You Asked, We Answered: How Do I Find A Missing Smartphone?

Losing your phone can feel like an epic disaster. Not only is it a significant investment, it also serves as your address book, photo album, calendar and pretty much everything else nowadays. Fortunately, the smart folks who design these devices recognize this. Both iPhone and Android smartphones come with helpful options for locating a missing phone, and for protecting your critical personal information if the device is truly lost.


For iPhone users, the Find My iPhone feature offers easy tracking and management of your device. To start, make sure you’ve activated your iCloud account. After you’ve done so, go to the Settings menu on your iPhone, tap iCloud, and then tap Find My iPhone. Switch it to the “On” position, and you’re ready to go.

If your iPhone is missing, you can access the Find My iPhone app through your iCloud account using a computer or tablet. You’re able to see any Apple devices you have registered. Select the one that is missing, and its current tracked location will be displayed on a map.

Once you’ve identified the device’s location, you’ll have three recovery options. If it shows up in your home or nearby, you can choose the “Play Sound” option so the phone will emit an audible tone. Listen for it, then rescue your phone from the under the couch cushion or in the coat pocket it was left in.

If it’s not somewhere accessible, you can choose “Lost Mode,” which directs your iPhone to display a phone number so anyone finding it can contact you. Or, if you think it may not be found or returned, you can select “Erase” to delete any private information from the device.


Android smartphone users will enjoy similar protection by installing Google’s Android Device Manager app. Once you’ve done so, you’ll need to enable your device’s location services by opening your Settings menu, selecting Personal, then tapping Location. At the top, tap the On/Off switch to turn location services on.

The Device Manager app can be accessed using your Google account from another phone, a tablet, or a PC or laptop. You’re able to spot the location of your device on a map, and, as with the iPhone version, choose from three recovery options. If it’s near you, you can remotely ring the device to discover where it’s hiding. Or, you can select a “lock” option to alert anyone finding the device to call a displayed phone number where you can be reached. And if the phone simply can’t be retrieved, you can remotely erase its contents.

Just remember, these wonderful tracking devices only work if you turn them on! Be sure to sync your device contacts using your Google or Apple ID, and use a cloud storage option to save photos or important documents. This makes sure you have a complete backup of the most precious information on your phone. Then activate Find My iPhone, or install the Android Device Manager. Do it today to be sure you’ll be able to find your smartphone tomorrow!

28 Thoughts on "You Asked, We Answered: How Do I Find A Missing Smartphone?"

  1. linda snover says

    I have no phone service……why?

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for posting, Linda, and we’re sorry to hear that you are experiencing issues with your service. I’ve taken a look at your account, and everything appears to be in good shape. Please turn your phone off, then back on again, preferably near a window. This will allow it to reconnect to the nearest tower with a strong signal, which should resolve the problem. If the issue continues, please call us at 888-345-5509 from another phone, and we will be happy to troubleshoot. We appreciate you reaching out to us, and we hope you have a great day!

      • linda mcpherson says

        Did you get your problem solved? I am thinking of getting service, but concerned of no service available, for various reasons, as mentioned

        • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

          Thank you for posting, Linda. We offer reliable service nationwide, and we’re happy to look at the coverage in your area. Just give us a call at 888-345-5509, or check out our coverage map here on our site. I’m sure you’ll find our service to be a great fit for your needs. We appreciate you taking the time to reach out to us, and we hope you have a wonderful day!

  2. Dolly M Titus says

    I took my phone to a door and it still won’t work. What do I do now?

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      We’re sorry to hear that, Dolly! I took a look at your account, and I’m so glad to see that Olivia, our customer account advisor, was able to assist you with this and fix the problem. If we can help you with anything else at this time, please don’t hesitate to call us at 888-345-5509. Thank you for posting, and we hope you have a great day!

  3. Carol Richardson says

    My android phone has just started losing ring volume. It still vibrates but doesn’t ring. If I turn it off and then on again, the volume works. I can talk on the phone even when it won’t ring and the volume is fine.

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for reaching out to us, Carol. It sounds like this may be a problem with a sound setting. Please try opening your Settings app, then going to Sound and notifications. From there, you should be able to adjust your ring volume. If you run into any issues, just give us a call at 888-345-5509, and we will be happy to help you troubleshoot. We appreciate you posting today!

  4. Bob Cratty says

    Please explain international direct dialing available.

    Also, can I be called when in Mexico ?

