How to find your phone when it’s gone (even if the battery is dead)

I love my husband, but he relocates everything from his keys to his purse more often than you might think possible.

It was more of a pain years ago. These days, I’ve beaten an Apple AirTag on everything I can that he owns. We even have one on our Golden Retriever’s collar, just in case. Tap or click for more ingenious ways to use AirTags and Tile trackers.

Be careful though. There are reports of criminals using AirTags to tag vehicles and steal them later. AirTags are so small that you can easily put them in a backpack or purse.

Know the characters. Tap or click step by step to check if there is a hidden AirTag tracking you.

When it comes to finding your phone, there are better ways than shouting for someone else in the house to call you, and that is not always possible. Try these proven methods instead.

Apple makes it easy

If you have a newer iPhone, I have good news. A recent Find My app update allows you to find an iPhone even if it is turned off or has an empty battery.

Note: This works for iPhone 11 and later, including all iPhone 11, 12 and 13 models running iOS 15.

First, make sure Find My is enabled and check your settings. Here’s how you do it:

  • Open on your iPhone Settings > [your name] > Find min. If you are prompted to sign in, enter your Apple ID.
  • Press Find my Iphone, and then slide the switch next to Find My iPhone to right to activate it. (This must be enabled by default.)
  • You can also turn one of the following on or off: Find My Network: If your device is offline (not connected to Wi-Fi or mobile), Find My can find it using Find My Network. On a supported iPhone with iOS 15 or later, enable Find My Network, you can find the device for up to 24 hours after it is turned off. Send Last Location: If your device’s battery charge level becomes critically low, its location will be automatically sent to Apple.
  • Find My Network: If your device is offline (not connected to Wi-Fi or mobile), Find My can find it using Find My Network. On a supported iPhone with iOS 15 or later, enable Find My Network, you can find the device for up to 24 hours after it is turned off.
  • Send Last Location: If your device’s battery charge level becomes critically low, its location will be automatically sent to Apple.
FILE - Someone is using an iPhone.

FILE – Someone is using an iPhone.
(AP Photo / Jenny Kane, File)

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How to use Find My

Now that Find My is set up, you have a few options for using it should your phone disappear.

Do you have an Apple Watch? You have a simple method. Iron up on screen. When your watch is open, tap the phone icon with sound waves. This tap will force your iPhone to emit a noise even when it is on silent.

If you have an iPad or MacBook, use the Find My app. You can use it to track your phone and emit sound, just like with an Apple Watch. See the full steps to track from a Mac here. How to track your phone from an iPad.

Don’t worry if your iPhone is your only Apple device. You can use your web browser.

  • Sign in to iCloud.com.
  • Find the Find iPhone feature.
  • Once you have selected Find iPhone, log in again.
  • click on All devices to find the phone you are looking for.
  • Select the phone you lost and select Play audio.

You can also see your misplaced phone on a map.

Remember this trick. If your phone is ever stolen, you can remotely delete it so that your information does not fall into the wrong hands. Here are the steps to get it done.

Do you want to be shocked? Speaking of cards, The iPhone secretly tracks all your movements on this hidden card.

What about Androids?

Find My Device automatically turns on when you add a Google Account to any Android device. For it to work, you need to:

  • Log in to a Google Account
  • Stay connected to mobile data or Wi-Fi
  • Get Location On
  • Has Find My Device enabled

When your phone is missing, it is too late to perform these steps. Do it now while you think about it.

As with Find My iPhone, you can find your Android phone using a few different methods. Here are some options:

From a browser, go to android.com/find to find your device:

  • Sign in to your Google Account.
  • Click the lost phone icon at the top of the screen.
  • A message will be sent to your phone.
  • You can see on a map approximately where your phone is located.
  • Select Play sound to make your phone ring at maximum volume for five minutes so you can find it.
This photo illustration shows an Android logo displayed on a smartphone.

This photo illustration shows an Android logo displayed on a smartphone.
(Photo illustration by Rafael Henrique / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images)

Related: You can hide your private photos in a locked folder on your Android – How to

If you have another Android device, e.g. a tablet, download Google Find My Device app and use it to locate your missing device.

  • Download the Find My Device app and open it.
  • Choose Continue on your profile.
  • Follow the same steps as above from your web browser

Like an Apple Watch, you can use your Wear OS Watch for Android to find your phone in certain circumstances. To use your watch, your phone must be switched on and connected to your watch via Bluetooth:

  • If you do not see your screen, wake up the clock.
  • Tap to see your list of apps Power button.
  • Press Find my phone.
  • Your phone rings to let you know its location.

These methods only work if your phone is on. If you have a Samsung phone, there is an app you can use to track your phone even after it dies. Click or click here for direct download links and instructions.

Bonus tip: 5 things to do with your photos before it is too late

We all have more pictures than we know what to do with. Most are on our phones and computers, but then there are also all the albums and frames filled with old printed photos. In this episode, you will hear insider secrets that the professionals take to save photos before it is too late.

Check out my podcast “Kim Komando Explains” at Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast player.

Listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for my last name, “Command.”

What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call Kim’s National Radio Program and press or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to or watch The Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, television or computer. Or click or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.

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Learn about all the latest technology at The Kim Komando Show, the country’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim accepts calls and advises on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacking. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.

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