How to Find a Missing or Stolen Android Phone That Is Turned Off

Can a phone be tracked and located even while it is off? Although it's challenging, there are a few things you can attempt.

How to Find a Missing or Stolen Offline Android Phone

One of the worst experiences is losing one's phone, especially in light of how much of our lives are digitally stored on them, including contacts, wallets, and even vehicle keys. If your phone has a passcode, you can momentarily exhale with ease.

By pinging the GPS location of your misplaced Android phone, there are clear services in place to assist you. What happens, though, if your cell phone is off? Still possible to trace it?

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Can You Track a Turned-Off Phone?

Yes, in a nutshell; in a longer response, it depends on how long it has been off. When your phone shuts off, it ceases connecting with the cell towers, which also applies to all GPS activities. To improve your chances of finding your phone, you must move rapidly.

If your phone has been stolen, reporting it to the police may improve your chances of recovering it using the IMEI number.

What is the IMEI number?

"International Mobile Equipment Identity" is what IMEI stands for. It serves as an exclusive identifier for a device on a mobile network. It serves as the social security number for your phone. Every GSM phone has a 15-digit MEID number, but CDMA devices have a different one.

When your phone is lost or stolen, this number is useful. Yes, you can make sure that whoever discovered or stole the phone won't be able to use it, but it won't miraculously return the phone back to you. Based on a device's IMEI number, your carrier might refuse to list it and can ask other carriers to do the same. This implies that even with a fresh SIM card, the phone will no longer be able to place or receive calls or access to the internet via the cellular network.

Find a Missing or Stolen Offline Android Phone

Your Android phone may be located with Find My Device

Google's Find My Device feature allows users to locate any Android device that is connected to a Google account. It functions similarly to Apple's Find My app and lets you lock or delete the data on your lost Android phone in addition to pinging it.

  1. Go to the Find My Device page on a computer or different phone.
  2. Connect to the same Google account that is associated with your lost or stolen phone.
  3. To the left, you can see compatible devices, and to the right, you can see the last known location of your missing Android phone.
How to Find a Missing or Stolen Offline Android Phone

You will only be able to see the position where your phone last pings Google, assuming it is off. If your phone was lost as opposed to stolen, it could be sufficient. You may quickly ping, lock, or factory reset your phone using Find My Device in case someone discovers it and turns it on.

Utilize Google Maps Timeline to Retrace Your Steps

Using the Google Maps Timeline to check where you've gone is another brilliant method for finding a missing cell phone. Given how frequently we use our phones to locate directions and commute, there is a good likelihood that Google Maps maintains a thorough record of your phone's travels as long as Location History is turned on.

Every route you've traveled and every store you've visited are displayed in Google Maps Timeline. This is a fantastic way to find your lost or forgotten Android smartphone, even though this is not how it is supposed to be used.

  1. Open Google Maps on a computer or mobile device and log in with your Google account.
  2. Choose Your Timeline from the options by clicking the menu button. A chronology of your most recent outings will appear after clicking this.
  3. Use the drop-down options to choose the day that your phone was lost to focus your search.
  4. You could finally find where you dropped your phone by going back over your previous actions.
How to Find a Missing or Stolen Offline Android Phone

Track Your Phone Using Third-Party Apps

You won't likely be able to find your phone using Google's services if you don't frequently use Google Maps on your phone and have background data turned off for it.

Thankfully, a few applications and services continue to periodically ping your last known position. One excellent example of this is Snapchat. If you have the option enabled, you may ask your friends to check for your most recent locations because Snapchat allows users to observe another user's location.

Locate the Lost Android Smartphone

Although finding a lost or stolen phone might be stressful, you have a high chance of doing so if you use these useful location services. You always have the choice to ask the police for assistance, which will significantly improve your chances of finding your missing cell phone.

Of course, misplacing a priceless piece of equipment is only one aspect of the problem. Your contacts, financial information, personal information, and business papers are all at risk if you lose your phone. It is best if you locate it as soon as possible.

Tips to Do Before Losing Your Phone

Use Strong Password Protection

How to Find a Missing or Stolen Offline Android Phone

Your first and best line of defense is this. Most modern smartphones have some type of biometric identification, which allows users to quickly unlock the device using a fingerprint or face recognition system. You must still use a strong password since a weak one might be used to unlock your phone and circumvent biometric security measures. Even better, employing biometrics "frees you up to establish an extra-strong password, since you won't need to input it continuously," as Samsung explains in its blog.

