I may have had a severe ADD moment leaving my cell phone on top of my car as I was packing for the farmers’ market Saturday, or it could have been snatched from my bag while I was there. Discovered it gone when I returned home. I try to look at this as a blessing, allowing me to focus my mind on an immediate task rather than other things that have been clogging up the old noggin.
Here are 9 Tips for when you have lost your phone:
- 1. Try calling it.
- 2. Frantically search everywhere, retracing all your steps.
- 3. Did you have google voice commands activated? Try the command “Find my Phone” which will “ping” and light up screen.
It is an Android phone? Are you signed in on google? If yes, hop on a computer and visit https://www.google.com/android/devicemanager
You can select your phone from a list of signed in devices. It will try to locate your phone and gives notice “Location data from your devices will be collected and sent to Google. Device location is approximate, and may not always be accurate. If you believe your device has been stolen, please contact law enforcement. Do not attempt to retrieve the device yourself.” Please note, Important: Android Device Manager won’t work for devices that are turned off or that don’t have a Wi-Fi connection or mobile data connection with an active SIM card.
- 4. One Device Manager options is “Ring”, which will continuously ring your phone at full volume for 5 minutes, you can click Ring again to turn it off earlier. Helpful if when you were calling it your volume was low, or set to go to voicemail after few rings.
- 5. Another Device Manager option is “Lock” You can add a password to access the phone, create a message to show on the lock screen, Such as “I’m Stolen. Reward for Return” and include a phone number to contact you. Need More Tips for Device Manager? Click Here.
Pretty sure your phone is not coming home soon, but still hoping?
- 6. Call the service provider to deactivate the phone. If you actually report lost/stolen right away, you will NOT be able able to reactivate service on it again. (It will have a bad ESN)
Deactivating service will only stop calls, texts, and provider data. The phone will still be able to access WIFI, and may still compromise your information.
- 7. Change all the passwords for stuff you were signed in on, sign out of the device if given that option.
Really sure your phone is gone forever?
- 8. Go back to Google’s Device Manager & click the erase button.
- 9. Call your service provider to report the phone lost/stole. This will prevent anyone who has it from activating it for service with the same provider. Some providers will “flash” (reprogram) a phone with a BAD ESN to work on their network, others will not regardless of what provider the phone was originally set up for, but some do. And some people want smartphones for non-calling reasons, for their kids to play games on, read books, surf internet via WiFi, and they don’t really care if the phone was stolen or not.
I hope you find your phone! If you found this post helpful, let me know. If you have more tips and suggestions for others who have lost their phones, please add them in the comments.