How To Track Your Lost Android Phone Without Installed Tracking App

find android phone without tracking app
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Have you (ever) lost your Android smartphone or tablet without having a device tracking app installed? Then you should read this!

There are a handful of phone recovery or anti-theft apps on the Google Play Store which can be a lifesaver in case you lose your phone or, even worse, it gets stolen. But many people might only realize that there are such apps AFTER it got lost or stolen. Then, it usually is too late and you have to face the ugly truth that the phone is gone for good.

How to track your Android phone or tablet after it got lost or stolen

But don’t burst out in tears just yet. There’s still hope for your phone to find its way back to you! There are a few ways to remote control and track your phone even if you haven’t installed a recovery app before it vanished. There’s an easy and a more complicated way to find out where your phone is. If you fail to track it there’s a last resort if you have Dropbox installed and certain settings activated.

Let’s have a look at the various ways to get your Android smartphone back to its rightful owner!

1. Track your lost Android Device with Google’s Android Device Manager

Android Device Manager is a Google’s official and easy-to-use tool to track your Android phone or tablet. The best thing about it is that you don’t need to install an app to be able to track your devices. The only requirement is that your device is connected to your Google account, turned on and connected to the internet.

Besides tracking, letting your phone ring and wiping your phone (which has to be enabled manually), Android Device Manager doesn’t offer more options to remote control your phone. Hopefully, Google will work on that and offer more features, such as  taking pictures in case it got stolen and you want to know who took it.

Android Device Manager screenshot

Are you not able to locate your phone this way? This can happen for several reasons. The one you should hope for, is that your device is simply not connected to the internet or turned off. In that case, simply keep trying to track it until it (hopefully) connects to Google’s services again.

In case it got stolen, it’s possible that the thief has disconneced your device from your Google Account. If that happens, neither Android Device Manager nor any other tracking tool will be able to locate the device, since it’s necessary to be logged into your Google Account. This doesn’t apply to previously installed tracking apps but in this scenario there are none on the phone. However, there’s one last resort but more on that later.

2. Remote control and track your smartphone with Android Lost

This is a more complicated way to track your phone. Basically, you need to install the tracking app ‘Android Lost’ on your phone and activate it by sending it an SMS. How do you install something when you don’t have your phone with you? That’s very easy. You can install any app on all your registered devices directly from your browser through the Google Play website. Simply navigate to the Android Lost app and click the install button.

The remote installation process of Android Lost is very straightforward and only requires that your phone is still connected with your Google account. However, in case of theft, you have to hope that the thief doesn’t disconnect from your account.

So here’s what to do:

Step 1: Install Android Lost remotely

Install the Android Lost app remotely via Google Play in your browser and it will be installed on your phone remotely. As already mentioned, your phone still needs to be connected to your Google account. Otherwise, this won’t work.

install-androidlost

Step 2: Activate Android Lost

If you are still in the possession of your smartphone or tablet then all you need to do is starting the app. But this is, obviously, probably not the case if you lost your phone. So, to register your device remotely, send an SMS with the text “androidlost register” to your phone. This will trigger Android Lost to register itself using your Google account credentials.

If you own a tablet, SMS might not be an option. In that case, install “AndroidLost Jumpstart” before you install the actual Android Lost app. It will jump start the registration process when Android Lost is being installed.

Step 3: Log in to the Android Lost website

Visit the Android Lost website and sign in using your Google account. After doing that, you should have access to all remote control features such as the following:

  • Read the latest SMS on your phone
  • Force your phone to play a loud alarm with a flashing screen. Perfect if you misplaced your device.
  • Get the location of your device
  • Lock and unlock your phone
  • Wipe your entire phone so no private data falls into the wrong hands
  • Erase the SD card
  • Use the camera to make pictures (front or rear camera) to get a nice shot of the nice person who took your device.
  • …here’s the complete feature list

Note that it can take a while for the registration process to complete.

