Turns out that desperately Googling "I lost my phone" actually isn't a bad shout...
Ever been so flummoxed about the whereabout of your missing phone that you’ve actually resorted to the wisdom of Google in the vain hope that the search engine somehow really does know absolutely everything? Well, once upon a time you really would have been a stupid idiot. But now? Google knows.
It’s via a feature called Find My Phone, which you can access by literally Googling “I lost my phone”. Providing you’re logged onto the Google account connected with your missing device, and your phone’s location services are switched on, Google will automatically pinpoint your phone’s location in seconds with startling accuracy.
It found my phone in no time, confirming that my Samsung S5 was, indeed, sitting happily on the table in front of me in a Manchester café. This snapshot is what you can expect to see right there on the Google results page:
You’ll notice in the bottom right corner that there’s an option to ring your phone. Click that, and your phone will ring for 5 minutes on full volume, giving you plenty of time to gravitate towards the noise.
For more options, you can also access Find My Phone via your Google account, by hitting “My Account” and scrolling down to the Find My Phone tile, which should look like this:
Once you’re in, you’ll see a list of all the devices connected to your Google account. Click on the one you’re missing, and you’ll be able to take actions like lock your phone, sign out of it or contact your operator. You can also choose to create a temporary lock screen with instructions for anyone who might find it. That should look like this:
Of course, if all of those options fail and it looks like there’s going to be no emotional reunion between you and your beloved device, there’s always the option of completely erasing it. That is – wipe its system clean to prevent any thieves stealing your data, not actually remotely detonate it. You can do that from the Find My Phone screen too.