How to find a lost An­droid phone or tablet

Pre­pare now to help you find your An­droid phone or tablet in the event that it is lost or stolen

Android Advisor - - Adroid Advisor -

If you've lost your phone or tablet it's not al­ways gone for­ever. But don't wait un­til you lose it to pre­pare: you'll need to con­fig­ure it now to en­able you to find a lost An­droid de­vice. Here's how to set up phone track­ing and how to find your phone.

Note that the so­lu­tions of­fered in this tu­to­rial will re­quire your phone to be switched on in or­der to give you an ac­cu­rate idea of its lo­ca­tion, and to ac­cess op­tions to re­motely lock or wipe it. If your bat­tery runs out or your phone is stolen and switched off, you may be out of luck. Back up ev­ery­thing now, just in case you can't get it back.

Here we'll con­sider the op­tions built into An­droid to ex­plain how to track your lost or stolen de­vice. You will need to be signed into your Google ac­count on the phone or tablet be­fore you begin.

Some third-party op­tions are also avail­able. Prey is a par­tic­u­larly popular op­tion, avail­able not only for mo­bile de­vices but also Win­dows, OS X and Ubuntu lap­tops. If you have sev­eral de­vices span­ning mul­ti­ple plat­forms, it's worth con­sid­er­ing an op­tion such as this that lets you track them all from a sin­gle in­ter­face.

How to lo­cate a lost An­droid

De­vice Manager of­fers the eas­i­est way to track an An­droid phone or tablet. You don't need to have the app in­stalled on your de­vice to use it, but you do need to check that your set­tings are cor­rectly con­fig­ured be­fore you lose it.

To start us­ing De­vice Manager, open the Google Set­tings app (not the de­vice's own Set­tings app) and

tap on Se­cu­rity. Un­der De­vice Manager en­sure the op­tions to 'Re­motely lo­cate this de­vice' and 'Al­low re­mote lock and erase' are en­abled.

Lo­ca­tion ac­cess also needs to be switched on for De­vice Manager to work. Once again open the Google Set­tings app, but this time choose Lo­ca­tion. On the next screen tap 'Google Lo­ca­tion His­tory' un­der Lo­ca­tion Ser­vices and en­sure it's switched on.

You now have two ways of track­ing a lost An­droid. If the de­vice is switched on and has a sig­nal you'll be able to track it in De­vice Manager - head to an­droid.com/de­vice­m­an­ager on an­other de­vice and sign into your ac­count. It should find your de­vice and re­port its lo­ca­tion on a map. Also in De­vice Manager you'll find op­tions to make the phone ring, lock out a sus­pected thief or wipe its con­tents.

There is also an An­droid De­vice Manager app you can in­stall to your An­droid phone or tablet, which is

use­ful if you have sev­eral An­droid de­vices to track. It's free from Google Play.

An­other op­tion, if your An­droid is switched off, is to check your lo­ca­tion his­tory to find its last re­ported lo­ca­tion. You can do this by vis­it­ing google.com/set­tings/ac­coun­this­tory and tap­ping on Man­age His­tory un­der Places you go.

You'll now see a map of all the places in which your de­vice has re­ported its lo­ca­tion dur­ing a time pe­riod that you spec­ify. The last known lo­ca­tion is where Google last saw it be­fore the bat­tery died, and if your luck's in it may still be there. Note that lo­ca­tion his­tory uses Wi-Fi- and mo­bile sig­nals rather than GPS, so it won't be as ac­cu­rate as An­droid De­vice Manager.

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