5 Effective ways to track a lost Android Phone without installed tracking app

by 4 years ago

Effective ways to track a lost Android phone

It’s very unfortunate when someone’s phone gets lost or stolen somehow. From the very first day of my blogging, I am continually writing about various security issues and how one can make themselves safe from becoming a victim.

In 5 Best Anti-theft Android apps article, I have discussed everything – why every smartphone user should have an anti-theft app installed on their device? How anti-theft works to protect their phone? How to use anti-theft apps to protect your device? Which is the best anti-theft app available, free as well as premium?

If you missed installing any anti-theft or tracking apps and have you lost your Android smartphone or tablet? Then, you should read this article properly! This could generate a decent chance to get your device back.

But before I give any ideas about how to track a lost Android phone without installed tracking app, I want to say that you should promise yourself to install an Anti-theft app on your Android device which can be a lifesaver in case you lose your phone or even worse, it’s get stolen.

How to locate a lost Android phone or tablet without recovery app?

“People learn from their mistakes”, One of my friend lost his smartphone a few weeks ago. He asked me for help, I did lots of research to find out what are the possible techniques we can use to track it down and fortunately I come up with a few impressive techniques which I am going to share with you. Don’t lose your hope, try these tricks, they may help you.

Let’s just take a look at various ways to track a lost Android phone back to you.

  1. How to find your lost phone or tablet with Android Device Manager

Last year, Google introduced the Android Device Manager (ADM) to help Android users to locate lost devices. ADM is more than a locating service, it is also capable enough to let you erase the data on the device if your device is stolen or in any case.

The Android Device Manager will keep tracking of any device, phone or tablet that you’ve linked to a Google account. It works even if you don’t have a location history turned on and it doesn’t need to install any app to track your device.


  • Device must be connected to your Google account
  • Device must have an access to the internet

ADM allows you to use it from any browser of laptop or PC, you can also use it from someone else’s Android phone to track it. You just need to sign-in using the guest mode and your Google account credentials. Now you should be able to track your lost device, let it ring or wipe its data.

Android Device Manager tracking tool

If this is not working, it means either your device is offline or powered off, so if a thief puts your device on Airplane Mode or your battery dies out, you’re out of luck. Keep on trying until it connects to Google’s services again.

  1. Remote control and track you phone with Android Lost App

This really amazing app, Android Lost offers remote control of Android phone from the internet or by a SMS. It has many success stories, one of which I will tell you at the end of this section of the article.

This is an Android app which needs to be installed, but how do you can install something when you don’t have your device? That’s very easy.


  • Device must be connected to Google Account
  • Device must have internet access

You can install the Android Lost app directly from Google Play website, simple navigate to the app and click the install button.

  1. Install Android Lost remotely
    You can install Android Lost remotely from Google Play store, just you need to have your Google account credentials and the lost device must has been connected to the same Google account.
  2. Active Android Lost app
    After the installation is done, you need to activate the app. If your device is smartphone then you can send SMS with the text “androidlost register” from any phone. This SMS text will tell the Android Lost app to activate itself automatically.Or if your device a tablet then you need to install “AndroidLost Jumpstart” app before the main “Android Lost” app. This app will force the Android Lost app to register itself immediately after it got installed.
  3. Login to the Android Lost Website
    Now at the final step, you need to login to Android Lost website, where you should get all remote control access features such as:

    • Read SMS’es
    • Remote control alarm
    • View on map
    • Send SMS’es from your PC
    • Lock the phone
    • Wipe the phone
    • Forward your calls
    • And many more, read from here

Install Android Lost remotely

Android Lost is a great tool to get your phone back, it has many powerful features. In the very beginning of this section I promised you to tell you a success story of Android Lost. Here is a success story of a dad chasing down the man who stole his daughter’s phone, with the help of Android Lost.

  1. Plan B Locates your lost or stolen Android phone

Plan B is similar to previously mentioned Android Lost. You can remotely install Plan B on your phone and locate it instantly.


  • Device must be connected with your Google account
  • Device must have internet access

To use this app, you don’t need to configure it, create an account, or do anything else- it will send location on your Gmail. It will track your phone for 10 minutes, emailing you updates if it moves. You can also send a text the words “Locate” to you phone to track it again. It is also capable of tuning in the GPS, if it’s tuned off. Plan B is a free downloads Android 2.0 and up.

Plan B find lost or stolen app for Android

  1. Use Google Maps Location History to track your lost device

Google has provided Android Device Manager for tracking down a lost phone for Android users. If for any reasons, ADM is not working for you then you can use Google Maps Location History to track your Android phone.

You can use your location data for many reasons, such as looking up your last past travel routes which may give you an idea to locate your phone.


  • Device must be connected with Google account
  • Device must have internet access
  • Location Reporting and Location History need to be activated on your device

To use this Google service, simply sign in with your Google account then go to Google Maps Location History and select current date from calendar. Click on “Show timestamps” then this will list all the times your device’s location was register. Scroll to the last location register.

Google Location History for finding lost Android Phone

Google map uses cell tower Id’s and Wi-Fi location detection to collect location data while Android Device Manager uses GPS for tracking, hence Google map is more accurate then ADM.

  1. Use Dropbox to find lost or stolen Android phone

Dropbox is not a dedicated service for tracking lost or stolen phone but yes we can use it somehow. To use Dropbox, it needs to be installed on your phone and the “Camera Upload” feature needs to be activated.


  • Device must have internet access
  • Activated “Camera Upload” feature in Dropbox app

Every time your device thief takes a picture from your device, it will automatically get uploaded to Dropbox’s “Camera Upload” folder. So you can use these pictures to identify the thief and if you are lucky the thief may take a selfie that may help you better.

Dropbox to find lost Android phone

This is only way the Dropbox can help you; it doesn’t give any more information.

Here is an inspiring story of Hafid from Dubai, who stole someone phone and he forgot to switch off the camera upload function. It’s funny!!!

Wrap Up

I hope you are reading this article just for your interest not because you have lost your phone. But if this is a case, I hope this article will help you in tracking down your device,  by providing ways to track a lost Android Phone without having installed a tracking app. “Precaution is better than cure” this phase is very popular and adaptive in medieval times but it’s also useful in every area of life. I personally recommend you to use anti-theft apps, these are really lifesaver apps.

You must read: Best Anti-Theft for Android – review

Have you been able to get back your mobile device after it got lost? How did you get it back? Share your experience with us in the comments!



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