How To Find Your Lost Or Stolen Mobile Phone For Free
Find mobile phones for free!
In our guide, you will find everything about mobile phones, such as: For example, you can review common location services, methods, and apps on how to protect your phone against loss or theft or protect yourself from unwanted cell phone location.
1. Which mobile phone would you like to locate?
If you would like to locate your own mobile phone, you can either use integrated location services, such as: For example, you can use the Device Manager on Android or the iCloud on the iPhone, or third-party apps, such as iPhone. B. Lookout Mobile Security use.
1.1 Android Mobile Locations
All Android Phones Android 2.2 and later Froyo can be located on the web for free via Android Device Manager. In order to use the service, you have to activate it first under Settings> Security> Device Administration.
In addition, a check mark must be set under Settings> Location access at the sub-item Access to my location, as otherwise locating is not possible.
If one followed these directions, one can retrieve now simply over the Internet at any time the location of the own Smartphone. To do this, log in to his browser at android.com/devicemanager with the Gmail address and password used to set up the phone.
iPhones, like iPads or MacBooks, can be located on the iCloud for free. In order to use this, you have to activate the service under Settings> iCloud> Search my iPhone and download the Find my iPhone app from the App Store.
Once this has been done, you can have your iPhone displayed on a map via the iCloud web app under the point My iPhone together with other devices on which this function has been activated. In addition, you can lock your devices, play a sound or delete all data.
1.3 Locating Windows Phone To locate a Windows Phone, you must log in to the Microsoft account, which is also connected to the phone, at windowsphone.com.
If you are logged in, click on the My Phone button and select Find My Phone in the pop-up menu that appears. You will then be shown a map with the current location of the phone. In addition to displaying the location you also have the opportunity to play a sound, if you, For example, you have misplaced the cell phone in the house and silenced it, or delete all data on the phone.
1.4 Blackberry locations
A BlackBerry can be located with the integrated service BlackberryProtect, remotely lock or delete all data. To do this, first, activate the service on the BlackBerry device under Settings> BlackBerry Protect and secondly activate the location services under Settings> Location settings. Once done, you can use the location service by logging into the BlackBerry ID web service.
1.5 Samsung mobile phones
Samsung mobile phones can also be found remotely via Samsung’s own Find My Mobile service in addition to operating system-specific services, such as the Android Device Manager. To do this, you first have to create a Samsung account, secondly, you have to activate the service on the smartphone, which can be done under Settings> Personal> Security> Mobile phone / Remote access, and thirdly, in the same submenu, put a tick on Wireless networks. Once done, you can find a lost phone through the Find My Mobile online portal.
2. What Locate Methods Are There
A mobile phone or smartphone can be located using two different methods, which vary in their preconditions and accuracy:
2.1 Mobile phone location via the mobile network
A mobile number can only be located via the GSM network if, firstly, the mobile phone is switched on and, secondly, there is a connection to the transmitting mast, that is to say, the mobile phone has to be located.
Locating a cell phone number over the cellular network uses location information using radio masts. This is possible because the cell phone always logs on to the nearest transmission tower and this information is stored by the control center. In fact, you do not get the actual location of the cell phone, but rather the location of the next transmitter tower.
From the locations of 3 transmission towers and the time that the signals from the phone to the respective transmission towers need, however, the location of the cell phone can be determined quite accurately. This method is also called triangulation:
In large cities or urban centers, where there are many masts, the location is quite accurate, because the individual transmission towers are not far apart and the phone always dials the next mast. In the country, where there are fewer transmission towers, you can already be a few hundred meters away from the respective transmission tower, which makes the exact location of this method impossible.
* Works with all phones, regardless of age, brand or type
* No installation of apps or any other configuration of the mobile phone is necessary
* In larger cities or metropolitan areas quite accurate due to a high density of transmission towers
* In many cases, it is also possible to have people inside a building
* Inaccurate compared to GPS, especially in rural areas where the transmission tower density is not that high
* Requires mobile phone reception2.2 Mobile GPS
GPS positioning, short for Global Positioning System, is a global navigation satellite system developed by the US Department of Defense in the 1970s.