Android Lost is a great tool to get your phone back

I have to say that having the possibility to install and register this tool remotely makes it very powerful in case you lose your device. The only negative thing I experienced is that the notification of a new installed app called ‘Android Lost’ could tell a potential thief about what’s going on. Also, if enabled in your Play Store settings, an app shortcut will appear on the screen. The icon’s title is “Personal Notes” but after clicking on it, it gets clear what it’s about. Of course, you can disable this auto shortcut function in your Google Play app settings, but it’s hard to do so with the phone gone.

Here is a success story of a dad chasing down the man who stole his daughter’s phone with the help of Android Lost.

3. How to use Dropbox to find your stolen phone (Android & iOS)

Dropbox can be your last resort if all other approaches don’t bring you closer to finding your phone. For this to work, however, Dropbox needs to be installed on your phone and the “Camera Upload” feature has to be activated. This way, every time your phone’s thief takes a picture, it automatically gets uploaded to your Dropbox “Camera Uploads” folder. So, if he or she takes a nice selfie you might be able to identify the thief. And if you’re lucky, you can make out the location by looking at the background of the uploaded pictures.

Should that be impossible, simply start a blog and show the world all the pictures your thief has taken. There’s one funny tumblr page sharing images of Hafid, the guy who stole the phone of the blog’s owner.

So far, that’s the only way Dropbox can help you. Dropbox doesn’t give you the IP address of mobile devices which are connected to your Dropbox account. This is only possible for Desktop PCs and laptops until now.

I hope you are reading this just out of pure interest and not because you lost your phone! But if that’s really the case, I truly hope that this article will help you track it down. Either way, I recommend installing a good tracking app BEFORE your phone vanishes. An app I recommend is Cerberus, which is available on Google Play.

Have you been able to get back your mobile device after it got lost? How did you get it back? Share your experience with us in the comments!

Are you interested in more Android related guides?
Have a look at our Android knowledge database.

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Marc is an online marketer, avid blogger and technology enthusiast. His focus is on Android, tech and gadget reviews. He likes spending time travelling and reading all about what's going on in the tech world. You can find him on Google+ and Twitter.
  • bob

    does phone have to be on to do the android lost thing

    • http://marcknoll.com/ Marc Knoll

      Yes, the phone needs to be turned on and connected to the internet. Also, to be able to install the Android Lost app, your phone still needs to be connected to your Google account.

  • chris

    is there a way to find out what email u used on the phones google account(the phone was stolen i cant remember what email i used

    • http://marcknoll.com/ Marc Knoll

      Have you ever installed any apps from Google Play using your browser? Since you need to be logged into the same account on your browser if you want to install apps, you can check your email there.

      • chris

        No I never did if I paid for one of those site where u can find a phone usein the number will that work even if the phone is disconnected?

        • http://marcknoll.com/ Marc Knoll

          If your sim card hasn’t been replaced yet then maybe. However, I don’t know any service that allows you to track your phone that way without the consent of the phone’s owner.

          • chris

            Ok the most phone have the E911 in locations on the phone for tracking a missing persons will my phone carrier use that or any other way to help? Sorry if u don’t know just trying to find it it’s the galaxy s3

  • Oli

    what if the phone’s software is reinstalled? does it still work?

    • http://marcknoll.com/ Marc Knoll

      All the suggested steps won’t work anymore in that case. Reinstalling the operating system will end the connection to your Google account and deleting apps such as Dropbox.

  • Disqusting

    Lost a phone last month. I had Android Device Manager and full version of Cerberus on it, unfortunately that’s useless because the snatcher was quick to turn it off, I could never contact the device again. Ever since then, I’ve been wondering why phone manufacturer hasn’t come up with the idea of preventing phone from being easily switched off (disable “switch off” menu when device screen is locked, for instance) – this would be especially secure for phones with non-removable battery, to buy us some time to track the device after it goes missing.

    • http://marcknoll.com/ Marc Knoll

      Hi! I’m very sorry to hear that. I totally agree that disabling the power menu in the lock screen should be a native option. Just a couple days ago I featured an app that does exactly that. ‘Smart Lockscreen Protector’ blocks the power menu while the phone is locked. Here’s the link to my post:
      http://trendblog.net/how-to-protect-your-android-device-from-being-lost-stolen/
      But there’s still the possibility to turn off your phone usually by long-pressing the power button.

