Your phone is a “mobile” device that can be easily carried anywhere, which means there is a higher chance that it could be lost or even stolen.
If your Android phone is lost or stolen, you can easily track the location of the phone and also send remote commands to password-protect, wipe, or turn the (loud) alarm on. You can do all of this with the Android Device Manager, which is a built-in feature of Android which is enabled by default. So, even if you didn’t know about this before losing your phone, you can likely still track your phone, and take those actions.
Requirements for Tracking
- Your android phone must be attached to a Google account.
- Google Locations must be turned on.
- Android Device Manager must be enabled.
- The Phone must be connected to a network, whether it is Wi-Fi or Mobile Network
- The phone must be on.
In most cases, the required apps are on by default unless you have changed it, so getting a lock on your phone should not be a problem. It should also be noted, that if the phone got stolen, the thief can also disable any of the features above to halt tracking.
Use Android Device Manager to track your Phone
Sign in to the Android Device Manager with the Google account which was connected with your android phone (You can use both PC or another Android phone to sign in).
Once inside, you will be able to see all the android devices which are connected with your account, choose the device which you wish to track and its location and remote control options will be displayed.You will be able to see the location on a map, with information such as, last time located, name of the area and when was the last time the device connected to the internet.
There are total three options that can help you control your phone remotely, Ring, Lock and Erase.
When you will send the command, the phone will start ringing loudly (even if it is on “silent mode”, it will still ring loudly). This option is quite convenient if you have lost your phone in your house and just want to recover it by following the sound of the ring.
Click on “Ring” and from the prompt, click on “Ring” again, your phone will start ringing wherever it is (if all conditions are fulfilled). When you have found your phone, tap on the screen or press power button and it will stop ringing.
When this is activated, your phone will lock immediately and will only open with the password you provided. If your phone already has password protection ON then the password which you used to enable this feature will be required to open the phone, not your Google Account password.
Click on “Lock” and from the next window, enter the password. You also have the option to add a message to the viewer and add a number which the person can call to contact you, even if the phone is password protected.
Note: The Password protect security feature will be turned on with this process. This means, you will have to provide a password every time you have to open the lock screen until you disable it from Settings > Lock Screen > Screen lock.
This will factory reset your phone, which means all your data will be deleted and the phone will start completely new. This also means that your Google account will be deleted as well, so Android Device Manager will stop working too.
This is an extreme measure, only good when you are sure that your phone cannot be recovered now and you now want to protect the data on it.
Just click on “Erase” and from the prompt, click on “Erase” again. A request will be sent and your phone will factory reset immediately. However, beware that some of your data can still be recovered, using proper tools. Only a thorough wiping of an Android phone would ensure that data is near-unrecoverable.
It should be noted, that all the three commands above send a request to the phone that is accepted as soon as the device connects to a network. This means, if you use any of the commands, the phone will follow it whenever it is connected to a network. This also applies if your phone is turned off, when it will turn on and connect to a network the request will be followed.