How to track a lost Android phone and find it on Google Maps
In case you lose your phone, Android has a special location tracking tool built into it. You’ll need to install the app from Google (running with elevated permissions) and link it to your Google account to access it, but the feature integrates with Google Maps to give you the device’s current location in case it’s stolen or goes missing.
“Find my Device” also lets you remotely ring your phone, lock it, or display a message with your contact information. You can wipe everything on your Android phone to keep your data safe.
To watch it, you need to set up your Android phone properly first. Location, network connection, and power must be turned on (via Google). And you’ll need a relatively recent version of the Android operating system (older Androids don’t support device tracking). But the process of preparing and remotely accessing your Android is simple enough. Here’s everything you need to track and locate your Android phone through Google Maps.
How to set up location tracking on Android phones
Before you start, make sure you’re running Android 8.0 or higher. You can find the version on your phone in Settings, About phone, and Android version (via Google).
For older Androids, try going to System, System Update, and updating your Android OS to a newer version.
Next, we’ll prepare Android for tracking. Find My Device is integrated into the operating system by default. But it must be allowed. And its interface is accessible through a web portal or an Android app.
1. Go to Phone Settings
2. Go to Google, Find my device. Alternatively, go to Settings, Security, and Find my device
3. Turn on the power switch
4. If Find My Device is off, you will be prompted to turn on the device location. Tap this ribbon to turn on the location
Next, we’ll download and set up the Find My Device app
1. Open the Google Play Store or tap the Find My Device button in the Find My Device menu
2. Launch the Find My Device app
3. Sign in with your Google account and grant any permissions the app asks for
How to find a lost Android phone on Google Maps
To track or access your Android phone remotely, you can download the Find My Device app and sign in to it on another device by following the steps above. Or you can use the web portal. However, the lost phone will need an active internet connection (Wi-Fi or mobile data) and an enabled location for live tracking. Find My Device will also notify the lost phone when it is being tracked.
1. Go to android.com/find
2. You can find the lost phone in Google Maps marked with a green icon (when the location is disabled, Google Maps indicates the last seen location)
3. If tracking via Maps is not available, tap Play Audio. Your phone will ring for five minutes even if the ringer is turned off
However, if you can’t find your phone, you can either lock it or wipe it permanently (via Google)
1. Open the Find My Device portal
2. Tap Secure device to lock it with a PIN, password, or pattern
3. You can also see a recovery message and phone number from the Secure Device menu for anyone who finds your phone
4. To erase your lost Android phone permanently, click the Erase Device menu
5. Click the Clear button
The device will be erased as soon as it has an active internet connection. By erasing or locking your Android, your private data is protected