How to Track a Phone That Is Turned Off
There was a time when tracking down someone’s location took extensive work. Today, it’s not that difficult, but instead of some government agency, it could be some random person with decent computer software and knowledge of how the current technology works.
All modern devices give you the option to track its location, a feature that can prove more than useful. For instance, have you lost or had your device stolen? Or maybe you want to prepare your device for that situation, just in case? Don’t worry – you’re in the right place. Follow the steps below to learn how to track your phone in the event you need to find out where it is.
How to Track an Android Phone That Is Turned Off
Even though it’s much easier to find your phone when it’s on, there are ways you can do it if it’s off as well. However, the location you’ll obtain is the last location the phone was before it was turned off. Here’s how to do it:
- Google android.com/find, or open the Find My Device app on a friend’s Android phone.
- The app will allow you to access the location of the phone you lost through your friend’s device.
- Sign into your Google account (the one connected to your device).
- On the list of devices that show up, click the one that’s missing, and its last location will show up.
Even though it may not seem like much, obtaining the last location of your device in some cases may turn out to be a great lead – assuming someone didn’t pick it up and it wasn’t stolen.
Use Google Maps to Find Your Android Phone
Your phone should have the “Find My Device” app for this to work. The app needs to be linked to your Google Account so you can see the location history of your phone.
- Log in to your Google Account.
- Open Google Maps.
- Click on your profile icon in the upper right corner of the screen.
- Select Your timeline from the drop-down list.
- In the window that pops up, enter the date you lost your device.
You will be allowed access to the list of the last locations the device was reported.
How to Track an iPhone That Is Turned Off
Apple devices use the “Find My” app to locate and track any devices you might have. We will provide you with the process of enabling the app in the Settings section, if you haven’t done it already, later in the article. For now, we will assume you have the app enabled and are trying to track your phone using a friend’s device:
Note: They will need to log in to their iCloud account for the process to work.
- Have them open the Find My app on their device.
- Select the Me tab.
- Select the Help a Friend option located at the bottom.
- They must now log into iCloud.
- If a message asks them to log in using a facial ID, select Use a Different Apple ID.
- Have them log in using their iCloud ID and password.
- When asked to save the password, click Not Now, and they can use the app to find your device.
- A map will show either the last location of the device (or, if it’s on, its current location).
- When finished, have them click on their name in the upper right corner and Sign Out.
How to Find Your iPhone Using an iPad
For owners of multiple Apple devices, the process might be a bit easier. For instance, on an iPad:
- Open the Find My app on your iPad.
- Tap the Devices tab, and the location of the devices you have connected will be shown on the map.
- If a device is turned off, it will show up but with a black screen – this will be the last location your phone was in before it was turned off or powered down.
- Tap on the device icon if you need directions.
- If the device is offline but not dead, tap the Play Sound option to locate it.
- If it’s off or out of power and can’t be found, you can click the Notify Me When Found option.
- This sends a notification and a location update to your iPad when the device is turned on.
How to Find Your iPhone Using a Computer
Another option, if you don’t have an iPad, is to use your computer:
- Open iCloud on your computer.
- Sign in using your Apple ID and password.
- Click Find iPhone.
- Click All Devices at the top.
- Choose your missing device.
- The map will either show where the device was last located (if it is off) or where it’s currently located now (if the device is on).
Setting Up the “Find My” Application on Your iPhone
For anyone looking to prevent any future misfortunes, here’s how you enable the app to help you find your device in the worst-case scenario:
- Open Settings on your iPhone.
- Tap on your name.
- Select Find My on the list below.
- Toggle the Share My Location option on.
- Add any friends or family members you want to be able to see your phone at the bottom.
- Then tap Find my iPhone.
- Toggle the option on.
- Toggle the Find my Network option on.
- This allows you to find your iPhone even if it’s dead or powered down.
- Turn on Send Last Location, and you’ll be able to see where the iPhone was before it powered down.
This should make you feel at ease, knowing you’ve done the best you can to prepare for the worst-case scenario.
How to Enable Lost Mode and What That Means
This is the last option and the last step you’ll take if the device is lost and can’t be found. When enabled, the option will remotely lock your phone and send you a message with a phone number where someone can reach you. Your Apple Pay will be disabled along with most notifications. The device will still be able to receive calls and FaceTime messages.
This mode remotely turns on your location services, allowing you to locate the device in the Find My app. Mark as Lost requires your phone to have battery power to work. But if the battery is dead, it is still possible to enable the option. However, the mode will engage when it’s powered back on and connected to the internet or Bluetooth.
Follow the steps below if this is your last resort:
- Open the Find My app on your other device.
- Select the lost device.
- Under Mark as Lost, select Activate.
- Tap Continue.
- Enter a phone number you can be reached at in case the device is found.
- Tap Next in the upper right corner of the screen.
- Enter a message to display from the locked screen of the lost device.
- Tap Activate in the upper right corner.
Even though making this step means you’re still in the dark as to the location of your device, try to take comfort in the fact you’ve done all you can.
Not All Prophecies Come True
Nothing is black or white. Even though some people may think providing your location to a corporation may be ill-advised, we need to remember that, in many cases, it may be the only way to get your device back. The data – files, photos, videos, and contacts – we store on those devices mean a lot to us and should be protected.
We hope the article helped you prepare for or avoid a worst-case scenario. In case it finds you looking for a lost phone or another device, we wish you the best of luck in your search.
Drop us a line in the comment section if you found our work helpful.