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Phones

Use Find My Mobile to find a lost Samsung Galaxy device

If you happen to lose a Galaxy phone or tablet, don't panic!

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

So you've just lost a brand-new Samsung Galaxy phone. It's OK! You're fine. Samsung's Find My Mobile feature is here to help. It's free, and if you signed into your Samsung account when you first set up the phone, then it's already set up.

Let's assume you still have the phone to hand. Instead of waiting for something unfortunate to happen, take a few minutes right now to ensure Find My Mobile is enabled and setup on your Galaxy phone or tablet.

Indeed, Google already offers a similar app for all Android devices, and there's nothing wrong with it, but Samsung's service for its own devices gives you more functionality. Note: Not all carriers support Find My Mobile. If you can't locate Find My Mobile on your Galaxy device, your carrier may offer its own version, or you can download Google's Find My Device app via the Play Store. It may even already be installed.

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Setup

samsung-galaxy-s9-find-my-mobile

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

If you signed into your Samsung account during initial setup, like I said, odds are Find My Mobile is already turned on.

Check on your device by searching for Find My Mobile in the Settings app. Alternatively, you can go to Settings > Lock Screen and Security > Find My Mobile. If prompted, sign into your Samsung account to enable the feature.

I suggest turning on all options associated with the feature as well. Remote controls will allow you to do things like force a remote backup, retrieve call and message logs, enable battery saving features and so on. Google location service provides more accurate location information -- vital at a time when you're tracking down a lost device. Send last location will monitor the device's battery and send its last known location right before it loses power.

Track

samsung-find-my-mobile

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Samsung doesn't have an app you can use on another phone to track a lost device. Instead, you can use any mobile or desktop browser to visit findmymobile.samsung.com. Once there, log into your account and select the device you're looking for.

If it's powered on, you will see its current location and battery percentage. A popup will also provide a series of actions to take on the lost device:

  • Ring
  • Lock
  • Erase data
  • Back up
  • Retrieve calls and messages
  • Unlock
  • Extend battery life
  • Set guardian

Most of these are self-explanatory. There are a couple that are worth explaining a bit more. For example, retrieve calls and messages will sync with the phone and show you the last 50 calls and messages, complete with phone numbers. 

The Extend battery option will provide the option to help you track it longer. Lastly, the Set Guardian option allows you to designate a friend or family member as someone who can log into Find My Mobile on your behalf to track or control your device.