1. Google Maps Timeline
- Log in to your Google Account.
- Go to Google Maps via your browser.
- Click on the Menu. This is represented by three horizontal lines.
- Click on “Your Timeline.” This will pull up the Timeline screen below and show you where you’ve been and how long you stayed there. If the phone was lost or stolen and is still up and running, you could track the location via the map view.
Pro Tip: Before this actually happens to you, it’d be best to turn on the location services of your phone and the location history that Google will need in order to track your location via Google Maps.
2. Find My Device
- Sign into your Google account.
- Go to Google Find My Device. When you visit Find My Device you’ll be signed in on your Google Account it’ll automatically start tracking the device. The dashboard will show you the signal strength of the network and the battery level on the phone.
- Click PLAY SOUND on the left menu. This will work even if the phone is in silent mode. A loud sound will start to play on your Android device on full volume. If you hear the sound go off, you can start tracing it. If you didn’t hear the sound go off, you can be sure that the phone is not within the vicinity.
- Click on “Secure Device”. This will set a screen lock so the perpetrators wouldn’t be able to easily access the phone’s contents. Once you’ve exhausted the search for the device, it may be time to consider wiping the data on the phone.
- Click “Erase Device” on the left-hand menu. This will completely and permanently delete data on the phone.
3. Lost Android App
- Download and Install Lost Android App. After the installation, open up the app.
- Register to their service. No worries here because it’s free to use.
- Visit the Android Lost website and complete the registration.
Their website acts like Find My Phone of Google where you can detect the phone and get some details like battery remaining and signal strength.
Additional features include being able to read and access the SMS on your phone, wiping the data, and sending a pop-up message.
The last feature is essentially useful if you simply lost your phone or left it and someone friendly came by to pick it up and would like to return it.
The percentage of success in retrieving a stolen Android phone will really depend on how fast you act and the time that has lapsed from realizing that it’s no longer with you.
There is no guarantee to have a successful retrieval if you factor in the possibility that the thief could be a dangerous individual.