Lost your smartphone? Don’t panic! You won’t need a superhero to help you find it. There are clear steps to finding a mobile phone. iPhones, Androids and Samsung phones use different finder apps, but the process is very similar. So let’s find your phone fast and easy (hopefully) with these low-stress instructions.
How to find an iPhone
First, look around the places you’ve been. Seriously, look carefully. But when you start feeling frustrated and start looking in the same places twice, it’s time to move to the next step.
1. If you discover that your phone is near you, try using the ring feature to find it.
2. If it’s in a familiar and safe location, go and get it.
3. If your phone is in an unfamiliar location, do NOT immediately go to that location! It’s possible someone has stolen your phone and that person or location could be dangerous. Try calling your phone or, if it appears to be at a public place or business, try calling that location to see if they have your phone.
If you can’t track down your smartphone, lock your phone and notify the police. If you suspect your cell phone has been stolen, filing a police report may get your phone back. Then look around the places you’ve been one more time. You’ll be looking with fresh eyes and you may be more likely to notice it.
You can also use the Find My iPhone app to put your phone in “Lost Mode.” You can lock it easily and there’s an option to put a message on your phone’s screen including reward information (if you’d like) and a contact number.
Important tip: Check your voicemail by calling your 10-digit number from another phone and hit the * or # button during the greeting then input your password. If your service provider has online messaging, you will be able to log in to their service to check your messages.
You may also consider remotely erasing your phone by running a factory reset through the Find My iPhone app.
When you have exhausted these options, contact your phone company and have your service disabled. If Find my iPhone is enabled, your phone will be authorization locked to prevent anyone from using your phone or accessing your data without logging in with your Apple ID and password.
Find my Android phone
This may sound familiar, but first, look around the places you’ve been. Look carefully, but don’t get stuck on this step for an inordinate amount of time.
Then use the “Find My Device” feature by going to Google’s Find My Device site.
Just like above, if you see your phone is near you, try using the ring feature to find it. If you see it’s in a familiar and safe location, go get it. If it’s in an unfamiliar location, do NOT go there! It’s possible someone has stolen your phone and could be dangerous if confronted face-to-face. Instead, try calling the missing phone or contact the location if it’s a public place or business. Then lock your phone and contact the police.
Go back to the Find My Device site and secure your phone. You can lock it and put a message on your phone’s screen including a contact number. Then look around one more time with fresh eyes.
Check your voicemail by calling your 10-digit number from another phone and hit the * or # button during the greeting to input your password. If your service provider has online messaging, log in and check your messages. Consider remotely erasing your phone by running a factory reset through the Find My Device site.
If all else fails, contact your phone company and have your service disabled.
Samsung’s Find My Mobile feature
If you have a Samsung Android phone, consider using Samsung’s Find My Mobile, which includes extra options not included in the Android feature, including the ability to back up data, conserve your phone battery, view the last 50 calls and messages and designate another phone number as one that can log in to the Find My Mobile app.
Protect your smartphone before you lose it
Take these safety steps before you lose your phone. These will make the process of finding or replacing your phone much easier.
How to protect your smartphone before it’s lost or stolen:
2. Set up a backup.
3. Turn on GPS and leave it on.
4. Protect your phone with a lock screen that authenticates through a passcode, facial recognition or fingerprint. You can also optionally set it up to factory reset after a number of failed unlock attempts.
5. Find your phone’s IMEI number and write it down somewhere safe.
The IMEI number is a unique number that’s built into your phone’s hardware that can be used to identify your device if it has been stolen and factory reset. When contacting the police about your missing phone, it’s best practice to share the IMEI number with them.
How to find your IMEI number?
Here are four ways to find your IMEI number:
1. Dial *#06# and your IMEI number will be texted to you.
2. Go into the “About…” section of your phone’s settings and you can find the IMEI and the serial number of your phone.
3. If you can open your phone to access the battery, you can sometimes find the IMEI number in the battery compartment. Look for a sticker or underneath the battery. Your number may also be etched on the back of your phone.
4. If you don’t have your phone, you can find the IMEI number by clicking the device information on the Find My Device app on Google or logging into your Apple ID and going to devices.
When all is lost…
If you’ve done everything on this list and still can’t find your smart phone, it may be time to accept the fact that sometimes a lost phone is just, well, lost. You’ll likely have to get a new one, but you can also save on Verizon service fees when you join NPP for free! NPP members get exclusive savings on Verizon monthly access fees, plus they receive timely promotions on select devices and accessories.
Losing your phone creates a lot of hassle and stress, but a big discount on your monthly bill might help ease the pain. Good luck searching! We hope you find your phone!