Find My Phone

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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 free service called Find My for iPhones running iOS. Microsoft's My Windows Phone once offered a similar service for phones running Windows Phone. Similarly, Google offers Find My Device for phones running Android.[3]

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.[4] 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 a wreck, 12 July 2012. iPhone tracked as having been stolen by policeman from car crash.
  3. ^ "Find My Phone: Track your misplaced Android, iPhone, or Windows Phone". Gadget Detected - Tech & Startup news. 2017-04-24. Retrieved 2017-09-09.
  4. ^ ReadWriteWeb: How to Find Your Lost or Stolen Android Phone for Free Archived 2012-07-10 at the Wayback Machine. Comparison of several "Find my Phone" applications for Android phones.
  5. ^ Rubenking, Neil J. (July 1, 2011). "6 Ways to Find Your Stolen Laptop". PCMAG. Retrieved August 10, 2019.