- Android Device Manager, the best way to find your Android device
It has happened. You thought it would never happen to you, but finally, your mobile has been stolen or lost, and now, of course, it’s time to locate it. With the rise of smartphones, so has the number of stolen mobiles around the world, which already rises to 70 million each year, and of which only 7.3% are recovered, according to a recent study.
And worst of all, security experts say that device thefts could be reduced by up to 85% if users implemented a series of simple security measures.
Whether you are one of the victims of these thefts or losses or you want to sleep peacefully knowing that nothing will happen to your new mobile, in this guide, we show you the most effective ways to find and recover a stolen Android mobile totally free and easy to use—the simple way.
Locate and recover your mobile with Find my device from Google
One of the most useful tools created by Google is undoubtedly the Device Manager, also known as Android Device Manager and recently renamed to Find My Device.
The best thing about this tool is that it is not even necessary to have it installed on the mobile – although it is recommended – to locate it in case of theft since it will only be necessary to have a Google account associated with the device. Now, the mobile to be recovered must meet a series of conditions:
- The mobile has to be on.
- You must have an associated Google account.
- It would help if you were connected to a Wi-Fi or mobile data network.
- It should be visible on Google Play (if you have Google Play services installed ); you probably have no problems.
- The location must be activated.
- The “Find my device” function must be activated.
To meet this last requirement, you must access your mobile settings and, in the search engine, enter “Find my device.” Finally, you must activate this option.
In case you have lost your mobile or have been victims of a theft, the main thing is to access the device manager, either from another Android associated with the account or from a computer, tablet, or another mobile from the web for the browser available at android.com/find or the link below these lines.
Once inside, in the upper left part, a list will appear with all the Android devices –mobiles, tablets, watches… – associated. You will have to select the one that has been stolen or that you have lost. In this way, the app will begin to search for the terminal, and if it is found, it will place it on the map in a position that represents its last registered location.
On the left side, there are also several shortcuts that, in case of not being able to locate the phone’s location, will allow it to ring, block it completely, thus preventing whoever has stolen it from using it. It is also possible to delete all the data stored on the phone so that at no time can you access the sensitive information that may be on the mobile.
If you are lucky, a green icon will appear on the map indicating the exact position of the phone. In case the terminal is off, the location where it was last seen will be displayed. If it is impossible to recover it, there is always the solution of requesting a lock through its IMEI.
Other apps to find stolen or lost phones
Either because you do not want to have a Google account associated with your mobile or for any other reason that prevents you from using Android Device Manager, you can use one of the third-party Android applications designed to locate – and hopefully recover – stolen phones or lost. In this case, of course, you must remember that before losing your mobile, you should have installed and configured one of the tools, or else you probably cannot use them to recover the device. These are some of the best:
One of the classic tools when it comes to tracking lost or stolen Android phones is Cerberus. It is a complete app that, in addition to allowing the phone to be located, offers the possibility of controlling it remotely to block it or delete all its data, or even prevent the possible thief from being able to turn off the device to keep it untraceable, and until blocking access to the notification panel.
To use Cerberus, you have to install the application and enable all the permissions it requests. In this way, it will be possible to locate the phone even when it is not connected to the Internet, thanks to the fact that it offers an option to do so through SMS messages.
Cerberus is a free app, but it only allows us to test its features for a limited period of time – 5 days, to be exact. If you want to use it as a default location method in case of theft, you will have to pay the fee depending on the chosen plan, the maximum price of which is up to 50 euros. Therefore, if what you are looking for is an application to find and recover your mobile for free, it may be better to use the Google tool.
Prey is, for many, the best alternative to Cerberus –especially after the controversy regarding Cerberus’s supposed lifetime subscriptions, which actually only last 8 years– and the rest of the applications for locating stolen devices or lost. One of its advantages is that in its free mode, it allows you to locate the phone without any limitation, although yes, some of the extra functions are exclusively for those who go through the checkout. These are the basic features, which anyone can access just by downloading Prey:
- GPS mobile locator: Precise location on the map, with GPS coordinates in each report to locate your Android mobile.
- Anti-theft alarm: Your android phone will ring loudly, even if it is silenced.
- Control Zones: Draw an area on the map and receive alerts when your Android device enters or leaves there.
- Remote Lock: Lock your mobile remotely.
- Front and Rear Camera: Take photos and find out who has your phone.
- Stealth Mode: Hide the app with stealth mode; Prey will work silently.
- Alert Message: Displays a message on the screen to alert the potential thief.
Sharlene Meriel is an avid gamer with a knack for technology. He has been writing about the latest technologies for the past 5 years. His contribution in technology journalism has been noteworthy. He is also a day trader with interest in the Forex market.