Use Google to Find a Lost Android Device

Edited by Jay

Let's face it, losing your Android phone can be quite the pain, especially if you haven't the slightest clue where it might be. If you're like most people, you keep your device on your all the time, which means throughout a day, it could end up practically anywhere. Maybe you dropped it while out for a walk or hike; perhaps it fell out of your pocket when you hopped out of a cab or a friends vehicle, the possibilities are endless.

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The good news is, newer Android phones have Find My Device available directly in the Settings app. So as long as you have the service enabled wither natively or via the app, you can sign in to Google to pinpoint your device. There is, however, a catch; your device must have either WiFi or Data enabled, as well as location services enabled (high accuracy preferable). Although most new devices come with both Find My Device, Data, and Location services turned on by default, it's still a good idea to double-check.

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In the following VisiHow guide we're going to show how to make sure your device has all the necessary services enabled, so if you do lose your phone, you'll be able to track it down with Google. For this article, we used a Google Pixel running Android 8.1.0.

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**Please Note** If you didn't have WiFi/Data, Location services, and Find My Device enabled or installed as an app before losing your device, there's not much you can do besides retracing your steps and hoping for a miracle.

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Enable Data and WiFi on Android

  1. 1
    On the home screen, swipe up to access your app drawer.
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  2. 2
    From the app drawer, tap the "Settings" shortcut.
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  3. 3
    Once on the Settings screen, tap "Network & Internet".
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  4. 4
    On the Network & Internet screen, toggle the switch next to WiFi to turn it on.
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  5. 5
    While still on the Network & Internet screen, tap "Mobile data".
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  6. 6
    On the Data usage screen, toggle the switch next to "Mobile data" to turn it on.
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Turn on Location Services and Enable Find My Device on Android

If you don't the Find My Mobile service inside your settings app, you can get it here.

  1. 1
    From the home screen, swipe up to access your app tray.
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  2. 2
    Once inside your app tray, tap "Settings".
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  3. 3
    On the Settings screen, tap "Security & location".
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  4. 4
    From Security & location, tap "Location".
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  5. 5
    On the Location screen, toggle the switch to enable location services, then tap "Mode".
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  6. 6
    On the Location mode screen, select "High accuracy"
    .
    Tap the back arrow in the upper right corner to go back to the previous menu. Tap the back arrow once again in the top right corner to get back to the Security & location screen.
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  7. 7
    Once you're back on Security & location, tap "Find My Device".
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  8. 8
    On the Find My Device screen, toggle the switch to turn the service on. Now with Wifi/Data, location, and Find My Device enabled; you should be able to locate your phone if it gets lost
    .
    Continue to the next section to see how to locate your device using Google.
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Locate Your Device with Google

  1. 1
    Open a web browser + Google search
    .
    then type "find my device Android" (without the quotes) into the search box. You can also visit the link directly.
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  • 2
    When the search results populate, click "Find My Device - Google".
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  • 3
    Enter the main email for the Google account linked to the device that is lost., then click "NEXT".
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  • 4
    Next, enter the password associated with your main Google account, then click "NEXT".
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  • 5
    Once you're signed in, you'll see three options listed on the left
     
    1. PLAY SOUND - this will ring your phone for 5 minutes even if it's muted.
    2. LOCK - this will lock the device and display a message or phone number.
    3. ERASE - this will delete everything on your device, and you'll lose the ability to locate it. You'll also see a map displaying the location of your phone with a green icon.
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  • 6
    Once your device is found, a notification will appear on the lock screen.
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  • If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.

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    Article Info

    Categories : Use Android Oreo | Use Google Pixel and Pixel XL | Software

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