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Lost your Samsung phone? Here's how to find it
We’ve all been in that situation where we put our hands into our pockets or purse and get that sinking feeling of not finding our beloved phone where it should be. If you’ve frantically searched all your other pockets, your purse, your car, and your house for your phone, we’re here to tell you to relax. In this guide, we’ll show you how to easily find your Samsung Galaxy phone in case you’ve lost it.
You can locate your lost Samsung Galaxy phone using Samsung's Find My Mobile service. Go to https://smartthingsfind.samsung.com/, sign in to your Samsung account, and you will see your Samsung device on a map. You can also choose to track the location of the phone for location updates every 15 minutes.
Alternatively, you can also use Google's Find My Device service. Go to https://www.google.com/android/find/, sign into your Google account, and you will see your Samsung phone on a map.
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How to find your Samsung phone by using Find My Mobile
Samsung phones ship with a feature called “Find My Mobile”. This makes use of your signed-in Samsung account to locate, ring, or remotely wipe your Samsung Galaxy smartphone.
You can issue these Find My Mobile commands through a web browser on a desktop, laptop, or a spare phone. Your phone needs to have a working Internet connection to accept the command and execute the action. On newer Samsung devices, you can also locate your phone when it is offline.
Finding your Samsung phone through Find My Mobile
We presume you have already set up Samsung’s Find My Mobile feature on your Galaxy smartphone. If you haven’t, check the rest of this article, where we will guide you on how to set it up properly on your device.
To locate your lost Samsung Galaxy phone, follow these steps:
- Go to the Find My Mobile web page, located at https://smartthingsfind.samsung.com/. You can use a desktop opr any other device to access the same.
- You will see all of your devices listed in the left pane. Spot the entry for the device you want to find and click on it.
- The website will then display your phone’s last known location on the map.
- If you think your device might be on the move, you can enable the “Track location” feature. This will send you an automated update on the phone’s location every 15 minutes. However, note that this feature will cause a standard notification alert on the tracked phone as well. Further, it will cause a small amount of battery drain, so exercise restraint if you know your phone has a low battery. Tracking history is also stored for 7 days.
- If your phone is dead because of a low battery, Find My Mobile will tell you the last location of your device. If you had enabled the “Send last location” feature, the phone would have automatically sent its location to the Find My Mobile server when the battery reached 20%.
How to locate a Samsung phone even when it is not connected to the internet
Samsung’s Find My Mobile feature has an Offline finding feature. With this, you can locate a device that is no longer connected to the internet by making use of other Samsung devices around it that have consented to this feature. Essentially it creates a mesh of consenting Samsung devices communicating with each other through Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to locate a device that is not connected to the internet.
Note that enabling this feature works in two directions: you agree to have your device be located when it is offline, and you agree to participate in this mesh network to help locate other lost devices.
Unfortunately, this feature does not work if your Samsung phone is switched off. For the feature to work, the Samsung phone must be turned on and already signed into a Samsung account.
Other features on Samsung Find My Mobile
Samsung’s Find My Mobile has a bunch of other features that you can take advantage of. Just log in on the Find My Mobile web page, located at https://smartthingsfind.samsung.com/, and you will get access to the following features:
- Ring: This option lets you issue a ring command to your phone. Your phone will ring for one minute at maximum volume, making it easy for you to locate it in your immediate vicinity. Your phone will ring even when it was left on Silent/Vibrate modes.
- Lock: This option will lock down your device. In this lockdown state, your phone will display an emergency contact on the lock screen along with an optional message. Samsung Pass, Samsung Wallet, and Samsung Digital Keys will also be locked down. The device will also be prevented from being powered off. You will also need to set a separate PIN to exit this lockdown state on your phone.
- Track location: This will send you an automated update on the phone’s location every 15 minutes.
- Erase data: In case your phone has gotten into the wrong hands, and you want to maintain your data privacy, you can remotely erase all the data on your phone, and factory reset it. Note that you will not be able to access any data on your device after this point, and you will also lose access to the Find My Mobile service after this step.
- Back up: Before issuing an erase command, you can try to back up some key data from your phone onto your Samsung Cloud account. This includes your call log, messages, contacts and calendar events saved on the phone, clock, settings, home screen, apps installed, and voice recordings. Some more data will be synced to your Samsung account.
- Retrieve calls/messages: This will present to you the last 50 calls and messages recently received on the phone.
- Unlock: This command will unlock your phone by deleting your PIN/password locks and fingerprints. This is helpful in situations where you forget your device PIN.
