Find My Phone

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Find my Phone or similar is the name given by various manufacturers to software and a service for smartphones, whereby a registered user can find the approximate location of the phone if switched on, over the Internet, or by the phone sending e-mail or SMS text messages. This helps to locate lost or stolen phones.[1][2]

Apple offers a a free service called - Find My iPhone for iPhones running iOS. Microsoft's My Windows Phone offers a similar service for phones running Windows Phone. Similarly, Google, has designed the "Android Device Manager" app for select phones running Android. At least one of these can be installed remotely on a phone, after it has gone missing.[3][4]

Some of these applications may have limitations which can be checked before installing, such as only working in some countries, dependencies upon the phone's implementation of GPS, etc.[3] Similar paid or free apps are also available for all device platforms.

Similar applications are available for computers. Computers rarely have built-in GPS receivers or mobile telephone network connectivity, so these methods of location and signalling are not available. A computer connected to the Internet by a cabled connection gives its location as the location of the Internet Service Provider (ISP) it is connected to, usually a long distance away and not very useful, although the IP address may help. However, a WiFi-connected computer (typically a laptop computer) can find its approximate location by checking WiFi networks in range against a database, allowing approximate location to be determined and signalled over the Internet.[5]


  1. ^ BBC: Inside a knife-point mugging, 9 July 2012. Describes a street robbery of a phone and other items, and how a suspect (in possession of the phone, and recorded on security cameras in the area) was quickly tracked and arrested through a Find my Phone service.
  2. ^ AP: Cop accused of stealing driver's iPhone from wreck, 12 July 2012. iPhone tracked as having been stolen by policeman from car crash.
  3. ^ a b ReadWriteWeb: How to Find Your Lost or Stolen Android Phone for Free. Comparison of several "Find my Phone" applications for Android phones.
  4. ^ Mlot, Stephanie. (2013-08-02) Google Unveils Android Version of 'Find My iPhone' | News & Opinion. Retrieved on 2013-08-09.
  5. ^ PC Magazine: 6 Ways to Find Your Stolen Laptop, July 2011