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Lost your Samsung phone? Here's how to find it

You can make use of SmartThings Find or Google's Find My Device to locate your lost Samsung phone.
By
October 17, 2023

Many of us have put our hands into a pocket or bag and got that sinking feeling of not finding our phone where it should be. If you’ve frantically searched everywhere around you without success, you’ve still got some options. In this guide, we’ll show you how to locate your Samsung Galaxy phone in case you’ve lost it.

QUICK ANSWER

You can locate a lost Samsung Galaxy phone using SmartThings Find. Go to https://smartthingsfind.samsung.com/, sign in to your Samsung account, and you'll see your phone on a map if it can establish a connection. You can also choose to track the location of the phone with regular updates.

Alternately, you can use Google's Find My Device service. Go to https://www.google.com/android/find/, sign into your Google account, and you'll see your phone.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

How to find your Samsung phone by using SmartThings Find

Samsung phones ship with a feature called SmartThings Find, formerly Find My Mobile. This makes use of your Samsung account to locate, ring, or remotely wipe a device.

You can trigger these commands via a web browser, whether you’re on a computer, tablet, or a spare phone. Your lost phone does of course need a working Internet connection in most circumstances, although on newer models, you can sometimes locate your phone when it’s offline.

Finding your Samsung phone through SmartThings Find

We’re assuming here that you’ve already set up Find. If you haven’t, check the rest of this article, where we’ll guide you through the process.

To locate a lost Samsung Galaxy phone, follow these steps:

  • Go to the SmartThings Find webpage, located at https://smartthingsfind.samsung.com/. You can use a desktop PC or any other device with a web browser.
  • You’ll see all of your Find-compatible 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.
Samsung SmartThings Find Find My Mobile 1
Aamir Siddiqui / Android Authority
  • 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. Note though that this feature will trigger a notification on the phone, and increase its battery drain, so you might want to exercise restraint if you know your phone is low on power. Tracking history is stored for 7 days.
  • If your phone is dead because of a low battery, SmartThings Find will tell you the last known location if it can. You should enable the Send last location feature, which sends a device’s location to Samsung servers when its battery reaches 20%.

How to locate a Samsung phone even when it’s not connected to the internet

SmartThings Find has an Offline finding feature. With this, you can locate a device that’s no longer connected to the internet (but still powered on) by making use of other Samsung devices around it that have consented to the feature. Essentially it creates a mesh of devices which communicate with each other using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE).

Samsung Find My Phone 4
Aamir Siddiqui / Android Authority

The big catch here, naturally, is that the system depends on other Samsung devices being nearby. It’s going to work well in a major city like Seoul, Berlin, or New York City, but not so much in rural Alabama.

Other features on SmartThings Find

Samsung SmartThings Find Find My Mobile 4
Aamir Siddiqui / Android Authority

SmartThings Find has a bunch of other features you can take advantage of:

  • Ring: Your phone will ring for 1 minute at maximum volume, making it easy to track if it’s in the same room. Your phone will ring even if it was left on silent or vibrate.
Samsung SmartThings Find Find My Mobile 5
Aamir Siddiqui / Android Authority
  • Lock: When this is activated, your phone will display an emergency contact on the lockscreen along with an optional message. Features like Samsung Pass, Samsung Wallet, and Samsung Digital Keys will be locked down, and it won’t power off. You’ll need to enter a separate PIN to exit the lockdown state.
Samsung SmartThings Find Find My Mobile 6
Aamir Siddiqui / Android Authority
  • Track location: This will send you an automated update on your phone’s location every 15 minutes.
  • Erase data: If you’re worried your phone is in the wrong hands, and you want to maintain data security, you can remotely erase everything on your phone and perform a factory reset. Note that you’ll lose access to SmartThings Find after this step, so it should always be a last resort.
  • Back up: Before issuing an erase command, you can try to back up some key data from your phone to your Samsung Cloud account. This includes your call log, messages, contacts, and calendar events, as well as settings, your homescreen, installed apps, and voice recordings.
  • Retrieve calls/messages: This will present to you the last 50 calls and messages recently received on the phone.
  • Unlock: This unlocks your phone by deleting your PIN/password locks and fingerprints. It’s helpful in situations where you forget your device PIN, but still remember your Samsung account info.
  • Extend battery life: This puts your device into power saving mode, which may give you more time to retrieve it. Note that cloud backup won’t work if this is on, since uploading gigabytes of data is inherently power-hungry.