  • priyam

    what if my android is phone is stolen… i have locked and registered the android lost… but my phone is off… and also the location setting is off…..can it still be tracked once the phone is on.?

    • http://marcknoll.com/ Marc Knoll

      If you successfully installed and registered Android Lost then it should work once the phone’s turned on. Otherwise try using Android Device Manager

  • PZ

    Hey there’ how do you install an app on a lost phone? Can I do it from from my computer?

    • http://marcknoll.com/ Marc Knoll

      Hey there! Yes you can install apps remotely. Just visit Google Play and log in with your Google Account. https://play.google.com/store

      • PZ

        Accidentally posted to mine^^

    • PZ

      Thanks for your response! More specifically ‘ I’m not sure if my photos are backed up. Is there anything you would do or recommend to get them? My phone is still connected/activated but died already. Its connected to my Google account etc.. They are vacation photos so extremely important! Can installing anything help?

  • Blake Mitchell

    So I followed these steps but i dont understand how my phone will register itself if I send a text saying “androidlost register”. How will I get the info to Log in?

    • http://marcknoll.com/ Marc Knoll

      You only need your Google Account login details to use Android Lost. That’s all.

      • PZ

        Having the same issues as Blake’ I sign in on android lost.com but still says phone is waiting to register. Phone is still connected but dead. Can I still use it?

        • http://marcknoll.com/ Marc Knoll

          Did you send an SMS to register your phone? If it’s turned off then you should keep trying to register it or use Android Device Manager to check if your phone is connected and turned on.

  • Arthur

    Hi , i have a question. I’ve lost my phone yesterday , and when i got home i chnaged my pass on my gmail and i wonder if it disconnected from my android device ?

    • http://marcknoll.com/ Marc Knoll

      Unfortunately, yes. Changing your Gmail password makes it very difficult to track your phone.

  • Miriam Arévalo

    Hi, I really liked your article, unfortunately my cell phne was stoled, I’m really interested in the app but, i just wanted to know if I can remotely delete the sms that I send to my cell phone?

    • http://marcknoll.com/ Marc Knoll

      Hi Miriam! Deleting an SMS remotely is not possible as far as I know. I recommend using Android Device Manager before trying out Android Lost. It doesn’t need any installs or SMS which could be seen by a thief

  • Joe S

    Thank you so much. I lost my phone today in NYC, and by remotely installing androidlost I was able to locate it, record sound, take pics, make it ring depite it being on vibrate, and I found it!!!

    • http://marcknoll.com/ Marc Knoll

      Great to hear success stories! Glad I was able to help you find your phone!

  • mike

    I have lost my tab 2. and i don’t remember that i have installed any app or not. Can I track it down?

    • mike

      and if factory setting has been restored then can i track it down? there are some important data in my tab.

      • http://marcknoll.com/ Marc Knoll

        As far as I know, you won’t be able to track it down. A factory data reset should disconnect your phone from your Google account.

  • Shie

    Someone has stolen my tablet. Then, I immediately changed my Google account password because I was thinking that they might hack my account. Is there anyway that I can track my stolen tablet still?

    • http://marcknoll.com/ Marc Knoll

      I’m really sorry to hear that. If you didn’t install any tracking app before it was taken from you, there’s no way to track it. Except you have Dropbox installed and Camera Uploads activated. But, as tablets are rarely used to take pictures, I doubt that you will find it that way.
      Having your Android device connected to your Google account is the most important prerequisite to track it down. I hope you’re still able to get it back!

      • Shie

        I do have Dropbox installed in my tablet. But I think I wasn’t able to activate my camera uploads. Can I do something about that? Btw, thank you for your immediate response! :)

        • http://marcknoll.com/ Marc Knoll

          Unfortunately you cannot activate it remotely.

      • lerone

        but they can delete that app

  • Charity

    Does Android Lost still work if your phone is turned off? I used Google Play to download the app then I sent the SMS to my phone, but I haven’t been able connect my phone with Android Lost’s website yet.

