Be ready to find a lost Android device

You can set up Find My Device so you’re prepared if you lose your phone, tablet, Wear OS watch, headphones, or something that has a tracker tag attached.

If your device is already lost, learn how to find, secure, or erase it.

Important: Some of these steps work only on Android 9.0 and up. Learn how to check your Android version.

Make sure your device can be found

Step 1: Check that you’re signed in to a Google Account
  1. On your device, open Settings and then Google.
    • Your account name and email address should be here.
  2. Verify your email address. 
Tip: If you have a shared tablet, only the tablet’s owner can change these settings.
Step 2: Check that Location is on
Important: When you turn on Location with certain settings, you may also make your device’s location available to other apps and services. 
  1. On your device, open Settings.
  2. Tap Location.
  3. Turn on Location.
Step 3: Check that Find My Device is on
  1. On your device, open Settings.
  2. Tap Google and then All Services (if tabs exist) and then Find My Device.
  3. Check that “Use Find My Device” is turned on.

Tip: In Android versions 5.0 and lower, you can find the "Find My Device" settings under the "Google Settings" app

Step 4: Find offline devices and devices without power
  1. On your device, open Settings.
  2. Tap Google and then All Services (if tabs exist) and then Find My Device.
  3. Tap Find your offline devices.

Find offline devices settings

By default, your device is set to the "With network in high-traffic areas only" setting so that it stores encrypted recent locations with Google and helps find both your and others’ offline devices as part of a crowdsourced network of Android devices. You can change this setting at any time:

  • Off: Your device’s encrypted recent locations won't be stored and your Android device won’t participate in the network. What happens when you turn off offline finding.
  • Without network: Your device won’t participate in the network. You can still locate your offline devices with their encrypted recent locations that were stored when they were online. Offline finding without the network.
  • With network in high-traffic areas only (default): Locate your offline devices with their encrypted recent locations or the network in areas like airports or busy footpaths. Offline finding in high-traffic areas.
  • With network in all areas: Locate your offline devices with their stored and encrypted recent locations or the network in high-traffic and low-traffic areas. Offline finding in all areas.

If the battery runs out or device is off

For supported devices, like the Pixel 8 series, if the device runs out of battery or is off, the Find My Device network can still locate the phone for several hours after it’s turned off.

  • Set the option to With network in high-traffic areas only or With network in all areas.
  • Make sure Bluetooth and Location are turned on when the phone shuts down.

Tip: Devices in the network use Bluetooth to scan for nearby items. If they detect your items, they securely send the locations where they detected them to Find My Device. Your Android devices do the same to help others find their offline items when they’re detected nearby. How Find My Device processes your data.

Instructions for Android 8.0 and below

For Android 8.0 and below,
  1. On your device, open Settings.
  2. Tap Google and then All Services (if tabs exist) and then Find My Device.
  3. Turn Store recent location on.
    • When “Store recent location” is on, your account stores your encrypted recent locations so you can find offline devices and accessories.
Step 5: Check if your device is listed on Google Play

Important: If you hide a device on Google Play, you won't find it 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.

Tip: If you recently removed your account from a device or lost it, you may still be able to find it in Find My Device for some time. How to hide devices on Google Play.

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.
Tips:
  • If your device is offline and you have Find your offline devices turned on, then Find My Device can display the location of the device when it was last online based on its encrypted stored location.
  • For best results, find items through the network with the Find My Device mobile app. If you need to use Find My Device on the web, by default, you’ll be able to find your item based on its online location or encrypted stored location. To find items through Find My Device network on the web, you’ll need to select With network in all areas as the Find your offline device setting.
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 "How you sign in to Google," tap 2-Step Verification.
  4. Tap Backup codes.

Learn more about backup codes.

If you forget your password, lose your device, 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.

Add headphones or other accessories

Add a new accessory
Use Fast Pair to connect your accessory with your device. Learn how to use Fast Pair.
  1. On your device, you get a prompt to add your headphones to Find My Device. Bluetooth tracker tags are automatically added to Find My Device after pairing is complete.
    • To add the accessory: Tap Add.
    • If you don’t want to add the accessory: Tap No thanks.
  2. If you miss the notification, follow the steps below to add a previously connected accessory.
  3. Find your device.

Tracker tags

You can use tracker tags to help keep track of and find lost items such as keys, luggage, bikes and more. You shouldn’t use tracker tags to track pets or locate stolen items. Acceptable users for tracker tags.

Add previously connected headphones
  1. On your device, open Settings.
  2. Tap Connected devices.
  3. Select the device.
  4. Tap Find when disconnected and then Add.
Tip: You can remove accessories from Find My Device at any time. Remove accessories from Find My Device.

Related resources

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