Whether your phone is buried in the couch cushions, or you left it back at the last campground, there are times we need help to find it. On both Android and iOS devices there is a website to find a lost phone. For Apple iOS, it is iCloud.com and for Android it’s Google.com/android/find (or I just do a Google search for “Find my android”). We teach this in many of our seminars, mainly as a way to point out the importance of knowing the account and password associated with your phone. See Episode 137 of the Geeks on Tour YouTube show for more on finding your username and password and a demonstration of “find my phone.”
If you know the username and password for your phone, you can go to the website above, using any computer, and find your phone. Note: on the iCloud.com website, you will be asked to enter a code sent to your phone before it logs you in – catch 22?! No – if you scroll down you will see a link to “Find your phone” even without completing the login process.
Once in, you may see a list of all your devices. Select the one you need to find and you will see a map, with the location pinpointed, and you will have 3 choices:
1. Play a sound: to locate your phone if it is nearby
2. Lost mode: to lock the screen and display a message with a phone number where the owner can be reached
3. Erase phone: if you think it has been stolen
Try this procedure now – before your phone is lost! If it doesn’t work, check your settings.
- iPhone: Settings, tap your name at the top, then scroll down a bit until you see the name of your iPhone listed. Tap on iPhone. Next you should see a button for Find my iPhone – tap that. There are two settings, Find My iPhone and Send Last Location. Make sure both of them are on.
- Android: Just make sure your Location services are on by swiping down from the top to see your quick settings – location services icon looks like a map marker. In older versions of Android you may also need to find Settings, Security, [Android Device Manager] Find My Device – make sure it is turned on.
Don’t you feel better now? If you should lose your phone, you will now be able to use some other device, go to the website and enter your username and password, then locate your lost device.
Of course, you’ll still have a problem is the device is dead. An accurate location can only be found if the device is on and connected. If it’s dead, you may still see the last known location. If you put it into lost mode, or choose to erase the phone, that will happen the next time it gets turned on.
Tip: Have you ever tried to find your phone by calling it with another phone only to realize that your phone is in silent mode? Next time try the “find my phone” method – when you choose to play a sound, it will override the silent mode setting to make it ring.
Learn about smartphones and tablets
… from Geeks On Tour. Here are two recent webcasts: #162: There’s a Setting for that! Customizing your phone, and #161: How to remember your travels with photos, maps and a Blog. Watch live or archives of past programs.
Chris Guld is President and Teacher-in-Chief at GeeksOnTour.com. She and her husband, Jim, produce a free weekly YouTube show called What Does This Button Do? They have been Fulltime RVers, popular seminar presenters at RV Rallies, and regular contributors to RVTravel.com, for many years.