    • http://marcknoll.com/ Marc Knoll

      Hi! Your phone needs to be turned on in order for Android Lost or any other tracking tool to work.

  • james

    i lost my samsung note 10.1 2 days ago. I didn’t install any tracking apps. What happens is the thief factory reset the tablet? would it be a lost cause after that?

  • Babalu Brug

    Hi, my niece´s tablet was most probably stolen (using Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean). It seems that she did not use her gmail account in the store – it could have been me when the tablet was bought. But I am using this account with my phone. Is it possible to track it, if there is one gmail account and two devices -her stolen tablet and my phone?
    Many thanks for any advice
    Cheers,
    Stana

    • http://marcknoll.com/ Marc Knoll

      There can be more than just one device assigned to one Google account, so you should basically be able to track it. Check Android Device Manager, there you should see both devices listed in the drop-down menu.

      If your niece’s tablet is still connected to your Google account then you should be able to track it there (if it’s connected to the web).

      I hope you’re able to find it!

      • Babalu Brug

        Many thanks for your prompt reply. It only found one device – my phone (did not locate it, just linked only one device to my account). Does it mean that the tablet is switched off or not on wifi or that there allways was only one device assigned to that account?
        Many thanks again for your help
        Stana

        • http://marcknoll.com/ Marc Knoll

          Hey Stana,
          If your tablet isn’t listed then it hasn’t been registered. Sorry, but I fear that it will be very difficult to impossible to track it down :(

  • Lily

    Hi I just lost my samsung s4 and it’s switched off plus no tracking apps please let me know if there is a way to find it :(

    • http://marcknoll.com/ Marc Knoll

      Sorry to hear that Lily! The only way right now is to wait until someone turns it back on. Just keep trying to track it with Android Device Manager. If someone turns it on and it’s still connected to your Google account, you should be able to pinpoint its location that way.
      Hope you find it!

      • http://sabriester.com sabir pasha

        I m in same situation as lily , but I dont know the person who has my phone would even switch it on BEFORE flashing the phone . so do u think there is still a hope ??

        • http://marcknoll.com/ Marc Knoll

          Hi Sabir. If someone resets your phone, then you won’t be able to track it anymore. I wrote about a way to even track a phone after a factory reset a while back (http://trendblog.net/how-to-protect-your-android-device-from-being-lost-stolen/). However, if someone flashes a whole new ROM on it, all hope is lost.

          • michelle

            hi marc, if i had my service suspend my phone and block the phone should i request them to restore it to track it with android device manager? i’m just really considered with my photos. is there a way to just get the phone restored to factory setting and wipe out the photos remotely?

          • http://marcknoll.com/ Marc Knoll

            Hi michelle,
            As long as it cannot connect to the internet you won’t be able to locate it. Did someone steal it? If so, try Android Device Manager to locate it. It’s possible that there’s another SIM inside now. With that tool, you can also wipe all the data on your phone. I guess that’s what you’re looking for.

          • michelle

            the tech support said wi-fi will be enabled even though the phone and service are blocked. does that sound about right that i can still track it off of the android device manager even then if they replaced it with a different sim card or just the phone itself for the internet as long as a power signal is available? millions of thanks.

          • http://marcknoll.com/ Marc Knoll

            As long as it has a working internet connection and is still connected to your Google account, you should be able to locate it with Android Device Manager. Hope you get it back!

  • http://www.soalib.com Soalib jence

    prevention is batter than cure. i can suggest a simple apps. called ghostrack. it dosent require any data plan. just simple sms will do the work. we all should keep it on our android device. not only it will let you track your phone from another android device but also it will show the tracking history. there is a option called spy mode. you can actually modify your tracking mode by distance or time by it. so its pretty much worthy of downloading .

    here is the link

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=soalib.android.location&hl=en

  • lucy

    Hi my my Samsung grand is stolen, how do I delete al my pictures numbers and al my personal stuff.?

