How to find your Android phone: Do you occasionally have your head in the clouds and leave your mobile phone in public places or at friends’ homes? Then the free service that Google offers to all Android users and that allows you to locate your phone remotely in case of loss could come in handy. Its operation is very similar to that of “Find my iPhone” on Apple devices, it allows you to remotely locate your smartphone on a map, make it ring and delete all the data in its memory.
Like all remote location systems, the Google location system also requires the phone to be turned on and connected to the Internet to work, which limits its usefulness in case of theft (as long as the thief is shrewd enough to turn off the device after the “coup” to make it impossible to trace it), but fortunately there are also more complete alternative solutions.
In today’s guide, we will see therefore how to find your android phone using both the localization system offered by Google and some third-party solutions available on the Play Store. What are you waiting for to deepen the topic? All you need is five minutes of free time. Enjoy the reading!
Android Device Management
For find your Android phone with Android Device Manager, the location service offered by Google for free, you must first activate the GPS on your smartphone and authorize the service to do its job.
Then go to the menu with the list of apps installed on your smartphone and press the icon of Settings (the gray gear). In the screen that opens, select the item related to Geolocation and, if necessary, move up ON the lever relating to the localization functions (top right).
When the operation is completed, go back to the menu with the list of apps installed on your smartphone and start Google settings (the gear icon with the letter “G” printed in the center). Then select the item Safety from the screen that opens and activates the functions Locate this device remotely And Allow remote blocking and wipe moving up ON the relative levers.
Mission accomplished! Now you can find your Android phone on which remote localization has been activated by connecting to Android Device Management website and logging in with your Google account. Of course it must be the same Google account configured on the phone (the one you find in the menu Settings> Accounts> Google of Android, or that you can add from the same screen).
Once logged in, wait a few seconds for the phone to appear on the map and decide what to do.
In fact, at the end of the detection, in addition to knowing the current position of your phone, you can make the device ring, block it or delete all the data in its memory.
To sound the alarm, click on the button Make it ring twice in a row and the device will ring continuously for five minutes (or until someone presses the power button). To delete the contents of the mobile, instead, click on the button Cancel twice in a row and Android will automatically delete apps, photos, music and phone settings. Some data on the microSD card may not be deleted. At the end of the operation, the remote location of the device will no longer work.
Finally there is the function Block which replaces Android’s default lock screen with a password protected unlock screen. To use it, click on the button Block and fill out the form that is proposed to you by typing the password to use to lock the phone in the fields New Password And Confirm password, a message for recovery to be displayed on the lock screen (optional) and a telephone number that you want to make contactable by whoever finds the smartphone (optional).
Note: if you want, you can also use Android Device Manager from other Android smartphones or tablets, just install thespecific application available on the Google Play Store.
As mentioned at the beginning of the post, Android Device Manager is a great service but it is a bit limited when it comes to tracking down a stolen phone.
Those looking for a more effective solution in case of theft, would do well to opt for third-party solutions, such as Cerberus which at a cost of 5 euros / year (after 7 days of free trial) allows you to have a complete anti-theft solution on your smartphone.
Thanks to Cerberus, it is possible to locate your smartphone remotely, lock it, format it, make it ring and perform many other operations that Android Device Manager does not offer. For example, you can take photos and record videos secretly, get the list of recent calls or messages, receive information on the data or WiFi network to which the stolen phone is connected and much more.
What makes Cerberus particularly useful in case of theft are its protection systems, thanks to which the application can automatically reactivate the GPS (requires root), can receive commands via SMS (so it works even without an Internet connection) and it can hide itself from the system menus in order to make its presence invisible.
Interesting, right? Then immediately open the Play Store and download the trial version of Cerberus by pressing the buttons Install And I accept. Then start the application, press the button Create a Cerberus account and create your free account on the Cerberus network. This account will then allow you to track the phone and control it remotely.
Once registration is complete, follow the application setup procedure to get it into action. Then presses on the buttons Enable device administrator And Activate to authorize Cerberus to control your smartphone (without this authorization the app cannot work) and if you have a root-unlocked phone, also presses on Grant Superuser permission to unlock the Cerberus functions that require root (re-activation of the GPS and permanence of the anti-theft after Android reset).
At this point you are already protected by Cerberus and you can locate / control your smartphone remotely, but, if you want, you can adjust the settings of the app by acting in its main menu. For example by placing the check mark next to the item Hide from application list you can make the application invisible by activating the functions Lock Power menu And Lock status bar you will prevent thieves from turning off the phone or displaying the status bar from the lock screen and so on.
Pressing onhamburger icon located at the top left you can also configure the automatic photo capture of Cerberus, the system SIM checker which sends an alert in case of change of the SIM in the phone and you can set automatic actions (AutoTask configuration) that the application must perform in certain circumstances.
For find your Android phone using Cerberus, connected to the website cerberusapp.com, click on the button Login located at the top right and log in using your Cerberus account (the one you created during the initial setup of the application).
Once logged in, wait a few seconds and you should see the position of your smartphone on one map of Google Maps. To control the device remotely, use the drop down menu located at the top left. Within the menu there are options to lock the device, show a message, trigger an alarm, get location history, take photos, make videos and much more.
If you are unable to locate the phone remotely with Cerberus, remember that you can still control the device remotely with the SMS. For more information on this feature, consult the guide included in the application.
Android Lost it is a free solution that acts as an alternative to Android and Cerberus Device Manager: it does not offer all the functions of the latter, it is not as simple to use, but it is more complete than the localization service offered by Android as standard.
With Android Lost, you can remotely locate your smartphone, lock it, format it, take photos, record audio and even reactivate the GPS and Internet connection in case of deactivation (although these functions are not always available). The application also allows you to control Android via SMS, to display personalized messages on the phone screen and to make the device ring.
To use Android Lost on your smartphone, download the app from the Google Play Store, start it and grant it administrator permissions by first pressing the button Request Administrator Rights and then on Activate. In the Android menu, the application will be represented with the name Personal Notes and a Notepad icon, so as not to attract attention.
At this point you just have to connect to the website AndroidLost.com and authenticate with your Google account (the same configured on the phone to be located). Then click on the item Sign In which is located at the top right, if necessary log in with your Google account and click on the button Allow to complete the authentication process.
Now you can locate your phone by simply selecting the tab Controls from the AndroidLost website and clicking on the button Send location. Within a few seconds you will see a map of Google Maps with the current position of your smartphone.
To “browse” and use the other commands available in Android Lost, click on the icons you see under the tab Controls: in Status find the commands to activate / deactivate the various connections, in Messages those to send or receive messages from your mobile while in Security there are functions to lock or format the phone.
If the phone cannot be located or controlled remotely (perhaps because it is not connected to the Internet), command it via SMS using the codes you find here (under the heading Available SMS commands).