How to use Google’s Find My Device to track down your Android phone

Phones have become so ingrained in our daily lives that losing one can be distressing, whether you’ve left it in a cab, dropped it out of your pocket, or misplaced it under your bed. If you have an Android phone, you can utilize the Find My Device feature to track down your phone (hopefully).

Two things must be enabled for Find My Device to work: the feature itself (of course) and Google’s Location services. Furthermore, the phone must be turned on and connected to a Google account.

On Pixels and other Android phones, the Find My Device feature is included in the standard operating system and is normally turned on by default. It’s worth noting that some Android models come with their own app; for example, Samsung phones have their own Find My Mobile app.

If you wish to utilize Google’s Find My Device, see if it’s included in your phone’s Android version.

Look for Find My Device in Settings > Security.
If the app is listed but disabled, tap it and use the toggle to enable it.

Look for Find My Device in Settings > Security.

If you don’t have the Google app and want to use it instead of the one your manufacturer installed — or if you want to locate your phone or watch using an Android tablet rather than a PC — head to the Play Store and download Google’s Find My Device app.

After that, you can observe if Location is enabled:

Locate Location in your phone’s settings. It will say if it is on or off directly beneath the header.
If it’s turned off, go to Location and turn it on.
You can also see which apps have recently utilized your location and which have access to it. Tap on App location permission to change location permission settings if you wish to take advantage of this opportunity to fine-tune this setting.

Location services must be enabled in order to use Find My Device.

Once Location is enabled, you can tweak the settings of various apps.

RECOVER YOUR PHONE
You’re all set now. If you can’t find your phone, simply type “Find my device” into Google’s search box. Choose the device you wish to find from a list of the ones you’ve registered with Google. Choose one.

You’ll be directed to the Find My Device screen, which will display your phone’s name, the last time it was pinged (together with the name of the Wi-Fi network it was connected to), and the current battery power. Your phone’s recent location will be displayed on a Google map.

Once you’ve located your phone, you have three options: ping it, lock it, or erase it. (The Google map on the right has been blocked out for privacy.)

There are three options shown on the left side of the screen once you’ve found your device. Which option you choose is determined by whether you believe the device is in a secure location. You can do the following:

Allow five minutes for the device to play a sound (typically the ringtone) so you can locate it.

In the meantime, the phone will display a notification that it has been found.