Questions related to "lost devices": How to find them, obtain data stored on them, or at least safely wipe them. Make sure to read the "first aid" hints following the 'info' link below before you ask your question!
If your phone is lost, it does not mean all hope is lost, too. A few general hints you should consider before asking your questions include:
Plan B¹ and Android Lost are solutions if your device is configured and logged in with your Google account -- even if you did not yet install them: You can push these apps via the Playstore website, and then remotely control your device:
- locate it via GPS
- read sent and received SMS messages
- have it playing a loud alert including flashing the screen
- see also: “Find my iPhone” for Android / An app to locate my Android device around the house? / Is there a way to block access to or wipe my Google data for a lost/stolen phone / My phone was just stolen an hour or so ago. Are there any options for tracking?
- Before panickly issuing a wipe (and thus declare your device really lost), consider you simply might have forgotten it e.g. on the kitchen table at home. So your first steps might better be:
- have it located.
- if it's still close to you and on "safe ground" (e.g. in your house/garden), have it play an alert so you hear it and can pick it
- if it's really where it shouldn't be (i.e. someone else picked it up for good), first try to retrieve your data (see e.g. Retrieving text messages from stolen Android phone). Also consider to report it stolen to the police as long as it is trackable (i.e. before you wipe it) -- chances are you might get it back. Time is a critical point here, since on the other hand waiting too long might rob you of the chance to securely wipe your data
- To be better prepared next time, consider installing some pro-active anti-theft app. See e.g.
- How to prepare myself & smartphone/tablet in the event it goes missing or is stolen?
- Are the apps safe? How can I make my Android more secure?
- Can Android phones be set to automatically wipe all data after a certain amount of failed logins without an app?
- Application for remote-wiping a lost phone without handing access to my data to a third-party?
¹ PlanB was discontinued 2016 and is no longer available