The position of a mobile phone is transmitted by radio to the device from the GPS satellites, from 24 to 30 at an altitude of 25,000 km above the earth. For accurate positioning at least 4 satellites are required at the same time. In the mobile phone, the signal transit times are measured and from this, the current position is calculated:
The position of a mobile phone can also be determined by alternative navigation satellite systems such as the Russian GLONASS or the Chinese system Beidou, which are supported by more and more smartphones.
* Very accurate location possible, often accurate to a few meters
Location is fast and reliable
* Good for geo-fencing and navigation systems due to its accuracy and speed
* Is inaccurate or not possible in buildings, tunnels or valleys
* You can only locate a smartphone or mobile phone that has GPS
* The cell phone to be located must be preconfigured, eg. B. by installing a tracking app.
3. Locate your mobile via App
In addition to the location services of network providers and manufacturers such as Samsung, Motorola, and Sony, O2 or Vodafone or the services integrated into the operating system such as iCloud or Android Device Manager, there are now many third-party apps. In many cases, these apps not only allow the location of your own smartphone but also offer many additional features, such. B .:
* displaying a message so that honest Finder can connect with one
* locking the smartphone or resetting to factory settings
* switching on and off of system functions such as GPS or WLAN
* the control of the smartphone per
* Playing an alarm tone to scare thieves or make it easier to find the smartphone
* Capture photos and videos with the front or main camera to scan thieves or dishonest FinderA compilation of common location apps can be found here.
4. Reasons for Cell Phone Tracking
To motives why you want to determine the location of a cell phone, smartphone or other mobile device include:
* You lost the phone
* The phone was stolen
* Monitor the whereabouts of your own children
* Monitor your own spouse or partner
* Senior or dependent people can help quickly in an emergency
* Creation of motion profiles and electronic logbooks for cars, trucks or other land or water vehicles
* Control of employees, especially in the field or in the home office
* See if your own friends or family members are around to meet with them
* Localization of the mobile phone as part of a dating or one-night-stand-app
* Help in an emergency, eg. If you have lost your phone or it has been stolen, it is important that you respond quickly. What exactly you need to do is explained in this Help article.
5. Legal questions about mobile phone tracking
5.1 When is it legal to locate a mobile phone?
The legal situation in Germany is not always clear, but when it comes to cell phone tracking (as well as cell phone espionage), there are clear rules to stick to get to.
So it is legal to locate his own cell phone (ie also to listen for whatever reason), as well as that of his underage children. It is also allowed to locate or monitor a cell phone if the person using this device is informed and agrees. For example, a boss can monitor the cell phones of his employees but must obtain written consent from the employees. If they do not agree with this, it is not right to play the software on the mobile phone in question.
5.2 What happens when you locate a cell phone without permission
If you have a cell phone illegally located or monitor, this is not a trivial offense. Our constitutional state provides privacy for people. This includes the whereabouts as well as personal calls or SMS. Those who disregard this rule must expect high fines. In the worst case, you can even be sentenced to imprisonment.
The case law is so strict that even rescue workers cannot locate cell phones for privacy reasons. The police may only locate cell phones in exceptional cases, eg. For example, when there is an offense or acute danger to the life and limb of a person. But even in these cases, a location must first be approved by a prosecutor or judge.
5.3 Can I Locate My Partner’s Cell Phone
While it may be tempting to locate one’s partner, to know where he is and whether to cheat on one, this is only allowed with his express permission. If you locate your partner’s mobile phone or monitor it with spy apps, you are liable to prosecution.
If you feel the need to monitor your own partner, you may want to take a closer look at your relationship, behavior, and the behavior of your partner, as that need shows that something in your relationship is going awry.
6. Is it possible to locate a cell phone that has been switched off?
Batteries of modern smartphones in most cases do not last much longer than a day, without having to recharge them in between. So if you miss your phone for a long time, the likelihood of it going out every hour (unless it’s stolen and the thief charges it). The question of whether it is possible to locate a switched off the cell phone, so is quite justified.
6.1 Prerequisite for a successful positioning
To make a positioning successful, the mobile phone or smartphone you want to locate must send signals. Whether the location is to be done via GPS or via the mobile network, in both cases, the mobile phone must be able to send information. As a rule, these data are only sent when the device is switched on. Thus, a location is usually not successful when the phone is off.
