You’ve taken a trip to another country. You’re trying to see as many places as possible. Suddenly you realize you don’t have your cell phone with you. You recall all the places you’ve been to and call them to find out if your phone is there. But, instead of pacing back and forth in the city in an effort to track your phone’s location, try these five most helpful ways to locate a phone.
1. Use the IMEI number to track the phone’s location
What is it? IMEI is an International Mobile Station Equipment Identity assigned to every mobile phone by its manufacturer. It is commonly used to locate a phone when it was lost or stolen. The mobile operator can block the device by the IMEI number, which makes it unusable even with another SIM card. It’s also helpful if you want to know how to find someone’s location by a cell phone number.
To locate a phone, first, you need to track a phone number. The methods differ depending on the mobile device. Below are step-by-step instructions on how to do it.
To track a phone number of an iPhone, you need to:
- Open Settings
- Click General
- Click on About
- Find IMEI in the list
Here are the two approaches to track a phone number, if your mobile device runs on Android.
To find the EMEI number of an Android device (Approach 1):
- Verify whether the IMEI number is on the back of your cell phone
- If not, open Settings
- Find About Phone
- Jot down the IMEI you’ll see
Another way to track a phone number is (Approach 2):
- Switch your device off
- Take the battery cover and the battery away
- Find the IMEI number inside the device
After you found out how to track a phone number, you’ll be able to locate a phone. Here are actionable tips on how to track your phone’s location:
- Inform the police
Since the IMEI number is assigned to your handset, ideally the police can track the phone’s location, even if the SIM card was changed or removed. First, they will identify you as an owner and will do the tracking for you, provided you gave them the necessary information.
- Contact your cell phone manufacturer
You can ask your device provider to locate a phone for you. Or, you can go to their official site and do it on your own. However, it works if you are the owner and have relevant passwords.
- Use phone finder apps
To locate a phone, you need to track a phone number and then enter it when using the application. It will find it immediately. Such apps are anticipated for Android and iOS devices.
2. Use Google search to find and track the lost phone’s location.
Do you want to track a cell phone location for free? Using Google phone locator is another powerful way to track the phone’s location. Follow these steps as per the order:
- Log in to your Google account you have set up on your device
- Type “find my phone” into Google’s search engine
- Wait until Google pinpoints the location of your device
Google tracking is not limited to the search engine. Google phone locator can ring your phone. You’ll be able to track the phone’s location by clicking the icon or link for Ring on the map. The ringing can last up to five minutes until you turn it off.
Google phone locator is not the only way to trace the phone’s whereabouts. You can use Android Device Manager, which works the same way as Google tracking. That way, if you are convinced your phone has been sneaked, you can also block it and reset the credentials or wipe out the data. To use Google phone locator, make sure you installed the Google App on your Android device and enabled Web & App activity, Now cards, Google Now notifications.
For the record, Apple grants a similar feature – Find My iPhone. It suggests using the iCloud account’s tracking option or Find My iPhone app. Both work as Google phone locator does. Therefore, Google tracking is a sound way-out, provided thieves have changed the IMEI number and you cannot track the phone’s location by it.
3. Track the cell phone’s location on your Verizon account.
There are 151.48 million Verizon subscribers worldwide. They have the opportunity to use Verizon Find My Phone option. It allows to track the phone’s location. So, you see the device on a map, make it ring, lock or wipe out the data in there. The first thing to do to make Verizon find my phone is to pick the operating system of the device. For example, when selecting BlackBerry, the provider asks you to install and use BlackBerry Protect. It is a service that helps identify the phone’s position and protect data of the lost or stolen device.
If you use a basic phone (basic phones use the BREW operating system), Verizon suggests you sign up for Family Locator. It is a service that allows you and your family to track the phone’s location from other devices. Moreover, family members can find each other’s phones on the map.
There are two possible ways to get started with Family Locator.
Family Locator page:
- Make sure each family member is registered in My Verizon
- Go to the Family Locator page in My Verizon.
- Click Add Now to subscribe for Family Locator
Products & Apps page:
- Open Products & Apps in My Verizon
- Click Get Products tab
- Find the Family Locator app and click Get it Now
- Add a family Locator subscription to My Verizon account by following the instructions.
With Verizon Find My Phone feature, family members stay connected, get alerts about each other’s relocations, and receive driving instructions to specific places.
4. Use Sprint family locator to track the phone’s location.
Sprint is an application that enables family members to trace each other’s phones within the Sprint Family plan. It uses inbuilt GPS and cell tower data to pinpoint the phone’s location. However, it cannot spot the device’s whereabouts if the device is outside the Sprint’s network.
To track the phone’s location with Sprint Family Locator, you need to:
- Have a current registration within the service
- Make sure the phone is turned on and within the relevant network
- Be able to pay for monitoring
However, Sprint Family Locator might have troubles with tracking if the device is inside the building or vehicle, near a big water body, or surrounded by hills or tall constructions.
5. Track the phone’s location with AT&T FamilyMap.
What is it? An American telecoms operator AT&T poses as AT&T family locator as well for a particular niche – parents. This phone locator allows to find the child’s device on a map from the parent’s mobile phone or computer.
Here’s how to start using the service:
Step 1: Registration
- Sign in to FamilyMap via app or online
- Get the wireless number and the account’s temporary password
- Follow the instructions to set up the account
Step 2: Installation
- On the account, pick phones to pinpoint by checking them
- Indicate a name for each device. AT&T family locator sends a text notification that confirms you can track this device.
- Choose the join AT&T FamilyMap link from each phone.
For your information, Android devices become part of FamilyMap automatically. For Apple ones – the app must be downloaded on each device.
To track the phone’s location the phone locator needs the GPS to be enabled on each device. AT&T family locator does not locate phones if they are switched off or outside the coverage zones.
Since most methods mentioned above use GPS and the Internet connection to track the phone’s location, it’s obvious to wonder if a device can be found if it’s turned off.
Can a mobile be tracked if it is switched off?
It the mobile is switched off, there’s no way to trace it. When a carrier turns off the phone, it doesn’t emit signals and stops connecting with relevant cell towers. For example, to trace where the device is with the IMEI number, the device has to be enabled. Only then the mobile operator can pinpoint it.
For the services to track the phone’s location, there has to be GPS, mobile signals, and Wi-Fi. When devices function within some local wireless network (Verizon, AT&T, etc.), they track with the help of the router IP. Thus, without this connection, tracing the device is impossible.
However, you can get to know the last location of the device by using Google services or by calling the service provider. For an iPhone, you need to turn on the toggle of Send My Last Location in iCloud Settings. That way, you will be able to track the phone’s location from your friend’s iPhone or computer.
Nowadays, location-related services that track the phone’s location is a win-win solution. They meet the needs of different categories of persons. Parents can trace their kids, adult children – their elderly parents, executives – employees, and romantic partners – their significant ones.