I always disable (Google) Location Services on my phone because they are always drain a lot battery (probably because my mobile Internet is very slow). But in case I lose my phone I can't use any Phone-Lost tools, because they need it...

Is there a way to enable the location Services remotely? Any better alternatives for me?

  • Same problem, but it's not enough to turn the location ON remotely, you first need to turn internet/data's ON. Google "finds my device" needs both, it should do it by itself, but I'm afraid it doesn't.
    – JinSnow
    Jul 26 '20 at 14:13

I think Cerebus (paid, but they do free promotions from time to time) can activate location services remotely on Android 2.3+, but only if you have root.

Alternatively, if you just want to enable GPS via SMS, you can look into AutomateIt (free) or Tasker (paid), they also need root on 2.3+ though

  • Cerebus doesn't do it (got a free promotion some time ago), AutomateIt and Tasker might work I've 4.2.2 with Root :)
    – minicookie
    Jun 18 '13 at 11:22
  • 1
    About cerberus, did you try to install it as a system app as per the FAQ? - Uninstall Cerberus from your device - Download Cerberus.apk and put the file on your sd card - Open a terminal emulator and execute: su mount -o remount,rw /system cp /sdcard/Cerberus.apk /system/app/ chmod 644 /system/app/Cerberus.apk
    – Thanh Phú
    Jun 19 '13 at 10:22

I found that lost Android devices operate using Google Play Services with the phone's background data. It seems to locate my phone using GPS, network, or WiFi even when GPS is off, but won't work if I have restricted the background data under the data manager settings on the phone.

I used active GPS hoping it would allow my GPS to work, but I'm not sure it's made a difference.

Air Droid connects straight to my phone. Seems to use more battery but does okay locating the phone. I was also looking at adding a task manager to see if I could activate the GPS remotely. Still checking it out.

I found PingBot SMS - GPS Tracker which is supposed to briefly enable GPS when a keyword you set is received by text. It seems to work on my phone.

Out of all of this, just making sure the phone background data is unrestricted was most effective. You can also use Where's My Droid.


On Samsung devices, you can use Find My Mobile which will turn on the GPS if it is off.

  • Xiaomi/redmi does it too (at least on miui 11)
    – JinSnow
    Jul 26 '20 at 12:39

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