There are few different ways you can track your Android device even if you don’t have the tracking device installed on you Android mobile.
#1- Track a lost Android with Google Android Device Manager:
The requirements are:
• The device must be connected to an account in google
• You must have internet access.
• The Android Device Manager (ADM) will locate the device. This could be changed in “Google Settings”
• Allow the ADM to lock the device and erase the data.
The ADM is very efficient and easy to use to track a phone or Android Tablet. The good thing is that it is not necessary to download an application to track it. The only thing that it asks is that the device has an activated connection to a google account and connected to the internet. You must enter the ADM during the registration to a google account. When charging, it will automatically track the phone.
In a new update, google applied some of the features of ADM on your search results page. This implies that you can automatically search any device already registered from the search results. By using a phrase that says, “Where is my phone?”, Google always shows a map above the search results where it will try to find your phone. Once crawled, let it ring by pressing “ring”.
Although this will help you find your phone fast, it will not offer all the options contained in the full version of Android Device Manager.
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If you do not have a computer when you lose your phone, it is possible to track your phone through another android device. Instead of using the browser, you can use the application called Android Device Manager. If the lost phone does not have the application, download it to the phone you are using for tracking by logging in, using the guest mode and your account data in google. So you should be able to track it, let it ring or erase the data.
Can not locate your phone this way? This usually happens because the device is off or has no internet conecction. In that case you should continue with this method until hopefully reconnect to google.
If the phone is stolen and the thief could disconnect the device from your google account neither the android device manager nor anything can locate it, since it is mandatory to be registered to google account. However there is a last resort that will be shown later.
2. Remote control and tracking your phone with Android Lost:
UPDATE: Due to Android API updates, Android Lost can not be activated remotely on devices running Android 3.0 or higher.
• Your device is connected to your Google account.
• Your device has Internet access.
• You are not running Android 3.0 or higher.
This is a more difficult way to track it. You must install a tracking application called “Android Lost” on any phone and activate it by sending an SMS.
How to install it when you do not have a phone with you ?. It’s very easy, you can install it directly from your computer through the google play website. Then you can install the Android Lost app.
The process of remote installation of Android Lost is very simple and you just need your phone to stay connected to your Google account. In a case of theft, you have to see if the thief did not disconnected the phone from the internet.
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Here is what you should do:
Step 1: Install Android Lost
Install the Android Lost app through Google Play on your browser and it will be installed directly on your phone. As already stated, your phone must still be connected to your Google account. If it is not, it will not work.
Step 2: Turn on Android Lost (does not work on Android 3.0 or previous)
If you have your Smartphone or tablet, all you have to do is to start the application. Probably this is not the case if you lost the phone. For this reason, to register your device you must send an SMS saying “android lost register” to your phone. This message can be sent from any device. This will result in Android lost registering with your account details.
If you have a tablet, sms is not an option. In this case install “AndroidLostJumpstart” before installing the lost Android app.
Step 3: Log in to the Android Lost website
Log in with your account to the Android lost website. Then you should have access to all the remote control features like these:
• Read the latest SMS from your phone
• Forcing the phone to play an alarm with a blinking tab. This is perfect if you lost your phone.
• Find the location of your device
• Lock and unlock the phone
• Delete everything from the phone so that no private data falls into the wrong hands
• Erase the SD card
• Use the camera to take photos (front or rear camera) to get a good picture of the person who took your phone.
Here is the complete list of functions.
The registration process may take some time to be completed.
The only negative feature one could experience is that a notification of a new application called “Android Lost” could alert the thief what is happening.Unfortunately, activating Android Lost can only be used with versions prior to Android 3.0.
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3. Plan B is the Android Lost alternative for devices running Android 2.0 – 2.3
• Your device must be connected to your Google account.
• Your phone has Internet access.
If Android Lost is not working for you and your phone is still running on an older version of Android (2.0 to 2.3), you can try Lockout Plan B. Install the app from the Play Store to your device and if this works, Plan B will send the location of your phone through your Gmail. The app will send an email every 10 minutes with the current location.
You can also use any other phone to send an SMS saying “locate” to your phone so you can get the location by mail.
As already mentioned, Plan B only works with Android 2.0-2.3 devices so it will not work with most devices. In addition, the application has not been updated in a while, so its operation can not be assured.
4. Using google maps location history, now called “timeline”, to track your lost Android device even if it is turned off:
• Your phone is connected to your Google account.
• Your device has Internet access.
• Location reports and location history must be enabled on your device
Google has verified the experience of its location history tool, giving it a new name “timeline”. This tool seeks to help track the places visited. Before the update, you could only see points on the map. Now it shows the names of the places in which it has been. Thanks to this, finding a lost phone has become a much simpler process.
Unlike Android Device Manager, the Google Maps Timeline is not intended to locate a phone. You can use location data for different things, such as previously made travel routes or tracking what you did the night before. However, it is also a great way to locate your phone.
What you should do is go to the your timeline (old Google Maps Location History) and make sure the current day is selected in the calendar. In the left bar, you can display a full timeline for that day, as well as the names of all locations. On the right, you can see all the locations displayed on a map.Apart from the Android Device Manager, which also works with GPS to track, Your Timeline only uses the ID of the phone and Wi-Fi location detection to collect location data. This means that it can not be accurate and can vary. So how can this tool help you if the phone does not have a battery?
