5 ways to help find your lost Android device

If it's portable, it's losable, so it's a good idea to think ahead and plan for misplacing your Android device. There are some great apps to help you track it down, even if you never installed anything on it before it went missing.

Rob Lightner
Rob Lightner is a tech and gaming writer based in Seattle. He has reviewed games, gadgets, and technical manuals, written copy for space travel gear, and composed horoscopes for cats.
Rob Lightner
2 min read

Watch this: Find your lost Android phone

Some of us are so dependent on our Android devices that our breathing gets weird just from thinking about losing them. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to track them down beyond just calling and hoping to hear the ring under a pile of laundry. Some require installation beforehand, but one doesn't. Here's how to help ensure your device comes back to you: 

  • Set up Contact Owner so that the first thing someone sees when they pick up your device is a message telling them how to get in touch with you. It's easy to set up and forget about. 
    Contact Owner in action.
    Contact Owner in action. Taylor Wimberly
  • Where's My Droid is a great package that lets you turn the ringer up and on full-blast by sending a text, helps you track it down using GPS and can even keep thieves from making certain changes to your device. 
  • You might want to step up your protection by picking up an antivirus package. Two of the most popular apps also provide lost-phone tracking. AVG AntiVirus lets you lock down your device remotely and helps you find it using Google Maps. Lookout Security & Antivirus offers similar services plus Web tracking. 
  • Your service provider might offer apps to help with device loss. T-Mobile and Verizon each have Android apps that can help secure your device and (hopefully) find it. Ask your provider or search for them on the Android Market. 
    T-Mobile security in action.
    T-Mobile security in action. T-Mobile USA
  • If all else fails, there's always Plan B, from the folks who publish Lookout. Even if you couldn't be bothered to install any other finders beforehand, you might be able to track down your phone by installing Plan B remotely over the Web. It's not exactly a long shot, but it really shouldn't be your first step--so install one of the other packages right away!