How to Protect and Find Your Lost Android Phone using Google

Remember the feeling that we get when we don’t find our phone in our pocket? Yes, it’s scary. You never know when you can loose your device. Devices that we use daily can get lost or misplaced easily. It usually happens with me and so i’m back with a new how to guide on how to find your lost Android phone without even installing any third party apps. In this post, we will be discuss things which you should do to protect your Android device and things which you must do to when you loose your Android device. The security system built in your Android device itself can help you get back your phone if it is lost, misplaced or if you cannot find your device.

Track Lost Android Device - How to Guide

Track Lost Android Device – How to Guide

As i told earlier, you don’t require any special app or permissions or anything pre-installed on your device. However, internet should be “ON” on your device. It can be connected to a Wi-Fi or mobile data and GPS (optional) should be enabled as it will help us to exactly pin point the location of our lost device. So let’s get started,

Step 1: Open the web browser on your computer. Head over to Google.com and log in with the same Gmail account as in your Android Smartphone. This is really important step, so make sure same Gmail accounts are logged in. If you have logged in with multiple accounts on your android device, just log in any one of those Gmail account.

Also see: How to Find a Lost Silent Android Device at Home or Anywhere

Step 2: Now on Google search bar, type “Where is my Android” or “Where is my phone“. Now as you type it, the Google will try locating your device. If the GPS is on, it will pin point the exact location of your device right down to the street or house. As you can see Google has located my Android device (see the screenshot).

Search - Where is My Phone or Android on Google Search

Search – Where is My Phone or Android on Google SearchSearch – Where is My Phone or Android on Google Search

Step 3: If GPS is off, you can still access other settings and other option which we’ll talk about in this post next. Now click on the Map of your located device and it will open up in full screen. If you are lucky and your area is well mapped, you can find the exact address of where your android device is present. So now that you have successfully located your device, you’ll see three options, Ring, Lock and Erase at the left-upper corner under the Name and location of your device.Ring Lock or Erase your Device Via Google's Android Device Manager

Ring:

When you hit Ring option, it will display a popup asking you if you want to ring your device and when you hit the Ring button, your device will ring continously for entire 5 minutes at it’s full volume untill someone presses the Power button. Now this option is really help when you have misplaced your device somewhere in your house or at your friends home and you cannot connect to your android device. You can use this to ring your android phone or tablet to find it.

Ring Device at it's full volume to find it

Ring Device at it’s full volume to find it

Lock:

Now if you have or had a password protected device (as 70%-80% devices are password protected) and say you have lost it or dropped it somewhere you don’t know. You tried calling your device and it’s ringing but nobody is picking it up. Even if somebody does find our device, he/she cannot get in direct contact with us as our device is password protected and no owner info is provided on the lock screen. Neither they can access our contacts to get in contact with us or any of our friends.

Lockdown Android Device

Lockdown Android Device

Lock Android and initiate Call from Lost Android Device

Lock Android and initiate Call from Lost Android Device

Now in this case, this lock feature comes in handy. Using Lock feature you can initiate the lockdown on your device and you can change your password. You can also enter a custom message that will be dispalyed on your android device’s screen when someone tries to unlock your device. Here you can also enter your secondary no. of your friend or landline or any other phone you have. After you enter these details, click on lock button. now if someone has your device, he/she will see a message you entered and a call button will be displayed as shown in above screenshot. When the person taps on the call button, your device will directly call on the no. that you entered. So it’s a very useful feature which every android user should know.

Also Read: How to Secure Your Android Smartphones or Tablets

Erase:

This is the final and the last option you have when you are not able to get back your lost phone either by ringing or locking your android device. Now when you initiate the erase command, everything on your android device i.e. you data, pictures, information, contacts etc. will be removed. This feature is really helpful for the people who think that their device is stolen and beyond recovery. Also helpful for people who have sensitive data related to work or any personal on their device and are scared about their data being stolen and misused.

