Find your Lost/Stolen iPhone or Android Device

Arinee RahmanStudent Writer
Cell phones contain everything nowadays; our whole lives in one single device. With important data, contacts, photos, emails, credit card information and much more, our phones can be convenient yet detrimental if ever lost or stolen. 

Use these steps to prevent loss or to easily track and find your lost or stolen device.  

Find your Apple Device

Find My iPhone is the perfect app to use on your desktop or on your phone when trying to find any Apple device. It allows you to find, lock or erase data from your iPhone. To set up your phone so that you can easily track and find it if you were to ever lose it, follow these steps.

To set up Find My iPhone, make sure your phone’s GPS location is on. This will help in finding your device if it was ever to get lost or stolen.

  1. Go on your phone and select Settings > iCloud > Find My iPhone
  2. ​​Tap the toggle to turn on your GPS tracking for the app. This will allow you to track your device.


Now if you ever lose your cell phone you can use a desktop computer or any other device to find the location of your phone.
Follow these steps to find your device through a desktop:
  1. Go to
  2. Enter your Apple ID and password
  3. Select Find My iPhoneicloudfind.png
  4. As long as your location services is turned on, you should be able to see the location of your phone.
  5. From here, you can select Play Sound to try locating your phone if it is nearby. Or you can select Erase iPhone to permanently erase all data on your phone if it is stolen.
  6. The most useful option is Lost Mode. The next section will go more in depth into this selection.
​​Even if your phone is off or offline, you can still select lock, erase or go in Lost Mode. The next time your phone goes online, your selections will be activated.

Lost Mode

The Lost Mode will automatically lock your phone. If you don’t have a password, this selection will allow you to remotely make a password for your phone. Lost Mode also allows you to send a personalized message to your phone that includes contact information in case a good samaritan finds it and tries to reach you. Your location services will also automatically be turned on if it wasn’t on before.

  1. Enter a phone number that you can be reached at after clicking on Lost Mode
  2. Type a message into the box that will appear on the screen of your phone
  3. This is what your phone will look like once the message is sent. It will the show the phone number you entered to be reached at, along with a Call button so that the person holding on to your phone can call you directly without needing the password to unlock your device.
  4. Once you get a call and your beloved phone is found, you can exit lost mode by going back on your desktop and selecting Stop Lost Mode. stoplostmode.png
All this can also be done through another phone, however the Find My iPhone app must be downloaded on that device for you to be able to track your phone that is lost.

Once the app is downloaded, enter your Apple ID and password and then select Action on the bottom of the screen. This will show the same options as you would see on the desktop: Play Sound, Lost Mode, Erase Phone.

Find your Android Device 

To track your Android device, make sure Location and Google search is turned on under your Location services. Now, you can track your phone through your Google account on a desktop or through the Device Manager app.

Follow these steps to find your Android device through your desktop:

  1. Go to
  2. Sign in to your google account
  3. You will now get a description on where your device was last located. androidlocated.png
  4. You can also Lock and Erase your phone or select Ring which will set off an alarm on your device on full volume for 5 minutesandroid.png
To do this on another device instead of on your desktop, download the Android Device Manager on the device you wish to use to find your lost phone and sign in through your Google account. Untitled-3.pngHopefully this helps you to not only prevent losing your iPhone or Android and all your data on your device forever, but also to help track down your lost or stolen phone.


Comments (1)

Thomas Zucker-ScharffSenior Data Analyst


Nice article.  I have to say that the built in ways to do this tend to work very well and I assume that is why you were looking at them.  Although I don't endorse any 3rd party apps, I have had the trustgo security app on my android for too many years and it has found my phone and saved me several times, even one time in the dead of night when the ringer had been turned off, trustgo located it to within 5 feet and then I set the alarm off and found it on the ground a couple of feet from where I was standing.  The kicker was it was almost pitch black at the time.

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