Well, before your phone dies, Google stores its current location. This means that it can be found using the last position in your location history.
The good thing about Timeline is the ability to track the location of your phone frequently over a period of time. If someone stole it, it could show more often the places visited, this could be the house of the thief or the place of work. This could help you and the authorities to catch the person.
Testing the Android Device Manager or Android Lost first is recommended as they are able to use GPS from their device and offer other useful features.
5. Use the Samsung Find My Mobile to find your phone:
• Your device has Internet access.
• You must have a Samsung account and your device must be registered to it. You need to have find my mobile feature set up on your mobile by enabling remote controls.
If you have a Samsung device, you can find your phone with “Search for my mobile”. For this to work properly you need a Samsung account and register your device before losing it. So try to remember if you are registered.
If you did, go to the Search my mobile site. Check it out and make sure your device is connected to your account. Now press ‘Locate my device’ and click the locate button. If your device is connected, you should be able to show its approximate location. Finding my cell phone also allows you to lock your device, letting it ring with a message and erase your data.
6. How to use Dropbox to find your stolen phone (Android and iOS)
• Your device has Internet access.
• Activate “Camera Upload” in the Dropbox application.
• Someone has to take pictures with the lost device.
Dropbox can be the last method, if all the others do not approach to find your mobile. In order for this to work Dropbox must be installed on your phone and put the function “Camera charge” is activated. This way, every time the thief on your phone takes a photo, it automatically uploads itself to your “Camera Upload” folder in Dropbox. Therefore, if he or she takes a selfie it could be possible to identify the thief. And if you’re lucky, you can see the location by looking at the background of the uploaded photos.
So far, that’s the only way Dropbox can help. Dropbox does not give the IP address of mobile devices that are connected to your Dropbox account. This is only possible for desktop and laptop PCs so far.
Hopefully you are reading this just for interest and not because you lost your phone! But if unluckily, the later is the case, we hope this article will help you locate your mobile. Either way, it;s recommend installing a good tracking app BEFORE your phone disappears. One recommend app is Cerberus, which is available on Google Play.
Here are so very important tips you need to do as soon as possible after you loose your mobile:
1. The most important thing: You must install is a tracking application!
This is logical because having a tracking / anti-theft application on your phone greatly increases the chances of retrieving it. There are a lot of different tracking apps, but my favorite at all like I already said is Cerberus. It offers many features and is easy to set up. Some of the options are location tracking, taking videos or images with front or rear camera, checking call records, location history and delete all data.
You can only download Cerberus with one week for free, then you can buy it for life with € 4.99. It’s not cheap, but it’s money well spent.
2. Activate Android Device Manager (ADM) and Location History
Make sure ADM and Location History are enabled. Both tools can be helpful when you lose your phone. With ADM you can track your device, make it sound and erase your data. Location History displays the latest locations recorded on a map. If someone stole it, this could help track the thief’s home address.
3. Set a lock screen pattern or password
Several people use lock screens to prevent unwanted people from accessing private files such as pictures, text or videos. For some people, unlocking a phone quite a few times a day can be quite annoying, but it’s worth it. This additional not only prevents your friends from secretly consulting your latest pictures or texts.
It also helps prevent thieves from changing anything important, such as removing mobile data or disconnecting the phone from your Google account. As stated above, you need a working connection to the web and a connected Google account to get the current location of your Android phone.
4. Install Dropbox and enable Camera Upload
Installing Dropbox can be a long process. However, it is always better to have different options to locate a lost phone in case is lost. You should go upwards, if you want to re-see how this is done with the help of the Dropbox camera loading function.
Lastly just before we end the article we have answered the most frequently asked questions by people who have lost mobiles on various blogs. Hopefully it will help.
Can I still locate my phone if it is off / in airplane mode or if the battery is dead?
This is very common. The battery does not last forever, and the thief might have turned the phone off. Now what? Unless you work for the CIA, there can be no way to contact the phone. However, you could use location history to locate where you were before it disappeared. For this to work, the location history should be activated on the phone if you did not have no choice but to wait for it to turn on or connect to the internet.
I changed the password for my Google account. Can I still locate my phone?
Changing your Google password after losing your phone is a logical thing to do. You do not want another person to have access to all your emails, documents, etc. You can track and change your password and you can continue to crawl the device. Methods of how Android Device Manager will continue to work. If you can not locate your phone with ADM, I advise you to view the last location using your phone’s location history.
Can I follow my phone if someone did a factory reset?
No. As the name already says, resetting a phone causes it to return to its factory settings. What you need is: log in to your Google account. If you have not installed a tracking application such as Cerberus, it will no longer be possible to locate it.
Can I locate my phone using my IMEI number?
Locating your phone with your unique IMEI number is not possible. In some cases, the police can work together with the provider of a telephone to find it using the IMEI. The best thing to do is to lock your phone so nobody can use it or make calls, send texts or use the data. For this, it is best to contact your provider.
By the way, you can find the phone’s IMEI number by dialing * # 06 #. This code works on almost all phones. Do not have your device with you? Here is how to find the IMEI without having the phone.
Can I locate my phone if someone changed the SIM card?
If someone places your SIM card in your phone, you may be able to locate it. Changing SIMs does not disconnect Google account, this is a good thing. This means that tracking tools such as Android Device Manager or Android Lost should still work. All that is needed is for your phone to maintain an Internet connection.
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