. If you are an admin, make things easier for your employees and get started using it today.

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