Have you (ever) lost your Android smartphone or tablet without having a phone recovery 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.

So if this happened to you, you’re definitely not alone out there: Every 3.5 seconds someone loses his smartphone in New York, for example.

But there’s good news! There is a way to remote control and track your phone even if you haven’t installed a recovery app before it vanished. This great app, which makes all that possible, is called “Android Lost”. 

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

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

So here’s what to do:

Step 1: Install the app

Download the Android Lost app from Google Play and it will be installed on your phone remotely.

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. To remotely register your device, in case it’s lost, send an SMS with the text “androidlost register” to your phone.

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

Step 3: Login to the Android Lost website

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

  • 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

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 app shortcut, which is created after installing Android Lost, might make a thief aware of what’s going on. The icon’s title is “Personal Notes” but after clicking on it, it gets clear what it really is about. Of course, you can disable this auto shortcut function in your Google Play app settings, but it’s hard to do so once the phone is lost.

If your device got lost or stolen, I hope this article and Android Lost are able to help you getting it back! Here is a success story of a dad chasing down the man who stole his daughter’s phone with the help of Android Lost.

Alternative to Android Lost – Android Device Manager

Google recently released their device tracking tool, called Android Device Manager. Honestly, it was about time that Google offers that service to Android users. Android Device Manager is a very straightforward and easy-to-use tool to track your phone. As with Android Lost, you don’t need to install any software on your Android device to track it and it has to be connected to your Google account.

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

There are many other phone recovery apps and we will soon cover the best ones here in a complete Android Security Guide. So stay tuned and make sure to subscribe to our newsletter and social channels.

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!