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Great questions, Bob. You can dial international numbers with your Consumer Cellular device, and you can receive international calls as well. We offer very affordable rates for calling friends and family in faraway places, which you can view here. Calls made to your phone are treated as normal calls. Consumer Cellular service is only available within the United States, so we recommend keeping your phone in Airplane mode when you visit Mexico. Otherwise, you may be able to connect to an international tower, which could result in costly roaming fees. If we can answer any other questions you have about international calling, please don’t hesitate to call us at 888-345-5509. Thank you for posting, and we hope you have a great day!

  5. Byron Carrier says

    OK, so how do I find the Android Device Manager on my computer to ring my phone? I downloaded it, used search to find it, and couldn’t find it. You could publish the icon and say where to find it.

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for asking, Byron. We recommend following the steps provided by Android Device Manager here. As for finding it on your computer, try viewing all of the programs installed on your computer. And of course, you can give us a call at 888-345-5509 if you run into any issues using the program with your phone. We appreciate you taking the time to post today!

  6. Bruce Edward Blatz says

    When do you plan on having service available in Canada, particularly in the Vancouver area of BC

    • Dominic at Consumer Cellular says

      Thanks for the question, Bruce. We don’t have any plans to expand our service outside of the United States and into Canada as we’re focused on providing service within the 50 States. Thanks again for the question and Happy Holidays!

      • Ferguson says

        My phone doesn’t stay connected to wi fi?

        • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

          That’s a great question, Ferguson. If you leave Wi-Fi turned on at all times, you’ll be able to connect to available Wi-Fi networks wherever you go. Your phone should automatically connect to any open networks, and you may only need a password to access others. Leaving Wi-Fi turned on is a good idea and a great way to avoid unintentional use of data from your plan. If you have any other questions about your smartphone, feel free to call us at 888-345-5509. Thank you for posting today!

  7. KaJo says

    Android device manager and google is horrible at locating devices. I know because my husband regularly loses his phone. All the required settings are set properly but ADM still won’t locate it. I hear the tracking service that AT&T provides is really not that bad. Would be nice if a service like this was available through our CC service.

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for sharing your experience with us! It’s always good to hear from someone who has tried this feature first-hand. The idea regarding a specific tracking feature is quite good, so I’m happy to pass this on to our management team. We always love to hear suggestions from our customers! We appreciate you taking the time to post today, and if we can answer any other questions or assist you with anything further, please don’t hesitate to call us at 888-345-5509. Have a wonderful day!

  8. GW says

    I wish you guys could remotely wipe a phone when it’s stolen, like my father’s phone was. They disabled it and blacklisted the IMEI number, but the thief still has access to the data on the phone. That is such a basic security provision. :/

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thanks for posting, GW! This is an option for some Android and iPhone models, but it must be enabled by the user beforehand. We don’t have the ability to remotely wipe a phone, unfortunately. We’re happy to discuss this with you further at 888-345-5509 if you like. We appreciate you posting, and we hope you have a great day!

  9. Mic says

    If it’s on MY account, I shouldn’t have to ask Google to find it.. It’s a phone on My account and I want to know where that phone is. I have two phones, and I should be able to click a device and up pops it’s locations. My bill, my phone, my right to know where it is.

    • Hi Mic, thanks for your post! At this time, our service does not have the tools to locate a lost phone. With a smartphone, by having a Gmail account or something like Find my iPhone on your phones, it allows for that specific system to actually ping off of your phone’s last connection so that it can be located and found again. I appreciate you taking the time to send us your feedback on this though and have forwarded to my team for moving forward. Thank you!

  10. Scottie Kelly says

    Hi,my grandmother has misplaced her phone,its in her house sumwher,I’ve called it it rings but I cant hear it no wher,,any suggestions?

    • Hi Scottie, thanks for your post. I’m sorry to hear about your grandmother’s phone, it sounds like the volume may be turned down or off if it’s in the house and you can’t hear it. We don’t have many options outside of looking to where the phone last pinged off a tower but it won’t give you an exact location and we can’t track it ourselves. Continuing to call it will be good because if it’s on vibrate at all and you get close to it, you should be able to hear it buzz as well.

  11. miki forchheimer says

    my phone was stolen last night. how can i fine it? miki

    • Nicole at Consumer Cellular says

      Hi Miki, if you have a Google account set up on your phone, you can try using Google’s “Find My Device” to locate it here.

  12. Chris Kinsey says

    Wwnt my iphone se red 2nd gen locked till i get it back…

    • Nicole at Consumer Cellular says

      Hi Chris, you can set up a security lock on your iPhone under Settings > Touch ID & Passcode. If you need assistance, you can give us a call at 888-345-5509 or chat with us here.