    • http://marcknoll.com/ Marc Knoll

      Hi Lucy, if you manage to install Android Lost as I explained above, then you can wipe your device.

  • gj

    hi! will the android device manager is affected, meaning will it not work, if upon being stolen, i’ve changed my gmail’s password because of fear it might be hacked? thanks!

    • http://marcknoll.com/ Marc Knoll

      Changing your Gmail password makes all my suggested options in this post useless. Sorry!

  • gj

    hi! my rooted s4 got stolen. no droid device mngr but gmail is active. however, i changed its gmail pass upon being stolen after a few hours. will ADM still work?

    • http://marcknoll.com/ Marc Knoll

      Changing your Google account password will disconnect your S4 from your account since it’s still trying to connect with your old password. Therefore, ADM won’t work, sorry. Good luck, hope you get it back!

  • John Purser

    Hey Marc, Thanks for all you help and suggestions! I am curious about something, and I will send a picture to help explain. My son’s nook color tablet (it is rooted with cyanogen installed) was stolen last year around November I think. I pretty much just gave up on it, but everytime I go to my settings in the Google Play store, I see the device there, and it appears that somebody is using it. If you look under the ‘last used’ column, it says February 13th, 2014. So I know that it is being used. Because I can see this, does it mean that it is still connected to my Google Account?

    • OwenLord

      @ John Purser: Yes! that is exactly what it means, if shows and means that the person currently in possession of the device is using your google account. Hope you get it back!

    • http://marcknoll.com/ Marc Knoll

      Hi John!
      OwenLord is correct. It’s still connected to your Google Account. Did you check Android Device Manager? You should be able to select the Nook and, if it’s online, locate it. If it’s not working, keep trying it for a while. Hope you’ll get it back!

      • kim

        if the phone is off. will android device manager be able to locate it

        • http://marcknoll.com/ Marc Knoll

          Hi Kim. Unfortunately not. The phone needs to be turned on and connected to the internet

          • kim

            what if my phone is on just with a different sim can I still do step 2 with the android lost app

          • Ivonne

            Hii Kim so do you know if the phone is with a different sim you can do step 2? also if I disconected from the company service? thank you

          • Ivonne

            Hii do you know if the phone is with a different sim you can do step 2? also if I disconected from the company service? thank you

    • John Purser

      Okay guys, thanks for the reply!

      I just checked the Android Device Manager, and it’s not showing up there? I had immediately changed my Google account password once it got stolen, so I didn’t know if it would still be possible to track it down.

      I have installed AndroidLost Jumpstart and AndroidLost, but no luck there yet either. It says “Installed” but I’m not sure if it really got installed properly. Guess I’ll just keep checking back, like you said.

      Let me ask you this. If it does end up finding it one day… what would I do then? Contact the authorities? How could I prove that it is actually my tablet?

  • Hector

    Great Marc I just have one question,if I have Tango on my tablet can I track it down through them?

  • BEANIE

    HOW COULD I FIND MY PHONE, I HAD THE SERVICE DISCONNECTED AS SOON AS IT WAS STOLE. BUT I’D LIKE TO SEE WHERE IT IS, EVEN THOUGH THE SERVICES DISCONNECTED

  • Bel

    Hi Marc,

    My samsung s4 was stolen about a week ago. I tried to locate that using my google account but couldn’t manage so because I keep on getting the message ‘The devise is offline’. I now understand from your discussion I can’t do that because I have changed my google account password soon as I lost my cell phone. However, I am as well keeping track of my S4 using my registered Samsung Account. It as well is saying the mobile is offline. I believe I can track it using my samsung account, nah? Here is the Samsung website I am hiring for the service: http://findmymobile.samsung.com/dm/lockMyMobilePhone.do#refreshlink

    Thanks,
    Behailu

  • Amanda

    Someone has stolen my tablet before I opened it is there any way the store that I brought it from can track it x Thanks

    • Amanda

      Is there anythink I can do please help me x amanda x marc x

      • http://marcknoll.com/ Marc Knoll

        Wow that’s really unlucky. Sorry to hear that. I don’t see any way to track it down, unfortunately.

