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How to Find a Lost or Stolen Android Smartphone or Tablet



When it comes to protecting your smartphone from loss or theft there’s plenty of apps in the Google Play Store, but like Apple’s Find My iPhone, Google has its own Android Device Manager users should know about.

Tracking down a lost or stolen Android smartphone or tablet can be a daunting task, not to mention trying to secure all the important and often times sensitive information that’s on our smartphones these days. While April is the highest month for mobile theft, users still need to be protected year round.

Read: How to Make Your Android Faster in 3 Easy Steps (Video)

Back in mid 2013 Google released a new service and feature called the “Android Device Manager” but it isn’t something that’s widely talked about, or even remotely advertised. However, in case of an emergency where a phone is lost or stolen you’ll want to have it up to date, enabled, and ready to use so you can wipe a stolen phone, or track down that lost device. Below we’ll go through a few of the simple steps required to do exactly that.

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 2.56.13 PM

The Android Device Manager will let users locate smartphones and tablets, or remotely wipe and delete all data and information if needed. There’s also a lock feature if you’d rather not wipe all the data, but clearing your information may be the safe choice.  Then we have an option to make your device ring if you simply can’t find it, which is pretty neat. Tapping any of the choices shown below only take a second or two to activate, and you can make a phone ring or completely wipe all its contents in a matter of seconds.

The lock option will allow you sign into the Android Device Manager and actually add a password or pin for added security, in case you’re a user that doesn’t use that to begin with. This will protect a lost device from people accessing your information while you try and track it down using the locate feature. If all else fails, the nuclear “wipe all data” option is your next move.

So if you are worried about having a smartphone or tablet get lost or stolen, read the few steps below and make sure all your devices are in the best position to be protected or saved in case of the above scenarios.


To get started users simply need to head to on your computer. This will instantly launch the ADM service which will let you scroll through your list of devices. Here is where you’ll need to give a device a name, find its location, or wipe all data. Find the device you’d like to interact with, and the Android Device Manager will do the rest.


As you can see above I have a long list of devices in my ADM. Select the one you’d like, in our case I’m looking for the Google Play Edition Galaxy S4. Once you find the device and select it you’ll be notified of your options. There’s some additional setup that may appear on your device, simply allowing location services to track the device. Hit activate and you’ll be set. You’re all done.

New devices can also easily be activated and ready to roll by heading to the Google Play Store and downloading the official Android Device Manager application. Not only will this application explain how the ADM works, let you setup the device you’ve just installed it on, but you can also manage and access other devices right from this app on a mobile device. Meaning you can use your tablet to track, find, lock, or wipe your smartphone all with the Android Device Manager.


As you see above you can access everything on a device as you can from the PC. This is one of the many ways a user can easily and quickly find a lost or stolen smartphone.

Find Your Lost Device

Back on the PC one tap of the pencil edit button will let you name a device anything you’d like, and the bulls-eye looking icon is GPS. This will track your device right down to the exact location, often being accurate within a matter of feet.

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 2.00.05 PM

Simply hitting the GPS locate button will track the lost or stolen device for you, and you’re all set. Google warns to never try and retrieve a lost device yourself, and to contact the police. Of course this is the smart move, and bringing an officer with you to try and retrieve a stolen smartphone would be a good move. We’ve heard of this plenty from iPhone users, and the same can be done with Android smartphones and tablets.

Above our screenshot shows accurate to 24 meters, as I’m in a gated community and Google Maps is never 100% accurate with my location. That being said, while traveling out and about Google’s Android Device Manager is usually accurate within a matter of feet on our devices.

So, if you’ve lost a smartphone just open the app you downloaded from above, or head to the Android Device Manager page and tap locate. That’s all that’s needed, and it’ll usually give you an exact spot to retrieve a device. You can also try making it ring if it’s simply lost, but be aware that it will ring at full volume non-stop for 5 minutes. Or until someone hits the power button.

Should You Use This?

Users that want added protection and comfort will be happy to know this is a free service that’s extremely easy to use, and there’s no reason not to at least sign in and get devices ready. In case of an incident or a stolen device, you’ll be glad you did.

Alternatively there are tons of apps on the Google Play Store that offer something similar, but Google’s Android Device Manager works well, is simple, and best of all it’s completely free. There isn’t much to it, so head to the Android Device Manager page today and try it yourself.



