How to find your phone when it’s lost (even if the battery is dead)

How to find your phone when it’s lost (even if the battery is dead)

I love my husband, but he misplaces everything from his keys to his wallet more often than you would think is even possible.

It was more of a pain years ago. These days, I’ve slapped an Apple AirTag on anything I can that he owns. We even have one on our Golden Retriever’s collar, just in case. Tap or click for more ingenious ways to use AirTags and Tile trackers.

Be careful, though. There are reports of criminals using AirTags to mark vehicles and steal them later. AirTags are so small that one can be easily slipped into a backpack or purse.

Know the signs. Tap or click for steps to check if there’s a covert AirTag tracking you.

When it comes to finding your phone, there are better ways than shouting for someone else in the house to call you, and that’s not always possible. Try these proven methods instead.

Apple makes it easy

If you have a newer iPhone, I have great news. A recent Find My app update lets you locate an iPhone even if it’s powered off or has a dead battery.

Note: This works for the iPhone 11 and newer, including all iPhone 11, 12 and 13 models running iOS 15.

First, make sure Find My is enabled and check your settings. Here’s how:

Tech maintenance 101: Get rid of ear gunk. The best way to clean AirPods, Galaxy Buds and other wireless earbuds.

How to use Find My

Now that Find My is set up, you have a few options to use it should your phone go missing.

Have an Apple Watch? You have a simple method. Swipe up on the screen. Once your watch is open, tap on the phone icon with sound waves. This tap will force your iPhone to emit a noise even if it’s on silent.

If you have an iPad or MacBook, use the Find My app. You can use it to track your phone and emit sound, just like with an Apple Watch. See full steps to track from a Mac here. Here’s how to track your phone from an iPad.

Don’t worry if your iPhone is your only Apple device. You can use your web browser.

How to find your phone when it’s lost (even if the battery is dead)

You can also view your misplaced phone on a map.

Remember this trick. If your phone is ever stolen, you can wipe it remotely, so your info doesn’t get into the wrong hands. Here are the steps to get that done.

Want to be shocked? Speaking of maps, the iPhone secretly tracks your every move on this hidden map.

What about Androids?

Find My Device is automatically turned on when adding a Google account to any Android device. For it to work, you must:

Once your phone is missing, it’s too late to do these steps. Do it now while you’re thinking about it.

Like with Find My iPhone, you can locate your Android phone using a few different methods. Here are some options:

From a browser, go to to locate your device:

Related: You can hide your private photos in a locked folder on your Android – Here’s how

If you have a second Android device, like a tablet, download the Google Find My Device app and use it to locate your missing device.

Like an Apple Watch, you can use your Wear OS Watch for Android to locate your phone in certain circumstances. To use your watch, your phone must be powered on and connected to your watch by Bluetooth:

These methods work only if your phone is powered up. If you have a Samsung phone, there’s an app you can use to track your phone even after it dies. Tap or click here for direct download links and instructions.

Bonus Tip: 5 things you need to do with your photos before it’s too late

We all have more photos than we know what to do with. Most are on our phones and computers, but then there are all the albums and frames full of old printed photos, too. In this episode, you’ll hear insider secrets that the pros take with saving photos before it’s too late.

Check out my podcast “Kim Komando Explains” on Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast player.

Listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for my last name, “Komando.”

What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call Kim’s national radio show and tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to or watch The Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, television or computer. Or tap or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.


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