How To Find Your Lost or Stolen Phone

Graybush

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Feb 13, 2017
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Hello there Tom's Guide Members!

We get a lot of requests to help people find/track phones that we felt a sticky thread was needed on the subject.

Why Can't The Forums Find My Phone?

The short answer is that we just don't have the capabilities to do so. The longer answer is that the forums are not built or developed with finding any technology information outside of the Tom's Guide site or its sister sites. The best we can do is to share information and stories on how to prevent losing your phone and how to report stolen/lost phones.

Okay, Where Do I Start?

Foresight is the best prevention to lost phones!

If you have an Android Phone, you can set up Android Device Manager through Google.
How to Enable Android Device Manager Security

If you have an Apple phone, Apple Support provides for its own systems: Find My iPhone.
Find Your iPhone Using Mac or Windows PC

If you're not sure either is the best for you, the next alternative would be to use a tracking device on your phone. Key Finders are becoming more common by the day, and can be a good alternative.
Best and Worst Key Finders of The Year

What Do I Do If I Already Lost My Phone?

Losing your phone really stinks. Trust me, I've been there. Fortunately, moderator iZone has put together some simple steps to follow if you've lost the phone.

Step 1. Contact your local police dept.

This is to file a police report for a lost or stolen phone. While it may not seem like an important thing to do , having a police report does come in handy when dealing with warranty service and your cell phone provider.

Step 2. Contact your cell phone provider.

This is to inform them of the lost or stolen phone so that no new charges will be applied to your account for calls that you did not make. They also will be able to assist you in finding or tracking your cell phone and will also recommend a course of action.

Step 3. Finding or disabling the phone.

If your phone was lost then there are things that you can do to try and locate it or just disable it.
This link is to register your phone with an online data base and the reason for this is that if found you can get notified of it coming into their data base.

http://www.3gadget.com/

This next link is also a way to have your phone returned to you if it was lost and someone finds it.

http://mystufflostandfound.com/

Step 4. Locating a stolen phone.

It is not recommended that you attempt to recover your stolen phone as it may lead to serious injuries from a confrontation that may occur in attempting to get the phone yourself. You can track the phone and identify it's location but you should then notify the authorities as to it's location so that they can recover it for you.

These next links are for attempting to track your phone using the imei number of the phone. Each cell phone is given a unique set of numbers to identify it and it is what the cell phone providers use to register the phone with their service.

https://www.techwalla.com/articles/how-to-track-a-mobile-phone-using-its-imei-number

http://www.trackimei.com/

http://10pstreet.co.uk/imei-track-trace/

Tracking by sim card is not as efficient as the IMEI number because the sim card needs to be powered up to see it. The sim card can also be removed and another put in it's place to make the phone able to be used, the IMEI number can't be removed. You may be better off just disabling the sim card it so that it can't be used and calls be applied to your account.

The writers here on Tom's Guide have also written about what to do if your phone was lost or stolen.

What To Do After Losing Your Phone

How To Find Your Lost or Stolen iPhone

Phones are an important part of connecting with the people near and far from us. Taking the time to set up backups of your data and implementing locating technology will really take a burden off your shoulders should the worst happen. The Forums may not be able to find your devices for you, but we are more than happy to give advice and be a sounding board for you on the experience.
 

Graybush

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Feb 13, 2017
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MERGED QUESTION
Question from michellesturrup : "how can i find my phone number using my imei number"





 

ridhimasane

Great
May 22, 2018
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that was really good and helpful information shared on this topic to find the lost or stolen smart phone. Thank you for sharing the same.
 
Aug 3, 2018
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MERGED QUESTION
Question from kaleprachi90 : "Plz reply me"

Plz tell me how to find a switched off phone which is rebooted and wiped all data.
 

MasterChief86

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Dec 13, 2016
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Well, IMEI number and Google's own link on finding anrdoid, (https://www.google.com/android/find) comes in pretty handy but your phone will have to be turned on and active before you could do that. if you have a phone in your hand right now, you can try it out. I've done it before and it works. But the issue here is, it shouldn't be on silent. And if it's still right where you left, you'll be able to easily track it down through the location and the sound. but if someone picked it up or turned it off or changed the settings to silent, then this feature essentially becomes useless. the best you can do then is to delete the data through the same feature and then have it blocked through the IMEI number. This is also a reason why I fear external cards. Though they give you extra storage but people can take it out and use a reader to access the storage.
 
Dec 21, 2018
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Thank man for your help
 
Jan 31, 2019
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Saga Lout

Glorious
Moderator
It's worse than that; they can use your personal data to your disadvantage. You must contact your Service Providerr to report the loss. They might be able to tell you where it was when last turned on and you can take that information to the Police.

If the finder or the thief is using mobile data and making calls, you are responsible for the bill and that's another good reason to call them NOW!!!
 
Feb 12, 2019
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It's worse than that; they can use your personal data to your disadvantage. You must contact your Service Providerr to report the loss. They might be able to tell you where it was when last turned on and you can take that information to the Police.

If the finder or the thief is using mobile data and making calls, you are responsible for the bill and that's another good reason to call them NOW!!!
how they can use my data if I have a password?
 

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