what to do if my phone is stolen or lost

While walking down the streets, traveling in a crowded bus or a train in your own fantasy, when you suddenly gain your consciousness back, you pat your pants and you don’t find your phone.

What kind of experience did you get at that very moment? A near-death one, am I right?

But then you realize that your phone was in your shirt’s upper pocket or your bag that you never left the hold of. And now it feels like you got all the happiness that you ever wished for.

But as you are reading this article today, I guess that you weren’t that lucky this time. You pat your pants and the phone is missing, you dig through your bag, your shirt, and every possible place but nothing. Your phone is lost or stolen.

Now you are searching for an answer to your questions that how to find my lost or stolen phone or what to do if my phone is lost or stolen.

I have handpicked the best solution and tips and tricks for you to help you get back your lost Android phone or at least secure your online identity if you can’t retrieve your phone.

Table Of Content

My Phone Got Stolen, How Do I Track It?

Google has made our lives so much easy in so many ways. The company even helps you reunite with your lost phone with its Find My Device app available for Android.

The best thing about finding your lost phone with Find My Device is that the app doesn’t need to be installed on the lost phone prior to its state of missing.

All you need to do is, install the app from the Play Store on a phone that you will use to get back your lost or stolen phone. Now sign-in on the app using the same email address with which you are registered on your lost phone. Tap on Continue as “your name” to continue further.

Enter your email ID password, tap on Sign in, and now your phone is ready to find its lost friend.

If you want to save yourself from downloading the app then you can use the web app of Find My Device which works in the exact same way.

Here are the features of the Find My Device app to help you locate your phone if the phone gets lost or stolen.

Location Tracking

what to do if my phone is lost or stolen

Most of you might be asking yourself that my phone got stolen, how do I track it? Well surprisingly, it’s easier than you think.

On the home screen of the Find My Device app, you can check the current location of the lost phone if it is switched on.

The location will be shown with a big pointer on the screen.

Playing Sound On The Lost Phone

play sound on your lost or stolen android phone

If you think that my phone got lost somewhere nearby and even the map shows that the phone is somewhere in the vicinity, then you can play your phone’s ringtone remotely with the Find My Device app.

Simply tap on the Play Sound option that you see on the home screen of the app. Even if your phone is on silent mode, the app will still play the ringtone in full volume so you can locate your lost phone immediately if it’s nearby or if you lost your phone in your house.

After finding your phone, you can Stop sound immediately.

Secure Device With A Message

show message on lost or stolen phone

Maybe your phone is not stolen and you have dropped it somewhere while your way back home. If it falls in the hands of a gentleman/gentlelady, they will definitely try to reunite the lost phone with its owner.

To make it easy for them to contact you, you can set up a message on the phone screen remotely with the Find My Device app.

Tap on the Secure Device option and create an always-on display message on the phone screen and add a phone number (that you can pick up) so that that person who finds your phone can contact you with a single click.

Locking Your Device Remotely

secure phone with password

Most people keep their cell phones locked at all times just to make sure no one can intrude on your privacy.

But if you are not among those people and your phone is lost, then it’s a matter of concern.

All thanks to the Find My Device app that now you can set a password on your lost phone remotely. Without adding a password to your phone, you can’t even show the always-on message that I explained earlier.

Don’t forget to remember the password thoroughly as once set, you cannot change the password no matter what.

Other Information About The Lost Or Stolen Phone

Although you feel helpless at the time when your Android phone is stolen or lost, you can check its battery level with the Find My Device app. And if the phone is about to exhaust or shut down then you can take the action immediately.

Similarly, you can know the Wi-Fi connection that your phone is connected to right now. If you think you remember the place this Wi-Fi connection belongs to, it can make your search easy.

There is one more feature of the Find My Device app. But I’m going to explain it later in this article because it’s a solution if your phone is stolen and you think you are not getting it back.

What To Do If Your Phone Is Stolen?

After long hours of effort made with the Find My Device app, you haven’t got your cell phone back. Well, it’s time to face the ugly truth that your Android phone is gone for good.

Now it’s time to do the things that are necessary after a phone is stolen. So here’s the list of things that are necessary for you to do.

Erasing All The Data

erase all data on android phone

Everything else comes later, but if you think your phone is lost or stolen permanently, then the first thing that you need to do is, erase all the data from your phone.

Your personal information, bank details, card details, photos, media, all the things are way too precious than your cell phone.

Erasing the data from your stolen smartphone remotely is made possible by the Find My Device app.

To wipe out all the data from the stolen Android smartphone remotely, you need to select the Erase Device option. Now sign in to your Gmail account and successfully erase all the data.

Lodging A Police Report

Although there’s hardly anything that the police will do about your lost phone, it’s still necessary to lodge a police report.

