How to track a phone

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.

Download now for:

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 antitheft 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.

Download now for:

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.

Download now for:

iOS Android

Cerberus anti theft

Cerberus app
Cerberus is a feature-rich app and one of the best antitheft 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.

Download now for:

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

Here are the best Amazon Prime Day smartphone deals (updated)

Amazon Prime Day has arrived and it brings a host of deals on all kinds of products. If you're in the market for a new smartphone, we've rounded up deals on some of our favorite phones like the Galaxy Note 9 and the Huawei Mate 10 Pro.
Mobile

These smartphones offer all-day battery life with plenty of juice to spare

Finding a phone with a long-lasting battery can be a daunting task these days. We've tested all the latest devices to compile a list of the eight phones with the best battery life.
Mobile

Juice up your iPhone or Android phone with the best wireless chargers

We checked out the best wireless phone chargers to make tangles and uncooperative ports a thing of the past. Whether you have an iPhone or Android, find out which wireless charging pads are worth buying, and how their features compare.
Emerging Tech

Bright idea: Keep your gadgets juiced up with these stellar solar chargers

Looking for a gizmo that can help you charge your phone while on the go? Here, we've outlined the best solar chargers on the market, whether you're looking to charge your phone once, twice, or three times over.
Deals

Save up to $900 with the best smartphone deals for July 2018

Need a better phone but don't want to spend a fortune? It's never a bad time to score a new smartphone and save some cash. We've rounded up the best smartphone deals available that can save you as much as $900.
Mobile

The world can be your oyster with a little help from the best travel apps around

Traveling doesn't need to be a time-consuming nuisance. Our handpicked selection of the best travel apps will keep things simple, whether you need cost comparisons for hotels or directions to renowned eateries.
Mobile

The Essential Phone may be out of stock, but you can still buy it for $250

Amazon Prime Day is here, and one of the best deals we've found is on a phone. The Essential Phone is from the creator of Android, it's made of ceramic and titanium, has flagship specifications, and it now just costs $250. That's a steal.
Mobile

These are the best video chat apps to help you stay in touch

Though still relatively new, video chat apps can help you connect with people from around the world. Here are our personal favorites to help you keep in touch regardless of smartphone OS.
Gaming

How to connect your phone to an Xbox One

Microsoft's Xbox app can't do it all, but it does allow you to access your profile information and launch media content directly from your mobile device. Check out our quick guide on how to connect your smartphone to an Xbox One.
Mobile

Visual snapshots on Google Assistant provides your day at a glance

Google's artificially intelligent bot, Google Assistant, is available on smart home speakers, smart home devices, iOS and Android phones, and it can do a whole lot of work on your behalf. Here are all of its features.
Deals

Check out our list of the best iPhone deals for July 2018

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPhone deals available for July 2018.
Mobile

Android Q will likely make its way to the Essential Phone in 2019

The Essential Phone (PH-1) was one of the best-reviewed phones of 2017, and it comes from Andy Rubin, the co-creator of Android itself. It has a striking design with a bezel-less display and the price is now down to $500.
Deals

Walmart slashes Google Home prices for Prime Day

Prime Day is a great time to find great deals on Echo devices, but if you use Google for all of your smart home needs, Walmart is offering steep discounts on Google Home, Google Home Mini, and Google Home Max to stay competitive.
Emerging Tech

Here’s all the best gear and gadgetry you can snag for $100 or less

A $100 bill can get you further than you might think -- so long as you know where to look. Check out our picks for the best tech under $100, whether you're in the market for headphones or a virtual-reality headset.
Mobile

We tried all the latest and greatest smartphones to find the best of 2018

Smartphones are perhaps the most important and personal piece of tech on the planet. That’s why it’s important to pick the best phone for your individual needs. Here are the best smartphones you can buy.
Mobile

Best iOS app deals of the day! 6 paid iPhone apps are free for a limited time

Everyone likes apps, but sometimes the best ones are a bit expensive. Developers put paid apps on sale for a limited time, but you have to snatch them up fast. Here are the latest and greatest iOS app deals offered in the iOS App Store.
Mobile

Garmin’s latest fitness wearables get a workout boost from Gold’s Gym

Owners of Garmin's latest fitness wearables get a workout boost thanks to a new partnership with Gold's Gym that merges Garmin's fitness tracking with the coaching and music of Gold's AMP app.
Mobile

Here’s how to turn off camera shutter sound on your Android phone

That clicking shutter sound on your Android phone can get annoying if you like to take lots of pictures. Fortunately, you can disable it. We will walk you through how to turn off the camera shutter sound on your Android phone.
Outdoors

The AllTrails app gets even better, adds more details in new map layer

AllTrails updated its app with an all-new map layer that is easier to read, more clearly defines state and national parks around the world, and offers more points of interest for hikers.
Mobile

Samsung patent shows 'hidden display' on Galaxy X foldable smartphone

Samsung has been showcasing bendable display technology for a few years now and a folding smartphone might finally become a reality. The Galaxy X may be the company's first example, and here's everything we know about it.
1 of 4