Lost your Android phone? Find My Device can help

March 28, 2018

A tablet lying in grass in the rain

Hate that sinking feeling you get when you realise your phone isn’t where you left it? Us too. It’s the worst. Never fear though, there’s a sure-fire way you can be reunited. If you’ve got an Android phone or tablet use Find My Device. This super-clever function not only allows you to locate your device, but also to remotely lock it. Or, if the worst happens, you can even erase your private information, so nobody can go nosing through it.

How to set up Find My Device?

If you haven’t already, add a Google account to your device. This will automatically turn on Find My Device.

How does Find My Device work?

For Find My Device to operate you’ll need the following things to be active. Your device needs to be switched on, connected to mobile data or Wi-Fi, and signed into your Google account.

To find your device on a map, you’ll need to have ‘Location’ turned on too. You can do that by going to Location, Google Location Services, Location Reporting and Location History, then toggle on.

How do you use Find My Device?

If your phone or tablet has been lost or stolen, you can remotely find, lock, or erase information by following these steps:

To start, go to android.com/find and log into your Google account. From there, select the lost device from the top of your screen.

The lost device will then get a notification and you’ll see its approximate location. If it can’t be found, you’ll see its last known position.

You can choose to play a sound, which will call your device at full volume for 5 minutes. Even if it’s on silent or vibrate.

Locking your phone can be done using your PIN, pattern, or password. If you don’t have a lock set up, don’t worry – you can do this remotely. You can also add a message or phone number to the lock screen. That way if someone finds your phone, they can use that information to get it back to you.

Lastly, if you don’t think you’re going to see your device again, you can permanently erase all data from it. Doing this will stop Find My Device from working, so make sure you’re absolutely positive.

Not sure about any of those steps? Check out our handy video at the top of the page.

If the worst has happened, check if you’ve got Three Rescue. It’s your safety blanket if your phone gets damaged or lost, find out more about Three Rescue here.

Or, to cheer yourself up, why not treat yourself to a shiny new phone. Check out the latest devices from Samsung.