How to set up SmartThings Find on your Samsung Galaxy phone

To use Find, you need to enable it before anything gets lost. We suggest you do this as you’re reading this guide, to ensure you don’t forget about it later.

  1. On your Samsung phone, open the SmartThings app. It should be preinstalled, but you can always re-download it from Google Play.
  2. Accept any location permissions the app asks for.
  3. Select the Life tab at the bottom of the screen.
  4. Find and tap on the SmartThings Find card.
  5. Install any add-ons if asked to do so.
  6. Choose devices you want to see on the map, then hit Done.
  7. To enable Offline finding, toggle it by tapping the More options (triple-dot) icon, then going to Settings > Allow devices to be found.
  8. You may want to encrypt offline location data. If so, tap Back, then Encrypt offline location. You’ll see a toggle for your phone. Flip it, and enter a 6-digit PIN when prompted.

Optional but recommended: Setting up multiple 2FA methods for your Samsung account

As mentioned, SmartThings Find makes use of your Samsung account. When you first create an account, Samsung will prompt you to turn on two-factor authentication (2FA).

This defaults to sending a 2FA prompt to the same device you’re probably trying to locate. As a result of this oversight, it’s possible to lock yourself out of your Samsung account right when you need it the most. We recommend adding multiple methods for 2FA as soon possible.

To add multiple 2FA methods to your Samsung account:

  1. Go to Settings and tap on the top banner, which should lead you to your Samsung account settings.
  2. Go to Security and privacy > Two-step verification.
  3. Here, you can set up multiple methods for two-factor authentication.
  4. We recommend choosing an authenticator app as your primary means, but we also advise that you generate offline Backup codes. Stash these codes in a secure place so you always have them as a fallback.

How to find your Samsung phone with Google’s Find My Device

In case you missed out on setting up SmartThings Find, or you forgot to set up a backup for two-factor authentication and are now locked out of your phone, you can still make use of Google’s Find My Device.

  1. Go to https://www.google.com/android/find/ on a web browser. You can also use the Android app if you have another device.
  2. You’ll be asked to sign into your Google account. Sign into the same one active on your phone.
  3. Select your device from the left pane.
  4. Find My Device will display the location of your device on a map.
Google Find My Device
Aamir Siddiqui / Android Authority

As you can see, Find My Device has additional options:

  • Play sound: Your phone will ring for 5 minutes, even if it was set to silent or vibrate.
  • Secure device: Similar to the Lock mode on SmartThings Find, this will lock your device. A message and phone number will be displayed on the lockscreen, while the rest of the phone will be logged out of your Google account.
  • Erase device: Wipes the device to its factory settings.

When you trigger any of these commands, they’ll run the next time your device connects to the internet via Wi-Fi or mobile data.

You’ll notice that Find My Device supports fewer actions than SmartThings Find. But if you have devices beyond the Samsung ecosystem, Find My Device may be more useful overall, and there’s no extra setup involved. The feature is automatic on devices with Google Play Services that sign into a Google account.


While you’re here, take some time out and learn how to back up your Samsung phone in non-emergency situations. We also have advice on what to do if your phone gets stolen. On the flip side, if you suspect that you’re being tracked via your phone, here’s how you can tell if you’re being spied on.

FAQs

No. Even the offline finding feature requires some power to operate Bluetooth Low Energy. You can, however, identify your phone’s last known location before it powered down.

Yes, if you previously enabled offline finding. This makes use of Bluetooth Low Energy on your device, and those of nearby Samsung users who’ve also consented to the feature. The problem, of course, is that one of those users has to pass within BLE range of your phone, so if it’s only surrounded by non-Samsung users, you’re out of luck.