An exception exists if a program is installed on the mobile phone that ensures that the device is not actually switched off when the on / off switch is actuated. It looks like it is, but still sends data. However, the signals are no longer sent when the phone is off due to a dead battery. With these programs, you can only prevent the case that the device is stolen and the thief turns it off to prevent a location. If you can remove the battery on the mobile phone, the thief can do so, so that the location is no longer possible.
6.3 What to do if a cell phone that has been switched off cannot be located
If the cell phone has actually been lost and you can no longer locate it because it is off, you can at least call up the last location. When located on the mobile network, the last location data are stored and then you can retrieve. However, in this case, you only get the location of the device just before it has gone out. The current location can deviate very much from this in the worst case and you have no way to find out.
7. Protection against Unintentional Mobile Phone Tracking
If you feel that your phone is being monitored or located without your permission, you can protect yourself in most cases with quick and effective measures. In addition to controlling your own apps, these include programs that you can install and discover the spyware and warn the user.
An overview of all measures that can protect you against espionage can be found in our article Protection against mobile phone positioning.
8. How much does it cost to locate a cell phone?
In most cases, it does not cost anything to have your cell phone located. If you use the programs of the software operators (Android, Windows or iOS), for example, you can have your phone located completely free of charge. Even the programs of Google and O2 cost no money. However, you have to meet some requirements for this: the cell phone must be in most cases a slightly newer smartphone and this must have GPS.
In addition, the device must be switched on during locating.
In addition, you have to log in to these programs in the account that is connected to the phone, which usually means that it is my own cell phone.
Mobile phone tracking usually costs you money if you use the services of a special location service. This is necessary, for example, if I do not want to have my own cell phone located and do not have the necessary access data for the other programs. Please note that the location of a cell phone is not legal without the owner’s consent. Please inform yourself before locating whether you comply with applicable laws!
It may also be that the cell phone you want to locate does not have GPS. In this case, you can only locate the mobile phone via GSM, which most providers who offer free localization do not do. However, before concluding a paid contract with another provider, it is important to know exactly whether the location is actually via GSM.
How expensive the location depends on the specific provider. These differ not only in how expensive the individual location is, but also in whether one completes a subscription directly, or only books a certain number of locations. We recommend the provider MobiltelXXL, which offers 30 locations per week for € 6.99 or alternatively 15 locations per week for € 4.99.
9. Other questions about mobile phone tracking
9.1 Is it possible to locate even simple cell phones?
In general, you can also locate older cell phones that are not running on Android, Windows, iOS or any other operating system. This works here via GSM location, ie via the mobile network, as the mobile phones in question usually have no GPS module.
The problem is, however, that many of the modern positioning software require that you install an app on the mobile phone to be located. This is usually not possible with older models. That’s why you have to use services here, in which one enters only the mobile phone number and confirmed the location via an SMS. Again, of course, this is only legal if the mobile phone user agrees to the location.
9.2 Can the police locate a cell phone that has been switched off?
First of all, the police will only locate mobile phones when necessary because a serious crime has been committed. As a rule, the police will not locate a cell phone even if it can be proved that it was stolen.
However, if the police want to locate the mobile phone, they too rely on the existing technology and use either GPS or the mobile network for location. Thus, the police can locate a cell phone only when it is turned on.
9.3 Is it possible to locate a Symbian phone?
Yes, even phones with Nokia’s old operating system Symbian, for which support and development were discontinued at the end of 2012, can be detected using location tracking apps, such as mobile phones. Locate Phone Guardian, Phone Locator, Easy Locator, Find FoneFinder or MobiTracker. As for simple phones with a proprietary operating system, Symbian phones can also be GSM-based. B. with the above-mentioned paid location services.
9.4 Is it possible to find a mobile phone even without a GPS?
It is possible to determine the location of a mobile phone or smartphone that is not equipped with GPS or whose GPS is switched off because all mobile devices can also be located via the mobile network. This type of location is, however, inaccurate. The accuracy of a location via the mobile network depends on the number of available transmission towers. This means that the position determination within cities is more accurate because there the transmission tower density is greater.