If your smartphone or tablet is lost or stolen, you should know how to locate it. Android and Apple devices have tracking tools, built-in to their accounts and devices, and they are free for all to use.

The Tools

On a computer, open your browser and use the appropriate website for your type of phone:

Android (Google) phones: www.google.com/android/find
(Apple) iPhones: www.icloud.com/find

If you are using a different mobile device, download and/or open the appropriate app:

Google’s Find My Device app
Apple’s Find My app

The Details

With either type of locator tool, you’ll need to sign in to the account associated with the missing device, and once you do, you’ll see a wealth of options:

  • Locate your device(s) on a GPS-style map (or its last-known location before it was powered off).
  • Cause your device to make a loud sound. Your ringtone will play at full-volume, even if you have your phone set to Do Not Disturb!
  • Lock/erase your device.

Whether your phone has been stolen, left at the grocery or just hidden between the couch cushions, I hope you can appreciate these tools’ usefulness. I recommend you try them out now to get familiar with them, as well as bookmark the site you use, so you can quickly return to it when needed.