Instead of using a straightforward 4-digit PIN, make a secure password with at least eight characters and a mix of letters, numbers, and special characters that don't form words or phrases that are easily recognized as belonging to you. For instance, f?EDD!9691 could be more difficult to break than Freddy1969, which is a weak password. The good news is that entering a complex password becomes simpler with experience if your phone cannot be opened using your finger, face, or other biometrics, or if you decide not to utilize biometric identification.

Another precaution is included with password protection. Some phones can lock your device for a brief amount of time after multiple unsuccessful attempts to enter a password before you can try again.

The most recent Android and Apple phones also include a feature that, after ten or so failed tries to log in, instantly deletes all of your personal data. Here's how to activate it if your phone has this feature.

On an Android phone: Go to Settings > Lock Screen > Secure Lock Settings > and toggle the Auto Factory Reset option to switch it on. (These steps were tested on a Samsung Galaxy S21. The labels may vary slightly on other Android models.) 

On an iPhone: Go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode. Enter your passcode, then scroll to the bottom and tap the Erase Data toggle to switch it on.

Enable Find My Phone

How to Find a Missing or Stolen Offline Android Phone

When your phone is lost or stolen, the same GPS and network connections that allow you to discover the closest eateries and the quickest route home may also be used to help you recover and secure that phone. The phone must be turned on and connected to a cellular or WiFi network to benefit from this to its fullest extent, however it may still be possible to track the phone using the last position it recorded before being powered on. GPS location tracking is furthermore required to locate the phone on a map. To make this setting active:

On an Android phone: Go to Settings > Security > Find My Device and toggle Find My Device. On some devices, this setting might be called Find My Mobile and be under Security & Location or Biometrics and Security.

On an iPhone: Go to Settings > Your name > Find My, and toggle Find My iPhone to switch it on. You can also opt to share your location with friends and family, see your device even when it’s offline, and send the location of your iPhone to Apple when the battery is critically low.

Attach a Note

How to Find a Missing or Stolen Offline Android Phone

Even while you might not enjoy the thought of ruining your phone's sleek appearance, doing so might improve the likelihood that you'll receive it back if an honest person finds it. Put a short note with your email address or a work number on the back of your phone or the cover. In our preliminary experiments, putting an email address in a small font and attaching it to a smooth metal or plastic surface using a thin mailing tape strip worked great. Use a thin strip of duct or electrical tape, which adheres better to rubbery or rough surfaces, to precisely writing the information on rubbery or rough surfaces.

Pick a location on the phone that won't be constantly rubbed by your palm or fingers.

Such a statement may also be entered in the Owner Info section of the Security submenu in Settings for Android phones. But that warning will vanish if you clear the data on your phone.

Archive your images and videos

Over-the-air backup for images, settings, and other items is often provided for free by phone carriers, phone manufacturers, and operating systems. Although you may always activate them later, these options frequently display when you initially set up the phone. If your next phone is from a different carrier, it will be simpler to retrieve your priceless memories if you choose a carrier-neutral source, like Apple's iCloud or Android's Google Drive.

Take note of the special ID number for your phone (IMEI number)

How to Find a Missing or Stolen Offline Android Phone

A smartphone's IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) or MEID unique serial number (Mobile Equipment Identifier). These numbers are hard to change since they are inscribed into the phone's circuits, unlike other identifying information that is kept on the replaceable SIM card. This number is already in your mobile carrier's records, so they may be able to use it to add the phone to a list of lost phones. When you report a stolen phone, some police agencies want either of these numbers so they can give it back to you if it is found.

Use one of the methods listed below to locate your phone's particular IMEI or MEID number:

Use your phone to dial *#06#. Your screen should display the number.

On an Android phone: Go to Settings > About Phone. The number should be on that screen.

On an iPhone: Go to Settings > General > About. Scroll down to find the number. If you don’t see the IMEI/MEID there, it may be etched on the SIM tray or engraved on the back of the phone.


Freelance writer with a passion for EarlyInfo Website. Keeping up with the latest news, pondering on the essence of life, and thinking about new business opportunities. Most productive when Drink Coffee.

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