Tracking a lost car is something that police would be interested in, but a smartphone; thousands of such reports are registered every day.

But if you don’t lodge a police report and the thief has extracted your personal data before you erase it, then they might use your information to carry on heinous crimes. And as the police don’t have any records of your lost smartphone, you’ll be the one to be taken by the scruff of the neck.

Secure Your Net Banking Accounts

Net banking has surely made our lives easy but it makes our accounts vulnerable to hackers. If your smartphone is stolen by a hacker and your accounts are opened in the lost phone or secured by a very weak password, then consider your money gone.

The best way to secure your money is by logging into your bank accounts using a spare phone and changing the passwords ASAP!

Remember to keep a strong password this time. It can include capital and small letters, numbers, and special characters.

If there’s a chance you don’t remember your net banking details, contact your bank and inform them about the situation.

Secure Your Social Accounts

While the details of your net banking accounts can result in a huge money loss, your social account details can worsen the situation even more.

In fact, unlike your net banking apps, your social apps are always opened on your phone. So the thief doesn’t even need the password to access your social accounts.

A few years back my friend’s phone was stolen. Facebook was the first target of the thief where he used the app to message his Facebook friends acting as an imposter.

He messaged people that he was in some kind of trouble and it would be kind of them to send some money in a particular bank account.

Luckily, my friend logged out of all the devices remotely in time and made his friends aware that it was not him who messaged them.

Alert Your Banks

Although you have secured yourself by changing the bank account passwords, a hacker will try everything in his power to break the security.

So it’s better to add an additional layer of security by alerting your banks. Now even if the thief breaks your net banking security, they won’t be able to extract a single penny as the bank is already aware of the situation.

Unlink Your Gmail Account

Almost everything is connected to your Gmail accounts these days, your banks, social accounts, and so on.

So if you unlink your lost or stolen phone from the Gmail it’s registered with, you have saved yourself from huge trouble.

Luckily, you can unlink your lost phone from Gmail remotely using another device linked with the same Gmail.

Open your phone Settings, select Google, tap on Manage your Google Account, go to Security, select Manage devices, tap on the three-dot icon in front of the lost or stolen phone, and click on Sign out.

You have successfully signed out of the lost phone remotely using another device.

Deactivate Your SIM Card

The thief might try to call or message people and ask for money acting as you are in a dire need of help. They can even play dirty pranks on people which may put you into trouble and you may lose your reputation.

In the worst case, a thief might carry out a crime using your number which might push you into trouble.

So if you think your phone is gone for good, don’t wait to deactivate your SIM. Moreover, you don’t need to worry about giving up your number permanently. You can issue the same number again.

What If Your Phone Is Stolen And Turned Off?

In case you have lost your phone and it’s switched off and you try to locate it with the Find My Device app, unfortunately, you won’t be able to track it.

When the phone is switched off, it loses its connection with the nearby towers making it impossible for the owner to get its location.

But if the lost or stolen phone was synced earlier with the Find My Device app and it’s switched off currently, then you can see the last location of the phone.

As the Find My Device app also shows you the battery level of the lost or stolen phone, you can make a wise judgment if the phone was turned off intentionally or it went out of juice on its own.

If someone turned off the phone intentionally then it means they have stolen it. And if the phone was already about to die, then you can try to find it by going to the last location synced.

If by chance your phone is switched on again then you can start tracking its location with the Find My Device app afresh.

Even if your lost phone has no SIM card and is not even connected to Wi-Fi, still the app will be able to give you its current location. This is the most this app can do for you.


What To Do If My Phone Is Lost Or Stolen?

The first thing that you should try after losing your phone is, try to locate it with the Find My Device app. If you can’t locate your phone, then you should take necessary actions like erasing data, alerting your banks, changing net banking and social media passwords, etc.

What To Do If My Phone Is Lost At Home?

If you lost your phone in your home, you can play the phone’s ringtone in full voice using the Find My Device app. The app will play the sound even if the phone is on silent mode.

How Do I Report My Phone Lost Or Stolen?

You simply need to go to the police station and tell them about the whole situation. The police will then lodge an FIR for your lost or stolen smartphone.

How Can I Track My Lost Phone If It Is Switched Off?

Unfortunately, there’s no way you can track your lost phone if it is switched off. If you connected your stolen phone with the Find My Device app before it was switched off then you can get its last location before the phone was turned off. If the phone is switched on again, then you can start tracking its location again.

What Do Thieves Do With Stolen Phone?

There are plenty of things that a thief can do with the lost phone. They might try to contact your friends and ask for money posing as if you are in a problem. They might try to access your banking details and even perform crimes using your SIM card.

Can I Erase My Personal Data From The Lost Phone?

Yes, using the Find My Device app, you can erase all your confidential information from the lost phone remotely.