Locate cell phone: Find my device – this is how it works

“Where is my mobile?” – We’ll show you how to track your cell phone and find it again if you’ve lost it. That works with Android and the iPhone.

Have you lost or misplaced your smartphone? This is often not a problem, because both Android cell phones and iPhones offer the option of locating the cell phone ex works. In addition, you can also remotely lock your smartphone or erase all data on it. The latter is important, for example, if the device has been stolen. In addition to Google’s own Find My Device function, Samsung, for example, has its own free service called Find My Mobile (for instructions). At Apple, the function “Where is?”


First of all:

In order to be able to locate the cell phone, the location determination must be activated on the respective device – regardless of the operating system. Otherwise the software cannot find the device via GPS, cellular network or WLAN.

Locating Android phones with Google’s “Find My Device”

The Google function

Find my device

is automatically activated on any Android device that you are signed in to with your Google account. To check this, see the feature below

Settings – Security – Find my device

. In order to be able to use the function, these requirements must be met: The device must be switched on, you must be logged in with a Google account, the mobile phone must have a connection to the Internet via cellular network or WLAN and the location must be exactly like the function

Find my device

be activated by yourself. In addition, it has to be visible on Google Play (check mark next to visibility).

Locate and lock my device

To locate the Android cell phone, either open the website in the browser or install the Find my device app on another Android cell phone on which you can use your Google Account are logged in. As soon as you start the tool, the location of your mobile phone is shown on a map with an accuracy of a few meters. Click or tap the mobile phone symbol, Google Maps will start automatically and you can navigate to the location.


Let it ring

the cell phone draws attention to itself with a ringtone. This is useful if you have relocated the device somewhere in your home, for example. If you have lost or stolen your smartphone, click on

Lock device

to set up a screen lock – if none exists – and optionally to display a message and a call button on the mobile phone display for the finder. So he can contact you directly.

By the way:

If you use a Google Assistant like the Google Nest Mini (in price comparison) in your home, you can also ask “Hey Google, where is my phone?”. The Google Assistant can then also make your smartphone ring so that you can find it more quickly if you have only misplaced it in your apartment.

Find my device: Message on the lock screen


Find my device: Message on the lock screen

If your smartphone contains particularly sensitive data that should never get into the hands of strangers, you can use

Erase data from device

remove all contents of the device – a factory reset is carried out.

Warning: You can no longer locate the cell phone after deleting it.

We recommend regular backups so that your data doesn’t just disappear forever. You can find out how to do this in our article Data backup for smartphones.

iPhone via iCloud and “Where is?” locate

With the app

Where is?

you can use the function

Find my iPhone

you can locate iOS devices via your iCloud and lock and / or delete them remotely. In order to use the feature, you must be signed in to your iPhone with your Apple ID. Activate location under

Settings – data protection

. Also activate iCloud in the settings and the corresponding option

Find my iPhone


Settings – Apple ID – Where is it?

and share the location.

Via the iCloud you can locate your iPhone or iPad, block access and delete the data - just like with Android.


Via the iCloud you can locate your iPhone or iPad, block access and delete the data – just like with Android.

Now open the website on a PC or Mac or start the preinstalled app

Where is?

on another iPhone and log in with the same access data as on the iPhone / iPad. The location of your iOS device is now shown on a map. With the function

Lost mode

you can lock your iPhone or iPad remotely with a code, display a message with your phone number and locate your device. You can also delete all data remotely. This is especially useful if the device has been stolen. Therefore, you should always make a data backup.

Find a friend’s iPhone

You can also help a friend find their iPhone if they lost it. To do this, open on your mobile phone

Where is?

, select the tab


off and then

Help a friend

. Now your friend needs to sign in to iCloud with the Apple ID they used to sign in on their lost iPhone.

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