How to track an Android phone?

how to use navigation on smartphone

by Alex Gustman

Updated: April 14, 2021

There are some situations when you need to know the exact location of an Android device. Sometimes the phone gets stolen, and it has to be tracked down. If you are too worried about your kids, you wish to follow every step they take. The same applies to spouses that you suspect is cheating on you. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to do that without even leaving your home. Let’s check on some of them.

Make sure the methods will work

There are typically several preconditions for most of the tracking options available on the market to work. You will (most probably) succeed if:

1. GPS is turned on. This is the sensor inside the smartphone responsible for obtaining geographical location.

gps button

2. The device is connected to Wi-Fi or cellular internet. This way phone will be able to transfer the location recorded by GPS to the tracking software servers.

wifi switch.

3. The smartphone is linked to and logged in to Google account. Let’s be honest – this company is a prying champion, and in most cases, all you need to know is how to track a phone with Google. This means that it’s best to have the log-in and password information, which is not hard if you are checking on your device.

google account

4. The phone is signed into the Play Store.

google play

5. Find my Device feature under Security is enabled. This is usually done by default when you sign into a Google account.

application section admin.
find may device

Enabling all the features on the list above will increase your odds. Let’s have a closer look at the options you have.

How to track an Android phone location?

There are mainly two main categories – solutions offered by Google and third-party programs available at the Play Store. In both cases, it is hard to tell where exactly all the data goes and how those companies utilize it. People rarely read terms and hardly realize the conditions they sign up under. If a privacy breach is not a problem for you, let’s check the first option available.

programs for finding a smartphone
Frograms for finding a smartphone.

How to track your phone with Google account?

Let’s face it – if the phone is stolen, the first offenders’ actions are:

  • turning off GPS,
  • disabling Wi-Fi and cellular internet,
  • turning the device off,
  • replacing the SIM card.

This will make most of our tracking efforts useless. Later they can flash new firmware erasing the data completely. It is useful to have a lock screen password option enabled to avoid unauthorized access to the data inside the phone. This will keep information safe – at least, from non-tech-savvy thieves. However, if it is stolen, the information on how to track a phone with Gmail will not help in most cases.

On the other hand, it is worth trying. The majority of people will be glad to return the device to its owner, even if you offer nothing in return. To attempt using the feature, you need to:

1. Search for Find my Device page on the internet and visit it or install the application from Play Store to any Android device.

installation of the program find may device.

2. Enter Google account credentials – the same one connected to the phone.

account details.
allow navigation access
mode activation
phone search permission.

3. Choose the device you wish to track in the left top corner – should you have more than one connected to the same account.

smartphone search.

This will activate the search process. If the device is not located, you can try again by pressing the circle arrow button right next to the information about the phone. If it is located, the offenders will get a notification that someone is trying to locate their whereabouts.

Additionally, you will be able to activate the shrill sound, which might be useful when the device is laying in inconspicuous place. One more handy option is to lock the phone and write a message asking to contact you by your choice’s phone number. If there is no hope, force log out them from Google account or initiate complete data wipe.

How to find my lost phone last location?

Though privacy is of outmost importance for most of us, we are never alone. In fact, Google tracks every move we make. Every person knowing the password can gain access to our entire motion history. If you ever wondered how to track lost phone location with Google Maps, here is a short guide explaining this in every detail:

  • follow the link,
  • enter the log-in information,
  • choose the date you wish to learn more about.

This will help to see where exactly you lost grip of your device if you know approximately when it happened. The odds are it is still there, and you only have to go there and pick it up.

Timeline uses GPS and cell towers information as well as recording the data from built-in sensors such as a gyroscope. Then all this is purged to the service, making it possible to keep track of everything. For example, it can accurately tell if you were walking or riding in a car. If you use this service, make sure the password is very strong, and you are the only one to know it.

This feature will only work if you have turned Location history on – you can manage it at any time on this page. Keep in mind that this option is disabled by default. You can also manually add and remove places from the timeline if you want to.

How to track your Android phone using third-party software?

Different programs available in the Play Store upon receiving your subscription payment can offer multiple features, such as:

  • tracking kids with the help of application installed on both phones,
  • recording exact periods when the smartphone is used,
  • SOS button and chats with parents,
  • taking pictures remotely,
  • sending email notifications in case, the SIM card is removed.

There are multiple solutions for helping to track the Android device. However, they all work under certain circumstances only and will rarely help if the thieves are smart enough. It is hard to recommend any of them as the new options are emerging daily. Oftentimes, it is not easy to make sure they use your data solely for your good. Safest and most useful, by far, are the solutions offered by Google – at least, they are good at prying as they are doing it for many years. Besides, you do not even have to pay for using them. 

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Alex Gustman


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