Losing a cell phone can be a distressing experience, especially when it’s turned off. However, with a few strategic steps, you can increase your chances of finding your lost device. In this article, we will explore effective methods to locate a lost cell phone that is turned off, ensuring you can retrieve your valuable gadget.
Part 1. Is It Possible to Track A Cell Phone That Is Off?
The truth is that finding a lost phone may even be impossible if it was switched off, as pretty much every phone tracking apps and services on the device work based on the internet or GPS functionality.
That means the phone should either be switched on or connected to a data network.
However, there is good news if it is possible to acquire the last known location of the said device.
Although it may not be 100% accurate, it surely increases the chances of finding a clue.
If not, you can even seek the assistance of your mobile network provider through the device’s IMEI.
So, in this article, we cover the practical options you can try and track a switched-off device. This information could be handy, particularly if you want to prevent future losses.
Part 2. How to Locate a Lost Cell Phone That is Turned off if You Know Its Last Location?
Those who wonder how to locate a lost cell phone that is turned off can find several options.
Even Google provides a couple of those services (such as Find My Phone, Timeline, and Google Photo).
However, all those methods become practical only if the respective device has access to the internet.
However, they can give you some clues about the whereabouts of your device, and that’s better than nothing.
Ok, let’s find out how to do it easily.
Also, knowing how to ping an iPhone or an Android is advantageous if you need to find that device’s location. So, let’s learn how to ping a phone most simply.
Method 1: How to Locate a Lost Cell Phone That is Turned off Using Find My Device?
Well, it is absolutely possible to find your cellphone using a Google account if you fulfill some requirements.
Is the feature called “Find My Phone” activated on the device that is switched off?
If that is the case, please check the device’s last known location through an internet connection.
However, there are some prerequisites for you to succeed with it.
The Prerequisites Are:
- Your phone should be connected to your Google account.
- The “Find My Feature” on the device should be turned on.
As long as the above requirements are fulfilled, you can use the steps mentioned below. Then, you can give it a try to find your switched-off device.
Steps Using Find My Device
- First, you should log in to a different computer, smartphone, or tablet with an internet connection.
- Now, you should sign in using the Google credentials of the lost device.
- Now, the lost device will get a notification. On the map which is displayed, you can see the current location of the device. However, since your device is turned off, you can only see the last known location.
Also, you should remember that the above method is applicable to Android devices only. So, what if you want to locate a turned-off iPhone? Then, please use the “Find Me” option.
To do that, you should launch iCloud and log into it. Then, it will show the last known location if the device is turned off. In general, the process is pretty similar to Android.
Besides, if you are looking for more methods to track a cell phone location for free, just read more.
Method 2: How to Locate a Lost Cell Phone That is Turned off Using Google Timeline?
Google Timeline is previously named Google Maps Location History.
This service can show the last known location if the respective device is turned off.
Just like Google’s Find My Phone, this service has some prerequisites too.
The prerequisites are:
- The device must have been connected to your Google account before it was turned off.
- Also, features called “Location Reporting” and “Location History” must be turned on.
Steps Using Google Timeline
- First, go to the Timeline and then ensure that you have selected the date.
- Now, on the left side, a complete timeline is displayed. It comprises a list of locations.
- Now, on the right-hand side, a map appears with a list of pointed locations.
In fact, the Timeline feature uses the IDs of the cell towers and Wi-Fi loggers.
Therefore, the accuracy of the information might vary. However, that data will give you some clues about the device’s whereabouts.
Method 3: Use Google Photo
Google Photo is another app that comes as a default tool on your Android device.
If this feature is already activated on the device, the pictures will be uploaded to the Google account.
These pictures can be accessed remotely if you log into the respective Google account.
Even if someone has stolen your device, the photos can be viewed through it.
The prerequisites of this method are:
- Google Photo should be synchronized on your device.
- Someone should take a photo of the lost device (once it is lost).
How to Locate a Lost Cell Phone That is Turned off Using the Google Photo Feature?
- Launch a web browser and go to photos.google.com.
- Then, log into the respective Google account with the credentials.
- Now, scroll through the photos taken and see if there is any new photo.
- If a new photo is available, click on the icon that represents the info. It appears in the top-right corner.
- You can now see the location in which it is captured.
Part 3. How to Locate a Lost Cell Phone That is Turned off Using the IMEI Number?
What if your situation doesn’t fulfill any of the prerequisites mentioned above? Well, there is still some hope.
You should try to contact the network carrier or local law enforcement authorities for help.
In general, all the carriers use IMEI numbers to locate the devices that are registered for their services.
This data can be utilized to find the exact location of the lost device.
If the device is stolen or lost, the carrier can blacklist (block) the respective IMEI. As a result, the one who stole the device cannot use it on the respective network.
This method can be practiced if you have the IMEI number of the device. Also, the SIM card must be plugged into the same device.
Using IMEI to Find the Location
- First, get the device’s IMEI number.
- Now, contact the cellphone carrier and provide the information they request.
- Wait patiently so they will check if they can detect the signal on the device.
The truth is that this method is not effective. This is particularly due to the large number of devices lost daily.
