How to Get Your Lost or Stolen Android Phone Back Fast

Losing your smartphone can be a very frightening and annoying experience, we’ve all been there. It was in your pocket a minute ago - and now it's gone, you can forget your phone at a table in a shop and walk away, perhaps somebody bumps into you on the road and takes your phone right out of your bag or pocket without you realizing it. Either way- the feeling of being without your trusted digital companion is painful. It not only cut off your access to the rest of the world, but your smartphone is your most personal device. And replacing them is a costly pain.

If all you want is to get your phone back, don’t panic. The goodness is that every Android phone comes with built-in tools that make it possible to easily lock and track down a lost phone. To do this, you will need to take some steps to prepare yourself for success if and when you lose your phone even if you leave it at home.

Create a secure lock screen

Turn on passcode and fingerprint authentication, and make sure you are not using facial recognition on your device. This is because the technology used for this feature can be tricked easily with something as simple as a picture of your face. Then, create your passcode and configure fingerprint authentication in the Settings app in the Security section. I understand that entering a PIN code or scanning a fingerprint every time you want to use your phone can be uncomfortable, but it can’t be compared to the idea of someone having access to your banking apps, photos, email and the rest of your personal information. This extra step of unlocking your phone is worth the effort when considering the potential effect of exposing your personal information to a stranger.

Google's Find My Device

Ensure you turn on Google find my device. Every time you sign in to your Android phone with Google Account, you will notice that Find My Device app is already on. This feature is what you will use to track your smartphone if you lose it. You can confirm that Find My Device is turned on by opening the Settings app and selecting Security & Location> Find My Device. And if your device does not have the "Security and location" option, you can go to Google> Security> Find my device.

Samsung’s Find my mobile

If you are using a Samsung phone and you have sign in to your Samsung Account on your Galaxy phone, it should be fine. But, it is better to double-check. With your Samsung phone, in addition to Google Find My Device service, you can set up Samsung’s Find My Mobile service. It gives you the backup service to track down your lost phone, and the tools that Find My Device does not have. With Samsung’s, you can do things such as force remote backups or check to see if someone has changed your SIM card. To use Find My Mobile you must have a Samsung account.

On your Samsung phone, open the Settings app and click on Biometry & Security, then click on Find My Device. If you sign in to your Samsung account during the initial setup of your device, you must have already enabled Find My Mobile. Otherwise, use a few minutes to sign in to your Samsung account and enable Find My Mobile. Use Find My Device

You can lock your phone, play a sound or erase your phone using Find My Device. To use Android's baked-in service, one thing to remember is: This website is where you will go in such an unfortunate situation when you lose your phone. Ensure you signed in to the same Google Account that is linked to your Android phone.

If you are not close to a computer, you can use another Android phone and you will need to download Find My Device app separately from the Play Store. After signing in to the site or app, Google will immediately try to locate your phone. They will send alert to your phone to let whoever hold it know that the phone is being tracked. You can use the menu on the left side of Find My Device website to play a sound (this will be helpful if you misplaced your phone at home!), turn off your phone, or erase the phone completely.

Choosing a secure device locks the smartphone, shows a message of your choice on the screen, and disconnects your Google Account. Don’t panic; you can always locate the phone after it’s locked. And if you use Google Pay for mobile payments, this will prevent anyone from using your smartphone to make a purchase. Reserve the Erase Device feature as a last resort because if you use this feature you will not be able to track the phone if you have erased it.

If the thief switches off your device, you will not be able to track the phone until it is turned on and has a Wi-Fi or cellular connection. Google will alert your mail once it detects your phone. Once you have found your phone, you will have to enter your PIN or password to access it. That should also get rid of the lock screen message. You may also need to sign in to your Google Account just to verify that you are the one accessing your phone. You do not need to turn off anything in the Find My app.

Samsung phones

Samsung's Find My Mobile app has many options for tracking and controlling a lost phone. Owners have the advantage of using Google or Samsung relevant services to locate their missing device, but using Samsung offer some added features. You don’t have to login to to trail your missing device with Samsung service. There is no extra app, so you will have to use a mobile browser on a computer or another phone.

You just need to sign in with your Samsung account and then select your lost phone on the left -hand side of the screen. A map displays the current location of your phone and a list of options appears on the left side of the screen. You need to start the process by locking the phone; this will display a personalized message on the lock screen, and suspend your Samsung Pay cards, then prevent your phone from being turn off. Then create a backup for your phone. You will need to have an existing backup of your phone. If your phone is moving locations, use the track location function.

Activating this feature will track your smartphone every 15 minutes. And it will finally turn on the extended battery life function - this will turn off almost everything on your phone, apart from the location tracking. Just like Google’s Find My Device service, Samsung’s service requires you to enter your PIN code after locating your smartphone. You do not need to return to the website and disable any tracking features.

Don't confront thieves

If your phone has been stolen and you are able to track it, don’t try to recover it by yourself. It can lead to you or someone else getting hurt. It is not worth it, despite the importance of the phone. Contact your local law enforcement agency and let them know that you need help to recover your stolen or lost phone that you are able to track to a particular address. Good luck! We hope you don't have to go through the emotional experience of losing your phone, but if it happens these steps will help you track and get your phone back.

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