How to Find Your Lost or Stolen Android Smartphone

There are few things more frustrating than losing your smartphone or having it stolen. After all, that little rectangle holds all of your contacts, your email, private photos and videos and more. Fortunately, with the right software you can quickly locate, lock or even wipe your smartphone from any Web browser. So before you forget your phone in the back of a cab or leave it at a bar, save yourself the headache and follow our quick step-by-step guide to finding your lost or stolen Android smartphone.

Unlike iOS, Windows Phone or BlackBerry 10, Google’s Android operating system doesn’t come loaded with its own locate, lock or wipe features. Fortunately, a wide variety of apps available through the Google Play store will do each of those tasks. For our purposes, we chose Lookout, Inc.’s popular Lookout Mobile Security app. To get started:

  1. Enable your smartphone’s GPS function to allow Lookout to find your phone.


  2. Download Lookout Mobile Security from the Google Play store and install it on your smartphone.

  3.  Tap through the setup process making sure to enable the Signal Flare feature along the way. This ensures that your phone sends out its location just before its battery dies.

  4. Create a Lookout account by entering your email and password and tap Start Protecting.

  5. From the Lookout home screen, tap the Missing Device tab.

  6.  Select Enable Better Protection at the top of the screen, then check the box on the next page that says Enable Better Protection.

  7. Tap Activate on the next page to give Lookout administrative access to your device.

If you want to be able to remotely lock or wipe your Android smartphone, you’ll have to sign up for Lookout Premium, which costs $2.99 per month or $29.99 per year.


To find your lost smartphone:

  1. Navigate to and log in to your account using the email and password you created when you installed Lookout.

  2. Click Find my Device on the right side of the screen and select your lost device from the drop-down menu at the top of screen. Lookout will then automatically locate your device.


  3. If you lost your smartphone in your house, click the speaker icon to make it scream.

  4. Forgot your phone at the bar? Click the lock icon to lock your smartphone with a numeric password. Enable the Lock Cam to snap a photo using the front-facing camera when someone enters the wrong unlock code three times in a row. Enable the Lock Screen Message to display a message to help whoever finds your phone return it to you.

  5. If you don’t think you’ll ever get your phone back and want to keep prying eyes from looking at your private information, click the bomb icon to completely wipe your device.


Daniel P. Howley
Daniel P. Howley
A newspaper man at heart, Dan Howley wrote for Greater Media Newspapers before joining He also served as a news editor with ALM Media’s Law Technology News, and he holds a B.A. in English from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.
Daniel P. Howley on
Twitter Google+
Email* (will not be published)
*Indicates required field
Submit Comments

All Product Types Accessories Cars Digital Camcorders Digital Cameras eReaders GPS Laptops MP3 & Video Players Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets / MIDs VoIP Wi-Fi
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS Averatec BenQ CTL Corp. Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Sager Samsung Sony Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 4 5 6 7 8 9
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1920x1080 1920x1200 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options