Some time ago, I published a detailed article about locating a lost phone even if you don’t have any tracking apps installed. If you are trying to find your phone, make sure to read this guide first.
We received a lot of comments, emails and even private messages from people struggling to locate their lost phone. Most questions we got were very similar, so we decided to write this FAQ post, to give you fast answers to your urgent questions. This way, you might gain valuable time to track your phone instead of having to wait for a response.
I changed my Google account password. Can I still locate my phone?
Changing your Google password after you losing your phone is a totally logical thing to do right? You don’t want someone else have access to all your emails, drive documents etc. You can go ahead and change your password without losing the ability to track your device. Methods like Android Device Manager will still work. Shouldn’t you be able to locate your phone with ADM then I suggest you check the last recorded location using your phone’s location history.
Can I still locate my phone if it’s turned off / in airplane mode / the battery is dead?
This is a common scenario. Your phone is lost and its battery won’t last forever or a potential thief might have turned it off. What now? Except you’re working for the CIA, there no way to get in contact with your device. It needs to have an active internet connection to send its approximate location. However, you can use your phone’s location history to see where it was located before its internet connection stopped. For this to work, location history needs to be activated on the phone. If you didn’t do that, you don’t have another choice but wait and hope that someone turns it on and connects to the web.
My phone doesn’t show up on Android Device Manager. Why is that?
This can have many reasons. Your phone could be off, disconnected from the internet or your Google account. Keep in mind that changing your Google account password will automatically disconnect it from Google. Also, trying to locate a device with Device Manager doesn’t always work. I recommend that you keep trying to locate your phone every half hour or so. Your phone might have a bad connection or someone else turns it on and connects to the web. But if you changed your Google password, then Device Manager won’t be able to track it.
Can I locate my phone if someone changed the sim card?
Even if someone puts his SIM card in your phone, you might be able to locate it. Changing SIMs doesn’t disconnect it from your Google account, which is a good thing. It means that tracking tools like Android Device Manager or Android Lost should still work. The only needed thing in this scenario is that your phone keeps an internet connection.
–> Use Android Lost to track your phone (only for Android <3.0)
Can I track my phone if someone made a factory reset?
That’s an easy one – No. As the name already implies, resetting a phone brings it back to its factory settings. The most important thing you need – connection to your Google account – won’t be there anymore. If you haven’t installed a tracking app with root access, such as Cerberus, then you won’t be able to locate it anymore.
Can I locate my phone using my IMEI number?
Locating your phone with its unique IMEI number isn’t really possible. In some cases, the police can work together with a phone’s provider to locate it using its IMEI number. But don’t think you can just walk into a police station and expect them to do that. A more realistic thing you can do is to block your phone so that no one can use it to make calls, send texts or use the web. To do so, the best thing is to contact your provider.
By the way, you can find out your phone’s IMEI number by dialing *#06#. This code should work on most phones.
Are there still important questions left that haven’t been answered in this article? Go ahead and comment below and we’ll try to help you as good as we can!