Be ready to find a lost Android device

To be prepared in case you lose your phone or tablet or Wear OS watch, you can check that Find My Device can find it. If your device is already lost learn how to find, lock, or erase it.

Important: Some of these steps work only on Android 8.0 and up. Learn how to check your Android version.

Ensure that your device can be found

To find, lock, or erase an Android device, your device must:

  • Be signed in to a Google Account
  • Have “Location” turned on
  • Have “Find My Device” turned on
  • Have “Store recent location” turned on
    • When “Store recent location” is on, you can find your device even when it’s offline.
  • Have Google Play installed
  • Create a 2-Step Verification backup code
  • Be connected to mobile data or Wi-Fi
Step 1: Check that you’re signed in to a Google Account
  1. Open your device's Settings app .
  2. At the top right, tap the Profile image.
  3. Verify that the email address that you used to sign in is correct.

Tip: If you have a tablet that people share, only the tablet’s owner can change these settings.

Step 2: Check that Location is on
  1. Open your device's Settings app .
  2. Tap Location.
  3. Turn on Location.
Step 3: Check that Find My Device is on
  1. Open your device's Settings app .
  2. Tap Security And then Find My Device.
    • If you can’t find "Security," tap Security & location or Google And then Security.
  3. Check if “Find My Device” is turned on.
Step 4: Check that Store recent location is on

If you want to store your device’s encrypted recent location with Google when it's offline, make sure that “Store recent location” is turned on.

  1. Open your device's Settings app .
  2. Tap Security And then Find My Device.
    • If you can’t find "Security," tap Security & location or Google And then Security.
  3. Check if “Store recent location” is turned on.
    • If you just turned on “Store recent location,” you may get a notification to enter your password. It allows us to encrypt and store your device’s most recent location with Google.
Step 5: Check that your device is visible in Google Play

Important: If you hide a device on Google Play, it won't show in Find My Device.

  1. Open https://play.google.com/library/devices.
  2. At the top left, make sure that the box “Show In Menus” is checked.
Step 6: Check that you can find your device
  1. Open android.com/find.
  2. Sign in to your Google Account.
  3. If you have more than one device, at the top of the screen, select your device.
Step 7: Install the Find My Device app
  1. To manage your devices and find them, install the Find My Device app .
  2. Tap Sign In.

Tip: If you have a tablet that people share, only the tablet’s owner can change these settings.

Step 8: Create a 2-Step Verification backup code

Important: You can locate your device on https://android.com/find. You can also use the Google Find My Device app in Guest Mode with your email and password.

If you lose your primary Android device and want to lock or erase it remotely, you must turn on 2-Step Verification. Since your primary Android device could be your method of 2-Step Verification such as a verification code, it’s important to have a backup code. If you don’t have backup codes or a physical security key, you may need to contact your mobile service provider to order a new SIM.

  1. Go to your Google Account.
  2. Tap Security.
  3. Under "Signing in to Google," tap 2-Step Verification.
  4. Tap Backup codes.

Learn more about backup codes.

If you forget your password, lose your phone, or can’t sign in for another reason, backups help you get back into your account. Learn more about 2-Step Verification and backups.

A physical security key is one of the strongest methods to protect your account. Keep your physical security key in a safe location. If your primary Android device is lost or stolen, you can use the physical key to sign in to https://android.com/find. Learn more about security key options.

Install the app

To be prepared to use one Android phone or tablet to find another, install the Find My Device app .

Watch a video about finding your device

Find My Device

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