How to Find Your Stolen Phone, Find a Lost Cell Phone

Step by steps How to Find Your Stolen Phone. This guide is intended to help people find any kind of lost cell phone — not just lost smartphones. The latter are much easier to locate, and we’ve therefore split this article into two sections. For instructions and tips on how to find a misplaced or stolen smartphone, jump to the second page


1. Call your cell phone. Yes, you’re absolutely 100% certain it was stolen. But just in case, call your number. Your friend may have seen the phone laying around, and dropped it in her purse. Or, you may find the back pocket of your jeans buzzing and howling with your personal ring tone.If your phone is truly lost and in someone else’s hands then they are likely to answer if they intend to return the phone. If you don’t have access to a phone try using or

2. Do a full-fledged visual search and retrace your steps. If you couldn’t hear a ring or vibration when you called it, don’t immediately assume that your phone isn’t in close proximity – the battery could be dead.

3. Find out whether anyone else on your phone plan uses a family tracking app. It may be that your parents (or a nosy spouse) uses a program like iHound to track the whereabouts of your phone. If so, pass the location on to the police, who should be able to retrieve the phone for you. AT&T and Sprint also have “family locator” plans that somebody may have signed up for.

4. Send a text message. If you believe someone has stolen or possibly found your phone then send a text message to your phone with your contact info and a reward offer if you choose to do so. You can use many online services to send free text messages, such as

5. Register it as lost. If you have your phone’s serial number written down somewhere, register it with

6. Preparing for the next time. If you’re always losing your stuff then you may want to try a service such as Rewarding Return or register for a GPS tracking service such as AccuTracking. We also recommend, which is a free QR code based lost and found service.

 Find a Lost Iphone

1. Congratulate yourself. With a smart phone like the iPhone or Android, recovering a lost or stolen phone is much easier, so you made a wise choice. Some service providers even have the sim card sealed inside the phone, so the perp isn’t able to swap that out. Take these steps below, and reclaim your phone.

2. Log into your iCloud account. Do this as soon as you discover your phone is missing (and after you’ve done the pants check described above).


Click on Find My iPhone. The service will list all your Apple devices. If you have enabled Find My iPhone on your phone—you did, right?—and your phone is powered on, it will show you the location of your phone.

  • Click on the blue Info icon in the black locator bar, and you’ll be given the option to play a sound or send a message, lock your phone down, or wipe out all data on it.
    3. Lock your phone! If your phone is found, and you don’t recognize the location, it’s a pretty safe bet that the phone was not “rescued” by a friend. So lock your phone now, before the thief has a chance to log into your accounts and disable Find My iPhone (among other things).

    • Pass the location information on to the police, who should be able to retrieve the phone for you. Don’t be a hero and go rescue the phone yourself. Thieves don’t always take kindly to people who try to recover their stolen property.

 Find a Lost Android

Download Plan B. While there are dozens of apps designed specifically to track stolen smartphones, this one can be installed after your phone disappears!

  • Go to the Android Market, log into your account, and install the app to your missing phone. If you are able to install the app and it runs, you will receive emails to your registered Gmail, containing the location information.
  • Simply pass this information along to the police and they should retrieve your phone for you.
 Still Can’t Find Your Phone?

Get proof it’s yours. Anybody could walk up and say “Hey, that’s my phone!” What you need is evidence to back up your claim. Dig up the receipt and paperwork from your purchase, or if that’s not available, a bill should do the trick—it’s got your phone number listed right at the top, along with your name and address.

  • Oh, you went with paperless billing, and didn’t keep your receipt ? No problem—contact your service provider; they may be able to provide you with new documentation confirming your ownership if you give them details about your identity and your account.
  1. Report the theft to the police. It only takes a few minutes and a little paperwork to file file a police report. Don’t expect the local constable to rush out and dust for fingerprints, or put out an APB for your phone. But when you do locate it, you’ll be able to call in backup should the need arise.
    • Keep copies of any paperwork you get during this process.
    • Don’t use emergency services for this—you’ll not only tie up emergency lines, you set yourself up for problems that will make your missing phone seem like a nice day at the beach.

Inform your service provider. Give them copies of your phone receipts and police report paperwork, then request that they inform you when your phone is activated by someone else.

It’s bad to have your phone stolen. It’s worse to be responsible for the thief’s 3-hour call to his mother who lives halfway around the world, plus his $837.28 in texting charges.

Get a subpoena. Your service provider will not be legally allowed to give you any additional information about the whereabouts of your phone, but once they’ve confirmed that someone else has it, you can try to get the police to issue a subpoena for the release of additional information.


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