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Lost your phone? 3 simple ways to track down a lost or stolen Android

Have you noticed how expensive new smartphones can be? If you love the latest and greatest, you can pay about $1,000 for your next Android phone. Buy a new one for every family member and you’re looking at a bill of about $4,000. Yikes!

The cost of replacing your gadget is just one reason you don’t want to lose it. But there’s an even more important reason you don’t want it falling into the wrong hands. If you guessed security, you’re right.

Think of all the sensitive data that can be found on your smartphone. Tap or click here to see the Android bug that lets hackers take over your device. But security is also not the most important reason you don’t want to lose your phone. Another is all those irreplaceable memories in the form of messages, videos and photos.

If you were to misplace your phone, would you know how to find it? If not, we’ve got some good news for you. There are a few apps out there that can help, plus your smartphone offers some settings to help you find it as well. Let’s take a look at them now.

Note: does not condone the use of these phone trackers for anything other than locating a lost or stolen Android gadget. While these apps are great at finding missing devices, they shouldn’t be used to stalk others. Always use good judgment when using the services of the following programs.

1. Find My Device

You need a reliable way to find your lost smartphone, so turn to the Find My Device app. Never use it before? Here’s a quick rundown of what to expect:

Find My Device is an essential tracking tool for anyone who knows the stress and worry that comes with a lost or stolen gadget. It helps you easily locate a lost Android gadget and keeps your information safe and sound while you look.

Here are some of its key features:

  • Find a lost, stolen or missing device whether it belongs to you, your spouse or your child.
  • Keep tabs on a lost or missing gadget with real-time location updates. When the missing device is moved, its position is updated instantly on the app’s map and website.
  • You’re also able to track and locate Android tablets.

The app’s navigational assistance can guide you too, making retrieval quick and easy. But to make sure your phone can be found, your device must:

  • Be turned on
  • Be signed in to a Google Account
  • Be connected to mobile data or Wi-Fi
  • Be visible on Google Play
  • Have Location turned on
  • Have Find My Device turned on

To ensure your device is on, open Settings >> Security >> Find My Device. If you don’t see Security, tap Security & location or Google Security.

To enable your phone’s location, open Settings >> Location. If you don’t see it, tap Security & location >> Location. Turn it on from here.

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If you hide your phone on Google Play, it won’t show in Find My Device, so make sure not to hide it. To make sure Google Play visibility is on, open and under Visibility, pick your device.

Finally, to ensure you can find your phone, open and sign in to your Google Account. Now, whenever you go to on any other device and sign in to your Google Account, you can see its location on a map.

  • Locate gadget – Your missing device will ring for 5 minutes, even if set to silent.
  • Securing device – The lost gadget will lock and display a message or phone number.
  • Erase – If you are not able to find your device, you can erase all content stored on it. This keeps sensitive data out of the hands of thieves.
    Note: Using this function means the Find My Device app will no longer work in helping you locate the lost gadget.

2. AndroidLost

This next app is very resourceful. I’m talking about AndroidLost.

AndroidLost has a number of impressive features that will help you find your missing gadget. For one, you are able to control your lost phone remotely from either its website or SMS.

Here are some of the app’s features:

  • Locate by GPS network
  • Read sent and received SMS messages from your phone and send them to your email
  • Wipe your phone
  • Lock phone
  • Erase SD card
  • Start alarm with flashing screen
  • Send SMS (text) messages from webpage
  • Forward calls

That’s a lot of features, so how do you use AndroidLost?

  1. Download the app.
  2. Register your phone – Simply start the program. That’s it.
  3. Re-login on the website – Log in to the app’s site by using your Google account. You should get a “Congratulations” pop-up message indicating your phone is hooked up to the site. You can now click on the Controls menu and start to remotely control your phone.

3. Family Locator – GPS Tracker

This app won an Editor’s Choice award on the Google Play store for its simple designs and functionality. Simply download the app and locate your phone via GPS. If you have a family and want to keep track of where your kids are going, you can create a group to see where everyone is at all times.

RELATED: Manage your kids’ screen time in new ways with this app

If a phone is lost, you can use another family member’s phone or go to and log in to your account. You can also message each other with Family Locator‘s built-in communications system.

Other features you can enjoy include:

  • Locate phone via GPS
  • Locate phones of other members
  • Track phones location history
  • Built-in messaging system
  • Receive real-time alerts when group members leave or arrive at destinations
  • Works for iPhone and Android

Now you have everything you need to keep track of your device. For more tips and tricks, sign up for Kim’s Android Updates newsletter below.

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