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Lost Stolen or Misplaced Phone

rather than reading this webpage here is a video about it:

which includes the bit I left out

And the bit I left out, only:

Misplaced at Home

if you are at home and have a landline or another mobile phone the easiest way to find a miss placed phone is to ring it.

provided the phone is switched on, is within mobile reception and has not been put in silent mode, you should be able to hear the phone ringing.

similar thing applies if it's in the car.


modern smartphones are very easily carried round and consequently are easy to miss place or get stolen. but even though the phones have a certain value, quite often they can be of more value in the hands of someone that shouldn't have them.

even if you only use your phone to receive phone calls, all that information is stored in the phone and could be quite useful for someone that is unscrupulous.

that is why it's a good idea to take some precautions in case you mis place your phone or it gets stolen.

Lock It

you wouldn't leave you car or house unlocked so why would you do the same with your phone. all modern smartphones have some way of locking it, whether that be via a pin code, a swipe pattern of some biometric way

here are some videos that show you how to do that:

How to set a lock screen password pattern Android

what's the safest way to lock your smartphone

regardless of some of the shortcomings discussed in the above video take it is safer to lock something than to not lock it at all.

Smart Lock

some of more modern phones have smart locking facilities, such as the ability to not lock the phone when it is on your person. that is it is being moved around either as you walk or as you're using it. if it's not being moved around for a certain period of time it will lock itself.

another is trusted locations. you set physical trusted location where the phone will remain unlocked. as soon as you move aside that location it will lock automatically

and another is trusted devices. for example, you may have your phone unlocked when your phone is connected to your cars Wi-Fi. but as soon as it moves outside of Wi-Fi range of your car, it will automatically lock.

below is a video that show how to do these:

how to set up Android automatic unlock

Show Your Contact Details on Lock Screen

if the good samaritan finds your misplaced or lost phone and wants to return it to you, before we had lockscreens they would usually go through and find on your contact list your home phone number or your mobile phone or at least a friend's phone number, so as to ring you for them to indicate they're found your phone. because your phone is locked they are no longer able to do that.

however there is the ability to put any text you want on your phones lock screen. this is usually done within settings.

See this video of one way of how to do it.

I usually have the text “if found please ring Geoff on ” then both my wife's mobile number and my landline number. dont put your mobile number there, because you wont have your phone because youve misplaced or lost it.

some phone's also have the provision to put emergency contact information on the lock screen. you want to know how to do this do a Google or YouTube search on “emergency contact on lock screen”.

Make it Unusable as a Phone

even if you have your phone locked, if it is stolen or misplaced, somebody else can could reset it and then use it as a phone by placing a different sim card in it.

See this video: 6 ways to unlock an Android lock screen without a password

however if you notify your phone provider that you have lost or misplaced your phone, they will no doubt provide you with the new phone and or SIM card and cancel and disable the previous SIM card. but that will not stop the person that has the phone from using it as a phone.

but if you provide your phone service provider with your phone's IMEI number ( International Mobile Equipment Identity, basically that is the phone's serial number) they can make it so that the phone cannot be used on any network regardless of which SIM card it has in.

your phone service provider may not know your phones IMEI number. you may not have even purchased the phone from your phone service provider.

Finding your phones IMEI number

on the packaging that came with your phone is usually written the IMEI number. but if you no longer have the packaging you can still find out what it is.

you just have to use your phone and enter this number sequence as if you were ringing someone:


if your phone has provision for 2 SIM cards, you may get 2 IMEI numbers.

Checking if a phones IMEI is blocked

the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) provides this website to be able to check if a phones IMEI is blocked.

well worth doing before you buy a second-hand phone.

IMEI Blocked Phone, Still Useful

even a phone that is IMEI blocked can still be useful, it becomes like a tablet computer. with Wi-Fi it can still be used on the Internet, or browsing pages and sending and receiving email.

Finding a Stolen or Lost Phone

it is best to watch the below videos to see how to do it. but the things to keep in mind are:

  1. finding the location of the phone is not possible if to the location function of your phone is switched off, or the phone it's completely switched off
  2. if the phone is moved a long distance after it's switched off you only know the place it was last at, when it was switched on
  3. therefore it is best to start looking for the phone as soon as you know it was stollen or lost

Videos about it

How to find a lost or stolen Android phone

simple tutorial precautions to take in case your phone was stolen

lost_stolen_or_misplaced_phone.txt · Last modified: 2021/03/30 12:12 by geoff