Losing your phone is never fun. If you’ve lost your phone in the back of a cab or lost it to sticky fingers, you know that’s an understatement. Realizing your smartphone is not where you last put it can be a nightmare.
When it happens to you, all you want is for it to be back where it belongs — in your hands! Luckily for you, there are a few ways you can track down an errant smartphone. Check in with this simple guide to make sure you can spot your phone easily or hunt it down when you can’t.
Make it hard to misplace
It doesn’t matter what phone you have. Whether it’s an Android or iPhone, the latest handsets tend to be roughly the same size and the same shape. They’re small, sleek, and oh-so easy to misplace.
The trick to keeping a better eye on your phone is to make it harder to ignore. You can do that by wrapping a colorful skin around your handset. This accessory amounts to a homing beacon for your phone when you choose a noteworthy design, and it comes with none of the typical bulk you would expect from a case.
Bright true colors, vibrant carbon fiber textures, and other unique designs make up the core of dbrand’s skin catalogue. Their selection includes a huge variety of looks for all of the most popular phones, so you can get custom skins no one else has to make sure your phone is always easy to spot.
While a black Pixel is easy to overlook, the phone wrapped in a bright orange carbon fiber Pixel skin is easier to spot at home, at work, or in a café. But don’t worry if you think orange is tacky. Even the more sophisticated mahogany Pixel skins, concrete iPhone skins, or black camo Galaxy skins will stand out from the crowd. Whatever design you choose will be a perfect memory aid reminding you to keep your phone by your side
Turn on tracking services
There’s no need to panic if a bright yellow iPhone skin isn’t enough and you leave your handset behind somewhere. Every phone has remote tracking services that you can use to locate your lost handset. You just have to make sure to enable these settings before you misplace your phone.
On an Android
You’ll find this option under Security & location, under a tab called Find My Device. Once you enable this service, you’ll be able to track your Pixel or Galaxy through the web — just sign into your Google account and visit android.com/find. It will bring up the exact location on a map.
If it’s nearby, you can set it so that the device will ring for 5 minutes, even if you recently set it to silent.
If it isn’t nearby, you can try following the map and hunting down your phone. However, if you think it was stolen, we don’t recommend you confront your thief. It might be safer to cut your loses and use Google’s Find My Device service to lock and erase your device.
On an iPhone
This option is also found in Settings in a table called Find My iPhone. Once it’s enabled, you’ll be able to see where your missing device is on a map by logging into your iCloud account or Find My iPhone app on another device.
Like an Android, you’ll have the option to force a sound through its speakers to help you find it. You can also lock and erase your data if you suspect your iPhone was stolen.
What to do if someone steals your phone
If it was stolen, consider going to the police to report your phone missing. If you have phone insurance, you’ll need to prove you filed a theft to make your claim.
You should definitely let your carrier know that you no longer have your phone. You’ll be able to lock down your SIM card, so no one can use your plan to run up a huge long-distance tab.
A pricey overage charge on your usual cell phone bill is just an insult to injury. Losing your phone is already bad enough as it is. But it may not be as bad as you think. If you take the above precautions and set up your phone with an eye-catching skin and remote tracking services, you may be able to find your phone before the true panic sets in.