I lost my phone today and the data is turned off, but is there any way of tracking it even without the data? or getting my photos back?

1 Answer 1


The short answer is no to both questions, you're probably out of luck.

Long answer:

To locate your Android device with the Google tools, meaning Android Device Manager, your device must have a working data connection of some kind to function and Location Services enabled. This would give the ability to locate the phone and lock or wipe it at your option, or give the current holder of the device a means to contact you to possibly return the device.

As far as the photos go, if you were not actively syncing them to an online service such as Google Photo using the Google Photos app, or a similar competitive application and online service, then unless you can physically get the phone back in your possession, you will not be able to recover them.

This is another case of "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure". Unfortunately, the average Android user has no knowledge of how these things work or how to prepare for the worst case scenario like this.

You could setup a device lock with screen message in Android Device Manager, and if somehow the current holder of the device happens to turn on the data service, it will sync with Google and immediately activate, giving you a possible option to retrieve the device. If you have it setup in ADM, when this occurs you will receive an email indicating the feature was activated and a location it occured (assuming Location Services are enabled as well).

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