How to track a phone using Android or iOS

Find out how to keep tabs on your phone with these helpful tracking tips

Few items we own are as precious as our phone, and losing it can be a dreadful experience (unless you decide to turn it into an opportunity to make a weird and voyeuristic film). If you need to find out how to track a phone, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re simply trying to track the location of your lost phone or you’re a secret agent who needs to gain intel on the whereabouts of a crooked diplomat, we’re here to give you the information you need to get the job done. It’ll be easier if you’re trying to track a smartphone, but there are ways to locate older phones as well, so don’t give up hope if you’re still rocking a first-gen Motorola Razr — we’ve still got your back.

Tracking your phone before you lose it

If you’re here just to prepare for the day that you lose your phone (which for many is inevitable), then you’re ahead of the game. If you’ve got a smartphone, consider installing the apps listed below.

For smartphones

There are several app choices available for your phone, but also remember to set up any included phone-locating software that comes with your device. That includes Apple’s Find My iPhone, Google’s Find My Device, and Samsung’s Find My Mobile. Head to the next section for more details. If you’re looking for more choice, try these out:

Prey

Prey app

Prey is free to use for up to three devices, there are paid plans for more, and the service can be used for both computers and phones. After you sign up for the service, you simply sync your devices with it, sit back, and relax. The day that your phone goes missing, all you have to do is find a computer, log into your account, and start tracking. Prey runs discreetly in the background and won’t track your phone’s location until you tell it to, so there is no need to worry about your privacy while the phone is in your possession. We recommend this for any Android or iOS device, as well as any Mac, Windows, or Linux PC.

iOS Android

Avast Antivirus & Security

Avast Mobile Security app

One of the big boys in the antivirus industry, Avast’s name should be familiar to a lot of PC users. The app is more of a complete package, offering virus scanning and protection, backup options, and power saving — as well as anti-theft options. You can remotely lock or wipe your smartphone, listen remotely, or take a “Theftie” of the rascals themselves. You can also activate stealth mode on your device, so the thief doesn’t know Avast is protecting your phone. Avast provides SIM card change notifications and locking, too, and the company offers similar services for Android, Mac, and PC. Avast is offering an all-in-one app for device protection from viruses and thieves — as long as you’re willing to pay for the premium service.

Android

Lookout

Lookout Apple - how to track a phone

Lookout combines security, tracking, and antivirus or malware protection. There are several interesting features, such as the ability to record a phone’s last location right before the battery dies, the chance to back up contact data before a remote erase, and the option to snap a photo of any would-be thief and email it to yourself along with location data. There is a free two-week trial, after which it will cost $3 per month or $30 for the year if you want the premium features.

iOS Android

Cerberus anti theft

Cerberus app
Cerberus is a feature-rich app and one of the best anti-theft apps you can get. It’s free to try for a week, but you’ll have to pay $6 for a yearly license for one device. The app offers numerous ways to track and control your smartphone via the website, and even via SMS. You can also sound an alarm, even if your device in silent mode, and lock it with a unique code. Additional features include the ability to record audio remotely and snap photos of anyone trying to use your phone. Location history is just a plus. It also comes with Wear OS support, so alerts will be pushed to your smartwatch should the paired device go out of range.

Android

For non-smartphones …

We recommend using a GPS tracking service. There are many different options out there, but AccuTracking is our current favorite.

AccuTracking

Accutracking - how to track a phone

It costs as little as $6 per month (less if you subscribe for a year), and uses GPS to track the location of your phone — and lucky for you, it works with a wide variety of feature phones. As long as your phone is GPS-enabled, this service should do the trick. Most modern cell phones are, so as long as your phone isn’t headed to the museum due to age, you should be fine.

When the day comes that you can’t locate your phone, just log in to AccuTracking’s Web interface from any internet-connected computer and — so long as your phone isn’t dead — it will immediately show you its location.

Mobile

Prevent a broken screen with the best Google Pixel 3a XL screen protectors

The Pixel 3a XL is a solid choice if you're looking for a midrange phone with a large screen and a great camera. But it still needs protecting. Here are the best Pixel 3a XL screen protectors to keep your big display safe.
Mobile

Get your gaming on the go with the 25 best Android games

The Google Play Store is loaded with both terrific and terrible gaming titles. We vetted the store to bring you some of the best Android games available, whether you're into puzzles, shooters, racing games, or something else entirely.
Mobile

OnePlus 7 Pro vs. Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus: Which Android powerhouse is for you?

If you're after a real powerhouse of a smartphone, then you've probably considered the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus. But you could save yourself some cash by opting for the OnePlus 7 Pro. Find out what sets these phones apart in our comparison.
Mobile

The best OnePlus 7 Pro cases to keep your OnePlus in one piece

The OnePlus 7 Pro is OnePlus's latest flagship killer, and it's an incredible phone. But it's expensive, and it's not going to protect itself. Get solid protection in the style you want with the best OnePlus 7 Pro cases.
Deals

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for May 2019

Smartwatches make your life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. So if you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, read on for the best smartwatch deals for…
Gaming

These are the 20 best Android games you can play offline

Even in our increasingly connected world, you don't always have an internet connection on the go. To help you pass the time when you're disconnected, we compiled a list of the best Android games that can be played offline.
Product Review

Oppo’s cutting-edge Reno has a shark fin pop-up camera, and plenty of bite

The Oppo Reno has a very cool shark fin-style pop-up camera to make it stand out in a crowd, and a rear camera with a 10x zoom, plus there’s a 5G version coming soon. It’s truly up-to-date, with plenty of cutting-edge tech inside.
Mobile

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.
Deals

The best Amazon Prime Day 2019 deals: Everything you need to know

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is still a few months off, but it's never too early to start preparing. We've been taking a look at the best discounts from previous Prime Days to give you our predictions of what to expect this year.
Deals

Qustodio drops prices 10% on premium parental control software plans

With school almost out for summer, now is a prime time to keep your children's content consumption in check and protect your own peace of mind with Qustodio's premium parental control software plans, now available at 10% off.
Mobile

As stock Android spreads, is it time for Android manufacturer skins to die?

Many Android device manufacturers seem to be moving towards a stock Android look and ditching separate skins, but there are a few notable exceptions. Do manufacturer interfaces for Android still add value, or is it time for them to die?
Mobile

Guard your Galaxy with the best Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus screen protectors

The Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus are two of the best phones to ever grace this planet -- but the screen still isn't brick-proof. Here are the best Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus screen protectors to keep yours safe.
Mobile

Huawei's situation in the U.S. may improve when trade war is resolved

The U.S. Commerce Department has added Huawei to its "Entity List." Google, Intel, and ARM are all confirmed or rumored to be ceasing business with the company, which may have disastrous effects on Huawei.
Deals

Best Memorial Day sales 2019: Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart deals

If you're looking to save big on some shiny new stuff for Memorial Day 2019, we've gathered everything you need to know into one place. Find out where to save the most money before the summer hits its stride.
1 of 4