- Extend battery life: This feature will put your device in Power saving mode. It comes in handy when you have lost your phone and only have a little battery left. Extending the battery life in that situation gives you more time to locate your device. Note that the device backup option will not work when you choose to extend battery life.
How to set up Find My Mobile on your Samsung Galaxy phone
To be able to use the Find My Mobile feature on your phone, you need to enable it ahead of time. We suggest you do this right as you are reading this guide, to ensure that you don’t forget about it later.
- On your Samsung Galaxy smartphone or tablet, go to Settings > Security and privacy.
- Click on the Find My Mobile option to expand the list entry, and then click on the Allow this phone to be found option. This will take you to the Find My Mobile settings page.
- If you haven’t added a Samsung account to your phone yet, you will be prompted to add one. You can add an existing account or create a new one. Once you have added a Samsung account, go back to the Find My Mobile option page.
- Now, you will be able to activate or deactivate various Find My Mobile settings. We recommend switching on all the toggles as these features come in very handy.
Optional but recommended: Setting up multiple 2FA methods for your Samsung account
Samsung’s Find My Mobile feature relies on the SmartThings Find platform, which in turn makes use of your Samsung account. When you first create a Samsung account, Samsung will prompt you to turn on two-factor authentication for your Samsung account.
Curiously, this defaults to sending a two-factor authentication prompt to the same device that you may be trying to locate in the future. If you don’t have the device near you, how will you authenticate yourself? As a result of this fundamental oversight, it is possible to lock yourself out of your Samsung account at a time when you need it the most.
Thus, once you create a Samsung account, we recommend adding multiple mediums for two-factor authentication. This way, you can retain access to your Samsung account even if you lose your phone.
To add multiple two-factor authentication methods to your Samsung account:
- Go to Settings and click on the top banner, which will lead you to your Samsung account settings.
- Go to Security and privacy > Two-step verification.
- Here, you can set up multiple methods for two-factor authentication.
- We recommend choosing an Authenticator app as your primary authentication means. Further, we also advise that you generate Backup codes. You can save these codes at a secure location offline, allowing you to access your Samsung account without needing your phone in the future. This combination is the most secure means to access your Samsung account even when you may not have your phone around you.
How to find your Samsung phone with Google’s Find My Device
In case you missed out on setting up your Samsung phone Samsung’s Find My Mobile service, or you forgot to set up a backup for two-factor authentication and are now locked out of your Samsung smartphone, you can still make use of Google’s Find My Device to find your phone.
- Go to https://www.google.com/android/find/ on a web browser. You can also use the Android app app for the same.
- You will be asked to sign into your Google account. Sign into the same account that has been signed into on your Galaxy phone.
- Select your device from the left pane.
- Find My Device will display the location of your device on a map.
As you can see, Google’s Find My Device can also undertake some extra actions:
- Play sound: Your phone will ring for five minutes, even if it was set to silent or vibrate.
- Secure device: Similar to the lockdown mode on Samsung’s Find My Mobile, this will lock your device. A message and phone number will be displayed on the lockscreen, while the phone will be logged out of the Google Account.
- Erase device: Wipes the device to its factory settings.
When your lost device next connects to the internet via Wi-Fi or mobile data, it will receive the issued command and execute it.
Google’s Find My Device is capable of fewer actions than Samsung’s Find My Mobile. But if you have devices beyond the Samsung ecosystem, Google’s Find My Device is more useful because of its wider compatibility. Plus, there is no extra setup involved, as Google’s Find My Device is set up by default on devices with Google Play Services that sign into a Google account.
We hope you could locate your device using these steps. If you want to explore even more options, you can check out these alternative Find My Phone apps for Android. But be warned, they require setting up beforehand. When you are setting up those alternatives, do take some time out and learn how to back up your Samsung phone.
We also have advice on what to do if your phone gets stolen. On the flip side, if you suspect that you are being tracked on your own phone, here’s how you can tell if you are being spied on on your Android phone.
No, it is not possible to track a Samsung Galaxy phone when it is switched off. You can see the phone’s last reported location in Samsung Find My Mobile and Google Find My Device. But this location will be from when the device was last powered on. Once the phone is switched off, you cannot track its location.
Yes, you can track your Samsung Galaxy phone even if it is offline and not connected to the internet. Samsung’s Find My Mobile framework allows you to locate your device when it is offline, using Bluetooth Low Energy connections of nearby Galaxy smartphones and other smart devices.