In fact, the carriers find it extremely difficult to track all those devices that are lost. Also, if the device is lost and switched off immediately after, the effectiveness of the device is further reduced.
So, in that case, the most effective option is to take precautionary approaches before losing the device.
One of the best preventive solutions is installing a tracking app soon after purchasing your device. So, the rest of this article is for those who use a tracking app on their devices.
Part 4. Install A Tracking App in Advance To Track Your Lost Phone
As mentioned before, installing a tracking app on the device in advance is a decent approach. In this case, you should find a professional third-party tracking app. The best in the business is KidsGuard Pro due to various reasons.
KidsGuard Pro is designed to track both Android and iOS devices alike. Thanks to the efficiency of this tool, you can easily track your device through real-time location monitoring.
That means this app can track the exact location of the target device easily. More importantly, this app works in stealth mode. That means even the person who stole the device won’t notice that a tracking app is already running.
If you wonder how to spy on a cell phone, KidsGuard can help you too.
Reasons to Choose KidsGuard as a Location Tracker
- It can let you track the real-time location of the device whenever it is turned on.
- KidsGuard Pro can track the precise indoor location using Wi-Fi data even if GPS is disabled.
- It can send alerts when the target device leaves a specific area (geofence).
- It can easily acquire the last known location of the device (when it was switched on).
- This app is designed to be compatible with all Android and iOS versions.
When it comes to location detection, it is shown on the map with the time and date stamp.
In addition to that, the address is shown either as a street or with longitude and latitude. You can also check the demo simply by choosing the option called Locations as well.
In fact, location tracking is only one feature of KidsGuard Pro. It can track calls, SMS, social apps, and many more on the target device.
Tracking An Android Device
Now, let’s take a look at locating a lost cell phone that is turned off (Android). In fact, the process will take about 05 minutes.
- First, create an account on KidsGuard Pro and purchase a license for Android.
- Then, you should install KidsGuard Pro assistance on the target device.
- You should now log in to the KidsGuard Pro web portal using the account you created just before.
- Now, click on the Location tab so all the desired information will be displayed there.
Tracking An iOS Device
The interesting thing about KidsGuard Pro is that tracking an iOS device is easier. You don’t even have to install the software on the target device.
The process can be completed through a web-based method. All you need is the iCloud credentials of the respective user.
- First, create an account on KidsGuard Pro and go for an iCloud plan.
- Now, enter the iCloud credentials.
- Now, you can access the dashboard. Just tap on the tab that comes with the heading “Location.” You can now receive the information.
With KidsGuard Pro, you can track the device even if a different SIM is used on it. However, please remember that KidsGuard Pro is a precautionary approach.
If you’ve already installed KidsGuard Pro on the lost device, tracking it will be a walk in the park. So, that’s how to locate a lost cell phone that is turned off easily.
When Technology Fails: Traditional Methods
Sometimes, old-school tactics might be your best bet. If the technology fails you, or if you didn’t have any tracking apps or features enabled, consider the following methods.
Retrace Your Steps
Think back to the last time you remember using your phone. Can you remember the places you’ve been after that? Retracing your steps can often lead you back to your device.
Reach Out to Lost and Found Departments
Did you lose your phone at a public place? It might be worth reaching out to the lost and found departments of those places.
File a Police Report
If you suspect your phone was stolen, consider filing a police report. While this won’t guarantee recovery, it could potentially aid in the investigation.
Of course, the best way to handle a lost phone is not to lose it in the first place. Here are a few preventive measures you can take to avoid such situations.
Enable Tracking Features
As discussed earlier, enabling your phone’s built-in tracking features can be a game-changer. It only takes a few minutes to set up and could save you a lot of trouble down the line.
Invest in a Phone Case with a Tracker
There are phone cases available that come with built-in trackers. These cases connect to an app on your phone and allow you to track the phone’s location. If you frequently misplace your phone, this might be a worthwhile investment.
Last but not least, ensure regular backups of your phone. Losing your phone is bad, but losing your precious data is even worse.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What can I do if I can’t find my phone after using all these methods? If you’ve exhausted all options, it may be time to report the loss to your service provider and local authorities.
- Does Find My iPhone or Find My Device work when the phone is off? They can’t locate a phone that’s off, but they can show the last known location before the phone was switched off.
- Can third-party apps locate a phone that’s turned off? Like Find My Device or Find My iPhone, third-party apps can only show the last location before the phone was switched off.
- How can I prevent losing my phone in the future? Use phone lanyards or cases with rings, and be mindful of where you keep your phone, especially in public places.
- What should I do if my lost phone is turned on and I can see its location? Do not try to recover it yourself if it’s in an unfamiliar location. Contact your local authorities for help.
Losing your cell phone can be a stressful experience, especially when it’s turned off. But with the right knowledge and tools at your disposal, you can significantly increase your chances of locating your device.
Remember, prevention is always better than cure. So, take necessary preventive measures to safeguard your device. And if the worst does happen, don’t panic – use the steps outlined in this guide, and you might just be able to locate your lost cell phone that is turned off.