  • Charles

    Hi, I lost my dick, can I recover it back?

  • sandy

    Hi Mac, what if the tablet was restored to the factory settings? Would I be able to track it then??? I was tolfd by a friend that if that was the case I would be SOL … :( is that true?

  • Bel

    Hi Marc,

    Am still waiting for your response on whether I can use my ‘samsung account’ to track and find my stolen samsung s4. I wrote you about it 6 days back.

    Thanks,
    Bel

    • http://marcknoll.com/ Marc Knoll

      Hi Bel,
      Excuse my late reply. I am not familiar with that service from Samsung. Do you have an app of that service installed on your device? Because somehow, that service needs to access your phone. And I believe that your GS4 wasn’t connected with that Samsung account of yours?
      Since I don’t know that service, I cannot help a lot I am afraid. Have you tried their customer support?
      Good luck finding your phone!

  • Amanda

    Still wating 6 days x is there anything I can do please help x

  • Brijesh

    hey marc i have lost my samsung galaxy core and i installed android lost app..but it didnt regestred. may be the thief threw my sim and i use adm but it show the location when i have my phone with me can there is any other way to track my phone without my sim ?? i have the imei no. please do reply…

  • Monica Reyes

    Hi I lost my phone yesterday and it was dead at the time ; ( anyway im trying everything to locate it and I cant since its off so I remember backing up my pictures a few days a go to an app that came out on my phone but I cant remember the name :( I did retrieve my dropbox ones but that only had pictures up to last year.. anything I can do?

    • http://marcknoll.com/ Marc Knoll

      Hi Monica,
      Sorry for the late response. Hope you found your phone by now. As long as it isn’t turned on, there’s not much you can do, unfortunately. Should someone turn it on you could try locating it with the methods explained in my article.

  • Daniel

    Thanks for giving us this wonderful solution to track our lost Android phone without installing any app.. Keep sharing useful information like this. We are always welcome for valuable sharing.

    Zeal-Spy

  • Pranit Majgaonkar

    Hi mark,
    This is Pranit from India. I want some help about my stolen galaxy note 2.
    My cell phone was stolen on today morning at railway station and i FIR in police station but i’m not sure they will find my cell.
    So my phone is connected with Samsung Dive but my phone showing is offline so it is not tracing. If it is online then it will trace or not and it will find by IMEI no? Pls help.

    • http://marcknoll.com/ Marc Knoll

      Hi Pranit,
      I’m not familiar with Samsung Dive so I cannot be a great help with that, sorry. If you’re phone’s online and connected to your Google account, you should try using the Android Device Manager to locate it.

  • misoginul

    Send a SMS to the phone? On what number?

    • http://marcknoll.com/ Marc Knoll

      Hi there,
      Could you please be more specific?

      • misoginul

        method 2: So, to register your device remotely, send an SMS with the text “androidlost register” to your phone.

        If the phone has a SIM of which number you don’t know, how do you send a SMS to that number so you can activate AndroidLost?

        • http://marcknoll.com/ Marc Knoll

          Alright I see. If another SIM card was inserted then you won’t be able to send an SMS without the number, you’re correct.
          Are you sure that another SIM is in your phone now? Have you tried Android Device Manager? This approach still works with another SIM, the only thing needed is a connection to your Google account.

          • misoginul

            First of all, let me say this is a good written article with useful information. I just stumbled upon that little thingy and wanted to let you know. My android devices are not lost… actually, one of them has IMEI null problem.

          • Shubham Chandani

            Hey Marc

            I’ve lost my Xperia U. So I had to de-activate my SIM immediately. But every time I login with google account on Android Device Manager I see my device being used. Unfortunately the person is not online all the time so I cant trace his location. Will sending SMS on deactivated SIM still work in this case?

            One weird thing I noticed is First name and last name of my gmail account is changed to a unknown name I suspect to be the man.

