How to Enable Find My Phone – Never Lose Your Phone Again
Have you ever lost your mobile phone? Of course, most people have lost or misplaced their mobile gadgets at one point or the other. Several factors can lead to such losses including theft, misplacement, and vehicle or home break-ins. In fact, a recent report from the FCC shows that 1 in 10 smartphone owners are a victim of phone theft.
Before, if you lost your phone, you’d only bother about the financial implications of getting a replacement. However, mobile devices are much more valuable today, containing significant personal and business data. A phone loss can thus hurt you in many different ways.
That’s why it’ll be best to implement reliable measures to ensure that you find your phone whenever it goes missing. One such technique is enabling “Find my phone” on your device, a nifty little app that can be a small guiding light, giving you a glimmer of hope when all might be lost. Here you can learn how this phone feature can protect your device and lead you back to it.
What Is “Find My Phone?”
Find my phone is an Android feature that allows you to locate missing Android phones or even lock the gadget until you find it. This software exploits the GPS tracking abilities of your phone to supply you with accurate estimations of the current location of your device. You can use this feature if your mobile is switched on, surfing the internet, or being used for other things such as browsing the internet or texting.
Apple also has a similar feature which it calls “Find My.” You can use Find My to track missing or stolen iPhones. You also use this software through the phone’s GPS capacity and Map features. Apple’s Find My can also lock your phone when it’s stolen.
This remote lock ensures that whoever has the phone cannot access your data. In addition, you can also erase files on your phone with the Find My feature for iPhones. This is often necessary where retrieving the device is impossible. In such cases, even if you cannot reclaim your phone, you can still protect any sensitive information you have on the phone. While you may not be able to do this through native Android software, you can actually do something similar through Google on an Android phone.
How to Enable Find My Phone
You can enable Find My Phone on Android and Find My on Apple devices. However, the methodology is different for each gadget. So, in this section, we’ll explain how to set up both apps on each operating system.
How to Enable Find My Phone on Android
Follow these steps to enable Find My Phone on your Android phone:
- Open the “Settings” app on your phone
- Click the “Security” or “Security & Location” or “Google Security” icon
- You’ll see “Find My Device,” tap it
- Toggle the ON/OFF button and turn on Find My Device
- You can also switch on the “Store Recent Location” feature
If you receive a prompt to input your password, obey the prompt. The Store Recent Location feature allows you to save your phone’s last location with Google when the gadget is offline.
- Now, you should ensure that your phone’s location service is on
- Open “Settings” and tap “Location”
- Then, turn on the location
- Next, ensure that your device is visible in Google Play. If the gadget is hidden on Google Play, you cannot locate it with Find My Device. So, open https://play.google.com/library/devices, and check the “Show in menus” box.
Now, you need to check that you can locate your phone. So, follow these steps:
- Open a web browser and go to android.com/find
- Sign into your Google account
- Suppose your gadget has multiple user profiles, sign in with the Google Account on the main profile
- If you connected multiple devices to your Google account, choose the right one at the top of the screen
You can start tracking your phone on the Map at this stage. Finally, you can download the Find My Device app from the Google Play Store. Once you get the app, sign in and start monitoring all your devices on the app.
Find My Device Options
If your phone goes missing and you start tracking it on Find My Device, you’ll get multiple options. They include:
- Play Sound: This feature will make your phone ring out loud. Then, you can follow the ringtone on your phone. Notably, the Play Sound service works whether or not your set your device to silent.
- Secure Device: The Secure Device service helps you lock your phone and sign out of your Google Accounts remotely. You can use this feature to prevent whoever is with your phone from breaking into your device. What’s more? You can display a message or phone number on your screen which the person holding your phone can call to return your device if they didn’t steal it.
- Erase Device: Finally, if every option above works, you can erase all the data on your phone so that it doesn’t get into anyone’s hands.
How to Switch Off Find My Device
You can turn the Find My Device feature off and on as you like. People usually choose to switch off this feature to enhance their privacy. So, you can take these steps:
- Open the “Settings” app on your Android device
- Tap “Security” and select “Find My Device”
- You’ll see the toggle button for Find My Device, turn it off
After turning off Find My Device, you may also want to switch off your Location settings to ensure no one can see your location. All you have to do is open the “Settings” app, tap on “Location,” and toggle it off.
How to Enable “Find My” App on iPhone
Find My works for your iPhone and paired devices. These include AirPods, Apple Watch, or other items like AirTags. So, you can take these steps to set up and use Find My on your Apple gadget:
- Open the “Settings” app on your phone
- Click your name and select “Find My”
- You can also turn on “Share My Location,” if you want your loved ones to know your location always
- After that, tap “Find My” and turn on “Find My iPhone”
- Turn on “Find My Network” to be able to locate your iPhone when it’s offline, switched off, or in power reserve
You also have to ensure your iPhone’s Location features are on, or else the Find My Phone software cannot work. So, turn on your Location services by:
- Go to “Settings” and click “Privacy & Security”
- Click on “Location Services” and turn it on
- Now, your iPhone’s location services can work with Find My
Apple’s Find My has a “Send Last Location” feature that transmits your iPhone’s location to Apple when the battery is very low. This is vital because your phone can go off while you’re still tracking it. So, in such cases, Apple will have the last location before it went off. Turning on this feature is thus a smart move.
How to Add Other Apple Gadgets to Find My
Not only phones can go missing. Instead, you can also lose your AirPods, Apple Watch, or other gadgets too. But you wouldn’t have to worry if these gadgets are paired with your iPhone and you’ve added them to your Find My. All you have to do is follow these steps:
For example, for Apple Watch:
- Open “Settings” on your Apple Watch
- Click your name
- Scroll down and locate your Apple Watch
- Tap your watch name and also click “Find My Watch”
- Then, ensure you’ve turned on “Find My Network”
How to Use Find My
Suppose your iPhone goes missing, this is how to find it with Find My:
- Open a web browser and load the iCloud website through iCloud.com
- Log in with your Apple ID which also doubles as your iCloud account ID
- Select “Find iPhone”
- If there’s a prompt to input your password again, comply
- iCloud will immediately locate your iPhone and any other devices connected to your iPhone
- You’ll see all the necessary gadgets on a map, showing green and gray for devices that are online and offline respectively
- Click on “All Devices” and select the missing iPhone
Now, you can choose between the following options:
- Play Sound: This feature activates your iPhone and makes it release a sound. It can come in handy if you think you’re close to your iPhone. Therefore, you’ll just have to follow the sound and locate your iPhone.
- Lost Mode: This option lets you lock and track your iPhone.
- Erase iPhone: The Erase iPhone feature allows you to wipe your data off your iPhone, in case you never track the iPhone.
How to Switch Off Find My on Your iPhone
You can choose to stop using the Find My feature. If you make this decision for whatever reason, these steps can help you turn off Find My:
- Click on “Settings” on your iPhone
- Tap your name and choose “Find My”
- Now, tap “Find My iPhone” and turn off Find My
If you decide to reactivate Find My, you can always repeat the steps we highlighted above.
No one plans to lose their phone. However, such losses still happen frequently. While you may be unable to prevent a device loss, you can increase your chances of locating the gadget by enabling “Find My Phone.” The tips above can help you achieve this. So, implement them and further guarantee your device recovery in cases of loss.