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Here's how to find your lost phone

  • You can prepare your phone ahead of time in case it's lost or stolen.
  • CNBC shows you how to find your lost iPhone or Android phone.
  • These steps will let you remotely wipe the device, ring it and show its last known location on a map.
Woman looking under bed with flashlight.
JGI | Jamie Grill | Blend Images | Getty
Woman looking under bed with flashlight.

Finding a lost phone is much easier if you install the right apps and make sure you're prepared before you lose the phone.

CNBC will walk you through the steps that will help you find a lost phone, whether it's under the couch or was left behind at a restaurant.

Here's what you need to do.

If you own an iPhone, here's how you prepare:

  • Open Settings.
  • Tap your name at the top of the screen.
  • Tap "iCloud."
  • Scroll to "Find My iPhone."
  • Enable the options for "Find My iPhone."
  • Also enable the option for "Send Last Location," which will send the location of the iPhone right down until the battery is dead.

If you lose your iPhone:

  • Go to iCloud.com and log-in with your Apple account.
  • Open "Find iPhone."
  • Find your iPhone on the map.

This will show you where your iPhone was last before the battery died, in case it was left at a restaurant. It also lets you play a sound, which will help you find the iPhone if it's stuck in a couch cushion. There are options to lock the phone and put up a message — such as a phone number to call if it's found — or erase it completely so that it can't be easily sold or used in case of theft.

If you own an Android phone, here's how you prepare:

  • Open the Google Play Store.
  • Search for and download the app "Find My Device" from Google.
  • Open the Find My Device application.
  • Log in with your Google account.

If you lose your Android phone:

You can also choose to check for suspicious sign-ins, lock the phone, call your phone, sign out of your Google account remotely, contact your carrier or remotely erase the device.

A word of note:

If your phone is stolen and it appears somewhere it shouldn't be, you can try to use this data when you report the stolen phone to the police. Don't try to track it down yourself if you think doing so might put you in danger.