            Regards

  • naseem3872010

    Hi Mark,
    Last week some one stolen my S2 phone. At the same time the person removed sim card and phone has been turned off..i tried AVG anti theft application also. But today (12/03) i am trying to log in AVG account, its says account not created. i thing app has been removed from Phone. I got only one info sim company “Hutch” from google play store. (When we try to download any apps it will show our device name with network provider). It means my phone still with my gmail account only. I tried android device manager as well. No use.
    Please is the any suggestion just let me know in order to trace my phone. Thanks for your help.

  • jakes

    Hi Marc, thank you for your article. I have a problem with my 13 year old boy who uses to turn off the phone so I cant locate him whenever I have to. Do you know a way of knwonig where he is even with the phone off? Thank you

  • David

    Marc,

    Your site was a life safer today. I stopped to pump gas and left my Samsung Note 3 on the trunk of my car. When I realized it was missing, I returned to the gas station and began to search frantically. After calming down, I found your blog and started the process with Android Lost. I had to remotely download the app and send a text message to get it up and running. After a few minutes, the map showed me that my phone was a mile and half away from where I was searching. I drove to that location and there it was in the ditch on the side of the road. Apparently, the Note 3 hung on for dear life at 55 mph for over a mile before relinquishing its grip. Thanks to the cover, the phone survived its bounce with the pavement. Thanks Marc.

    • http://marcknoll.com/ Marc Knoll

      Hi David,

      That’s great! I’m glad my article helped you out. Thanks for sharing your story.

  • Angie

    Hi Marc…so if the phone is not in your possesion you can not use the Androidlost app to lock the phone screen?

  • Jenny

    Hi Marc, I’ve been trying to track my phone for the last few days. Will Android Device Manager work if the thief has done a factory reset? Is that what you mean by disconnecting it to my Google account?

    • http://marcknoll.com/ Marc Knoll

      Hi Jenny,
      Yes, a factory reset will disconnect your phone from your Google account. It will delete all user settings. I hope you’ll be able to locate and retrieve it!

  • Leonard

    Hey Marc, Thanks for the great info. I have a question on Android Device Manager. I’ve tried to login to the google adm website and did a test… location identified. But in the Google Play store, i see an Android Device Manager app. Do i need to install that to get more functionality?

    Thanks,.

  • nikhil

    hey marc i wana to knw tht some1 stolen ma ph nd its switch off now 10 days hve been passed how can i track my phone plz tell me its really important for me….is there any other way to track it by its emi no or any other thing plz let me knw plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • pradeep kodithyala

    Hi,
    After loosing my samsung note2 i had changed all my passwords and when i logged to findmy mobile using samsung account the status of my note 2 is shown as offline.
    now i am confused that whether my mobile is reset to factory or still the thief is using with my google account??

  • Jhemna

    Hi Mac! My Samsung mobile phone had just lost yesterday and I guess someone had it already. First two hours, I could still contact my mobile number but after three or four hours, it couldn’t be reached. i haven’t installed any tracking app on it. I tried tracking it now http://findmymobile.samsung.com/ but it shows that my phone is offline. I don’t really know what to do.

  • jerick

    Can I track my s4 when they take out the sim and factory resets it?

  • salaka

    where will we get the information about the call logs and sms sent and received?
    plz reply soon i really need ur help i lost my ph few hours ago

  • Sweta Shah

    Hi Marc, my mobile is stolen. if my mobile on switch off mode then possibility to trace my mobile location through IMEI number ? bcz who stolen my mobile they didn’t remove my sim card. when i make call on my mobile, it is switch off mode. so i thought my sim is safe into the mobile. but in my mobile no any tracking device. but i have IMEI number.

  • Palak Shah

    hey Marc,

    Will the android device manager still show the device, if the lost phone is reformatted???? or since it is showing the device.. does it mean that the phone is not yet formatted??

  • mridude

    My only issue is that you say no preinstalled app is necessary, but really it is. If you try to install remotely via the internet, yes the phone will try to install it, but if the thief glances at his desktop bar on the phone he will see it being downloaded and delete it for sure…

  • mridude

    In fact, just to check it out I installed it on my phone and not only does it appear in the bar, it then asks you to approve the install! This obviously would not work if a thief stole the phone.

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