Erase Sensitive data from your Stolen or lost Android Device if not found

Erase Sensitive data from your Stolen or lost Android Device if not found

In this case when your device is lost or stolen and we are more worried about the data on the android device than the android device itself. Reason, you can always buy a new android device or your insurance might cover your android device when it’s stolen. But the data on the device, if it’s misused, can do a lot more harm on you. So this is the option you should use when you cannot track your device and it’s beyond recovery.

Must Read: How to Protect Android Phone from Theft or Loss

Some other important Tips to Secure Your Android Device

Now there are certain things that must try on your Android device to prevent it or to get it back when it is lost or stolen. Below are few important tips that you must follow if you want to get back your lost android, secure it and protect data inside it.

Enter Owner Info or Lock Screen Message:

You should provide the “owner info” which is displayed on your devices lockscreen (see screenshot). To enable this option, go to “Security>>Owner Info or Lock Screen message” and enter tour information. For eg. “If phone found call 8000092001 @ Ravi Singh.” This feature is available in all Android devices under the Security settings.

Enter Owner or Lock Screen Message you want to Display

Enter Owner or Lock Screen Message you want to Display

Owner Info or Lock Screen Message Displayed on Lock Screen

Owner Info or Lock Screen Message Displayed on Lock Screen

So now when someone will come across your device, they can read your number, your name and can get your phone back to you.

Encrypt Your Android Device:

Next thing you must do or try out if you are afraid of data being stolen or have sensitive data on your android device is Encrypt your Phone. When you encrypt your device, you are password protecting your entire data. So if someone does have access to your phone and if they try to get your data, they’ll have to enter a password without that the data will be useless. You can find this option under Security Tab in Settings menu.

Security Settings in Android Phone

Security Settings in Android Phone

Encrypt your Android Device

Encrypt your Android Device

Set up SIM Card lock

The next thing you should try out is using SIM card lock feature present in all Android phones and tablets. It doesn’t matter how careful you are and no matter how much password you have in your phone. Once your device is stolen, your SIM card can be misused.

Setting Up SIM Card Lock

Setting Up SIM Card Lock

You might have heard about cases where phones are stolen just to use their SIM cards. They can be Hijackers, kidnappers looking out for devices of which they can use the SIM card. Every time you turn on your device, you’ll have to enter the SIM card lock password to unlock the SIM card. This feature is available in every phone and not only android, which have a SIM card slot. So do lock your SIM card if you don’t want your SIM card to be misused.

Caution: Please make sure you have the deafult PIN providedby your mobile operator before continuing SIM lock on your device. You can find some of the popular operators default PIN in below table.

Recommended for You: How to Protect Your Android with Free Best Security Apps

How To lock SIM card with Personal Identification Number (PIN):

  1. Go to Settings and Tap on Security
  2. Tap Set up Sim Card Lock
  3. Choose Lock SIM card and enter default PIN of card (provided below) and hit OK
  4. To change the Card PIN, tap Change SIM PIN and enter the new PIN.

Default SIM PIN Codes for Different Operators

OPERATORS

Default SIM PIN code

Airtel

1234
AT&T

1111

Aircel

0000
BSNL

0000

Tata Docomo

1234
Idea

1234

Orange

1111
Reliance

0000

Sprint

1234
Tesco Mobile

5555

T-Mobile

1210
Verizon

1111

Virgin Mobile

7890
Vodafone

0000

Restoring Micro SIM card that has been locked out

If you enter the wrong PIN more than the maximum times allowed, the SIM card will be “PUK Locked”. In this case,

  1. Call your operator and ask for PUK code.
  2. Enter the PUK code on your Phone dialer screen and tap next.
  3. Enter the new PIN you want to use and tap Next.
  4. Enter the PIN again and Hit OK.

Also Read: Top 7 Best Antivirus Apps For Android Smartphones and Tablets 2015

So this was all in this post on how you can Protect your Android device and get it back when it’s stolen or lost. if this post has helped you by any mean, then please share this article and  Subscribe to us for more such How to Tech Guides on Android, iOS, Windows, Mac and Linux below or Connect with us to stay updated for more via Facebook,  Google+ and Twitter

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