  1. Schiler78

    05/07/2014 at 4:40 pm

    Since I started with my online business, I earn $62 every 15 minutes! My best friend has been averaging 30k for months now, he works about 20 hours a week and convinced me to try. I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out. The potential with this is endless. This is what I do ..

  2. Geeta Singh

    07/16/2014 at 2:35 am

    i got lost my android phone

    good app.

    • roopasri

      08/18/2014 at 4:40 am

      it is good.

  3. Next Launcher 3d Shell V3.12 Apk

    07/22/2014 at 1:25 am

    Wonderful work.. That is the kind of information that should be shared across the web.thanks for sharing.

  4. Michael Belk

    11/10/2014 at 5:24 pm

    Great article.

  5. John

    03/07/2015 at 7:18 pm

    I just bought an android tablet offline. Today I was at the mall and left the tablet in my car.. It has never been associated with any carrier at all… Is there any way I can track it down??

    • Cory Gunther

      03/08/2015 at 4:00 pm

      doubtful but you can try to see if the Android Device manager finds its location. Was it ever connected to WiFi?

  6. Teri

    04/30/2015 at 6:05 am

    My sons tablet was stolen. It has been connected to wifi and is connected to me gmail account. It’s been gone 2weeks and says it was synced yesterday. How can I track it? When I tried location search it says location not found. Is there another way?

  7. Roopa Lavanya

    05/22/2015 at 7:30 pm

    I am using phone tracker app, it has nice features, checkout top features here.

    ★ CAMERA TRAP: A secret photo will be taken of anyone who fails to unlock your phone for 3 times.
    ★ VOICE TRACK: Records the voice for 2 minutes and sends to alternate Email provided in the app.
    ★ LOCK SCREEN: Locks your phone with the application PIN.
    ★ GET LOCATION: Location of the phone will be sent to trusted phone number via SMS and to the alternate Email provided in the app.
    ★ SIM CHANGE DETECTION: A notification will be sent to the trusted phone number and alternate email id provided, when the SIM card is changed.
    ★ PHONE RESTART DETECTION: For every restart of the phone, location of the phone will be sent to trusted phone number via SMS and to the alternate Email provided.
    ★ SMS CONTROL SYSTEM: The SMS Control System allows you to track the lost phone by sending commands to the phone via SMS.
    ★ BACKUP SMS: Creates a backup copy of your SMS conversations and sends to alternate Email provided in the app.
    ★ BACKUP CONTACTS: Creates a backup copy of your contacts and sends to alternate Email provided in the app.
    ★ BACKUP CALL LOG: Creates a backup copy of your call log and sends to alternate Email provided in the app.
    ★ SHOUT SIREN: A loud siren/sound will be played when the phone receives the SMS command.
    ★ DATA WIPING: Wipes the device entirely. Make sure that it even deletes the Phone Tracker App. This should be the last option, if you think, your phone wont be back.

  8. Sadequl

    06/17/2015 at 11:11 pm

    I lost my phone yesterday. My phone was android phone. Its also associate with my gmail account. How can i trace my phone? Can anybody help me.?

  9. McGyver Kaiapas

    07/15/2015 at 6:01 pm

    i lost my taplet on june 29 2015. My taplet was Samsung – Galaxy – Tab – 3.How can i find it?Can anyone help me?

  10. lucinda somuah

    02/28/2017 at 3:35 pm

    please can de IMEI CODE BE ON DE PHONE BOX

  11. lucinda somuah

    02/28/2017 at 3:41 pm

    Please help me out I lost my phone in February 2017 but I dont have my IMEI code how can I trace it I need your help please

  12. gaudence chuwa

    05/18/2017 at 10:41 am

    i lost my smartphone techno w5 lite on 6 may 2017 on sunday and i failed to know where is my phone is please i need help to find it and informing me through my contact or e mail

  13. gaudence chuwa

    05/18/2017 at 11:13 am

    i lost my smartphone techo w5 lite on sunday 6 may 2017 and numbers that has been used are 0762735583,0657032150,and 0786825949 only please i begging your aid on it

  14. gaudence chuwa

    05/18/2017 at 11:18 am

    i lost my android phone techno w5 that it was assocciated with my google account [email protected] please help me

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