How to track down a phone off

How to track down a phone off

You went out for a pleasant outing with your friends and, on your return, you realized that in the pocket where you usually keep your smartphone there was nothing left. As if this were not enough, now the phone is off and, suddenly, you find yourself projected into the future thinking about how much money you have to spend to buy a new device. Do not despair again! I think I can explain how to track down a phone off using some special features and apps that are available on almost all smartphones.

Before starting, I want to immediately tell you that a device that is turned off is not able to emit any kind of signal (neither GPS, cellular network, nor Wi-Fi), but it can be localized by combining all the location signals previously emitted together to obtain a relatively precise and acquired position just before switching off. This technique is called triangulation, is exploited by the most popular and commonly used app locales already on the latest generation of smartphones, and it is basically essential to find a good margin of safety smartphones and other devices with GPS, Wi-Fi antenna, signal cell phone and / or Bluetooth.

If you’re finished here it’s because you’ve probably already lost your smartphone and, even if it were not, I suggest you deepen this reading anyway so as not to find yourself unprepared if it happens in the future. Do not miss the hopes of finding your cell phone right away, but sit quietly, take a few minutes of your time and learn how to track down a cell phone. Of course, I can not guarantee the absolute infallibility of these techniques, but I can say with certainty that, following as soon as possible my advice, you could come to unexpected results or even find your smartphone in a short time, especially if you have lost it! That said, I can only wish you good research and make a big good luck!


  • How to track down a phone off – How to track down Android off
  • How to track down a phone off – How to track iPhone off

How to track down a phone off – How to track down Android off

How to track down a phone off

Do you have an Android phone that you can not wait to find again? This is the part of the guide that’s right for you: here I’ll explain how to try to track down an Android phone using Android Device Manager and the service Find My Device, the “locator” included as standard in smartphones equipped with the Google operating system. I warn you right away that, in order for the location to be successful, your phone must already be set up to detect the last known position.

How to track down a phone off – Preliminary operations

How to track down a phone off

The first thing you need to do is to enable geolocation on your phone, so that the last known position can be detected. In this phase you can also activate the triangulation, in order to improve the accuracy in the detection, keeping in mind that this mode could increase the consumption of the battery: a small compromise to which we must go in the name of safety!

To proceed and activate the location of Android, open the screen of your device that contains all installed apps, tap on the Settings icon, then on the Geolocation and move the switch on the top right. Now activate the triangulation by touching the Mode item, setting the check mark on the High precision box and finally pressing the Accept button.

Finally, go back to the Android app list, press the Google Settings icon, then the Security and Find my device items, and move to Activate the switch in the upper right corner. If you do not find “Google Settings” in the list of apps installed on the device, go to Settings and select the Google item from the menu that opens.

Note: if you have not yet set up a Google account on your device, go to the Settings> Account menu, press the Add account item, select the Google logo and choose whether to set up an existing account or create a new one. If you need a hand to create a Google account, see the guide I’ve dedicated to the topic.

How to track down a phone off – Trace Android phone off

How to track down a phone off

It’s finally time to find your phone using the last known position detected by the smartphone! To do so, open a browser from any computer, connected to the Internet site Find my device, enter in the appropriate box the Gmail address configured on the phone to be tracked, click on the blue Forward button, then enter the password and click on the blue Login button.

Now click on the green Accept button and wait for the service to show you on the map the last position detected, whose date is displayed under Last Detection, which you can find immediately under the name of your device, in the left part of the window.

If your device is instead turned on, you can lock it (displaying a message and a phone number to contact for return) or reset it completely, using the appropriate buttons and following the simple instructions on the screen. Keep in mind, however, that by resetting the phone you will no longer have the possibility to proceed with future position detections.

If you do not have a computer, you can get the same result using the app Find My Device downloadable from Google Play: install the app as usual, open the list of applications installed on your device and touch the Find Device icon. After that, presses the green button Sign in as a guest, enter in the box in front of the Gmail address configured on the phone off, presses the blue Forward button, then type the password and tap the Login button.

Wait for the map to load to view the last detected position and the date of detection and, if the phone should be switched on, use the Lock and Reset buttons to lock your device or delete all data (in the latter case, it will no longer be possible to make future measurements).

How to track down a phone off

What I have just explained is the “standard” solution included in Android, but there are also other apps that can do for you: this type of app is called the anti-theft app, and the best known for Android is definitely Cerberus.

