lost android phone

How To Secure Your Stolen Or Lost Android Phone

Are you unfortunate enough to have lost Android phone, somebody stole it or even worse – got mugged?

A smartphone is one of the most valued and loved items that we possess today because it provides numerous uses and advantages. These include connecting us to social media i.e. Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, etc. and we browse the web apart from making calls and sending SMSs.

Therefore, even the thought of losing our smartphone seems like a nightmare. If it has happened unluckily; you need to find (lost in home or car) or secure it by locking/erasing all the data on it to avoid going into wrong hands.

But how to find lost phone or secure it?

Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered in this post! Here is a quick overview of what's included:

So, without further ado, let’s get started…

Prerequisites For Locating Or Securing A Lost Android Phone 

Important: Some of the following steps work only on Android 8 and later versions. They can vary slightly depending on the edition of the Android OS being used. My phone has Android 8; that’s why all information in this post is based on it.

How to check your Android version   

  • Open your phone's Settings app
  • Tap About Phone near the bottom
  • Software Information will tell you the current Android version

It is shown below:

android version pic

You must configure the following settings on your phone to find, lock or erase it later on. Otherwise, you will keep blaming yourself afterward!

Find My Device Is On

By using the Find My Device service from Google, you can locate or secure your precious asset. So, it’s mandatory to have it enabled on your smartphone. Here is how to do so:

  • Open your phone’s Settings app.
  • In the Search box at the top, type Device Admin Apps and click on it in the       results below.
  • On the next screen, make sure the Find My Device is activated.
enable find my device pic
find my device pic

Note: Google uses the Find My Device service to use location data, device information, and connection events so that it can locate your devices and accessories. Device location is approximate and may not always be accurate.

Phone’s Location Is On

You need to make sure that your Android phone’s location can be tracked.

  • Open your phone’s Settings app
  • Go to Connections
  • Open Location and make sure it is turned on
android phone location pic

Android Phone Is Visible On Google Play

The phone must be visible on Google Play. Otherwise, it won’t show in Find My Device. Here is how to check it:

  • Open Google Play  
  • In the My Devices section place a check under Visibility if it’s not thereas shown below:
google play visibility

Make Sure That You Can Find Your Device

  • Go to Find My Device.
  • Sign in to your Google Account. Do it with the phone owner’s account; not with the one that has been added later on.
  • If you have your Google account configured on more than one device, click the required device at the top of the screen.
  • In a short while, you will receive a message on your phone from Google Play Services that the device has been located.
google find my device

In the above picture, the arrow in the map shows the location of your Android smartphone. Hence, you can tap the device location & then the Directions icon to navigate to your device with the help of Google Maps.

The second arrow shows the details of the phone like Carrier/WiFi network connected, battery remaining, etc.

Now you have made sure to tick all the boxes for finding or securing your smartphone in case you get separated from it.

In the past, I also got deprived of my cell phone, and I didn’t know how to locate or secure it. The result: I wasn’t able to do anything. So, please make sure to have the above settings in place and be prepared for this bad incident.

Keep reading & discover how to find lost phone or secure it…

Locate, Lock Or Erase Your Lost Android Phone

The lost phone must meet the following conditions to become eligible for tracking. It must:

  • Be turned on
  • Be signed in to a Google Account
  • Be connected to mobile data or Wi-Fi
  • Be visible on Google Play
  • Have Location turned on
  • Have Find My Device turned on

After losing your phone, there are two ways to locate and secure it:

1. Track Phone Through A Web Browser

Follow the steps below to accomplish this method:

find my device login pic
  • Log in with the Google account that was configured on your lost phone.
  • The resulting web page will show you the location of the phone on the map along with its details as shown here before.
  • Click on Play Sound to ring it for 5 minutes at full volume. It is useful if you are fortunate to have misplaced it in your home/car etc. or reached a location near it. See the picture below:
google find my device sound

  • The second option is Secure Device. This choice can be used to lock an unlocked phone and sign out of your Google account. It also gives you the option to display a message for the person who happens to get your smartphone, and a phone number to contact you.
    Click on Secure Device after writing the recovery message and phone number       – both are optional – as shown below:
google find my device secure

  • Third and the last one is Erase Device. It is the extreme step you need to take in case you have a lot of sensitive data like confidential files, passwords, credit card details, etc. stored on your phone. Therefore, you can’t risk going it in the wrong hands even though you can lock your device as told above.
google find my device erase

The following video will further clarify:

The next method is about using an app from Google Play Store.

2. Locate Or Secure Lost Android Phone Through Mobile App

Google Find My Device app on the Play Store helps to locate or secure your lost Android phone.

Click to Tweet

Install it on any available Android phone.

google find my device app pic


  • Open the app on your Android phone.
google find my device app login pic
  • Click on “Sign in as guest” to log in with the Google account configured on the lost phone. The next screen will be the same as shown in the case of a web browser. Here you will find the map and the options to Play Sound, Secure Device & Erase Device.
    You can perform all of the tasks as already mentioned.
google find my device app guest login pic
google find my device app map pic

Isn’t it simple and helpful?

Final Words

Your smartphone contains a lot of personal data like contacts, pictures, videos, email & messaging apps, etc. So, you must try to avoid it being misused by anyone. That’s why I wrote this post to help secure your lost Android phone.

Bookmark this post: in case if you get unlucky again!

In a future post, I will cover how data on a lost iPhone can be made inaccessible for anyone who finds or steals it.

Thanks for reading this post and staying with me till the end. Please give comments below to share your opinion, suggestions or ask any questions about this post. I will try to help.

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