Tracking your phone after you lose it
If you didn’t have the foresight to install a device recovery app on your phone before you lost it, don’t worry. There are still some easy ways to get it back.
Find My Device
Android users can use Find My Device. Because it’s a Google service, it links with your Google account and can locate any device associated with it. There are also options for locking your device, resetting your PIN remotely, and erasing stored data. You can even add a recovery message or phone number to the lock screen to boost your chances of getting it back, or prompt your device to play a sound in the event it may be nearby.
Find My iPhone
If you own an iPhone you can use the Find My iPhone application. This feature has been a part of iOS since version 5, so there is no need to download an app. It works with iCloud — so it can be accessed through a browser, or another iOS device — and the location of your missing device will show on a map, along with the option to show where it has been too. You can remotely lock the phone, display an emergency message, or erase stored data if the phone has been lost forever.
Non-smartphone users are a bit out of luck in this case. If you didn’t register your phone with AccuTracking or a similar service beforehand, you don’t have many options other than calling your service provider and hoping they can help. Most providers do offer GPS location services for a reasonable fee though, so if your phone is GPS-enabled, finding it is sometimes just a matter of activating the GPS chip.