If I had never heard of it, Cerberus is one of the most complete apps in its category that, in addition to the localization, blocking and restoring of the phone, allows you to take pictures on command, reactivate the GPS if it is turned off and even deceive any malicious person showing a fake shutdown screen (so that these leave the phone on without knowing it, and allow the location in real time). How do you say? This solution interests you, and not a little? Then I invite you to consult my guide on how to track Android phone, in which I have spoken in detail.

How to track down a phone off – How to track iPhone off

How to track down a phone off

You have lost your iPhone and do not know how to find it? Do not worry, just as for Android, there is a free solution made available by Apple: it is Find My iPhone, a feature that combines the location systems offered by the iPhone with the iCloud account, in order to get the latest position detected by the phone before it can be switched off.

If you have configured iCloud on your iPhone by following the appropriate wizard before losing your smartphone, chances are good that you can locate it using the service made available by Apple. Even if you are here and you have not lost your iPhone, however, I suggest you follow the procedure below to prepare it for automatic localization in case of loss and shutdown!

How to track down a phone off – Preliminary operations

How to track down a phone off

To configure Find my iPhone, the first thing you need to do is activate the service of the same name on your phone: tap on the Settings icon, touch the item that shows your name, then the iCloud and Find my iPhone, and move the switches Find my iPhone and Send last position to ON. The latter, in particular, allows you to send the last position detected if the battery is being discharged.

The configuration is finished: from now on your iPhone will periodically send the location to iCloud, and it will do it automatically even when the battery charge reaches extremely low levels (very good precaution to take in case you lose your iPhone , and this is turned off by itself due to the low battery).

Note: if you have not yet configured an iCloud account on your iPhone, go to the iOS Settings menu, press the button to access and enter your details or create a new account. For more information on the procedure, read my tutorial on how to activate iCloud on iPhone.

How to track down a phone off – Trace an iPhone turned off

How to track down a phone off

If “Find My iPhone” is correctly configured on the iPhone to locate, proceed is very simple: you will need a browser (on any device) and your Apple ID to view the location of your iPhone off, as long as the last localization has occurred during the last 24 hours.

To proceed, connected to the iCloud website, type the credentials of your Apple ID and click on the arrow to the right that you find in the password field. If you’ve set up two-factor authentication, enter the second code when prompted and, if necessary, set the language and time zone.

At this point, click the Find iPhone icon, re-enter the password for your Apple ID and click on the Sign in entry below. Wait for the service to perform the localization, then click on the item All devices that you find at the top center, and select the iPhone you want to locate, paying attention to the color of the circle that is next to the icon: if this is gray , the iPhone is off and you are viewing the last position detected in the previous 24 hours, if it is green then the iPhone is on and you are viewing its current position.

If you want, you can also activate the Lost mode to leave a message to who will turn on the iPhone, receive a notification when it is turned on, and allow the unlock only through personal code: click on the lost mode icon, enter if you want the phone number on which to contact you in the appropriate box, click on Next, write in the second box, always if you want, a message to be allocated to those who will turn on the iPhone and then click on Finish.

Now, to receive an email alert when the iPhone is powered back on, check the Notify me when it is found box. Finally, if the iPhone is on, you can also play it (maybe if you have the doubt of having lost it) or initialize it by deleting all the data, using the appropriate buttons. If you want, you can get the same result through the Find my iPhone app, which you can install on any iOS device and use in exactly the same way as you saw.

How to track down a phone off

Find my iPhone is definitely one of the most effective solutions to track down a phone, but you must know that, even in this case, there are anti-theft apps as efficient to exploit in the case iCloud does not want to know, or if the device was turned off and lost for more than twenty-four hours. An example of a free iPhone anti-theft app is Prey, an app for iOS (but also for Android, MacOS, Windows and Linux), which allows you to track the iPhone and receive detailed reports on the location and last movements of the iPhone. ‘iPhone, all through convenient email messages.

Finally, if you need something more detailed that allows you, as well as locate the phone, even view the actions that are performed on it, I can direct you to my tutorial on how to spy on a cell phone: be careful, because such solutions require the application of the jailbreak (ie the “unlocking” of iOS through violation of the operating system code), a practice that goes against Apple’s Terms of Service, which immediately void the warranty on the device and that, moreover, is also quite “dangerous” for the safety of your device. In addition, I must warn you that in some cases the “spy” apps can be considered illegal: pay close attention to the solution that you decide to adopt!

How to track down a phone off