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Wednesday, 31 August 2022

How To Find Your Lost Samsung Phone

 How to find your lost Samsung phone

Smartphones are expensive and accidents happen. Now that we've stated the obvious, it's perhaps useful to mention that most of us carry a lot of private information on our mobile devices. Whether it's a company-issued device or one of the best Android phones bought after months of savings, chances are the data on the device is actually more valuable than the device itself.

There are too many independent developers who can create apps designed to help users find lost phones or at least wipe them remotely. Many of these apps required root access to function properly (and to prevent removal via malicious wipe), so they never became mainstream. Samsung leads the Android pack with its Find My Mobile service, which provides several useful options in the event of a lost or stolen device. How can Find My Mobile work and how can it be activated? We answer these and several other questions below.

What is Samsung's Find My Mobile service?

Find My Mobile is a service that can be accessed through a Samsung account on a desktop computer or (other) mobile device. Once activated, users can search, remotely backup, and wipe data on their registered Galaxy mobile device. With "Track Location" enabled, the service will automatically update the location of the lost device every 15 minutes.

proximity to the owner, the lock screen function, and the ability to prevent the shutdown and display of the contact message.

How do I activate the Find My Mobile function?

To activate Find My Mobile, do the following on your phone:

Open Settings.

Scroll down and tap Biometrics & Security.

Tap Find My Mobile (not the toggle yet).

In this menu, set the switch to "on".

Optional: enable remote to unlock and Send the last location.

If you are not signed in to your Samsung account after step 3, you will need to enter your login information or create an account.

What is a backup code and how do I set it up?

Two-factor authentication — or 2FA — is a great way to secure your device, but the way Samsung implements it for Find My Mobile isn't particularly well-thought-out. The best example of Samsung's 2FA weirdness on Find My Mobile is when the service sends a 2FA code to a missing phone when you want to wipe the device. To Samsung's credit, you can work around it, but the workaround isn't perfect because you have to make sure it's set up beforehand—something that isn't clear until you have to wipe the stolen phone. The solution in question is to either disable 2FA entirely for Find My Mobile or set up what Samsung calls Backup Codes – one-time 2FA codes that you can save in a text document or write down in a notepad. To set backup codes, open the Settings app on your phone and follow these steps:

Open the Samsung account options by tapping the button with your name and profile picture.

On the Samsung account settings page, tap Security and privacy to open the security and privacy options page.

On the Security & Privacy Options page, tap Two-Step Verification to adjust your 2FA settings.

On the Two-Step Verification page, click Backup Codes to generate and view Backup Codes for your device.

Make a note of the codes on this page - write them down or click Save Codes to export them to a .txt file that you can save to Google Drive or export to your computer, laptop, or tablet.

Backup codes are one-time use, so if you ever need to use them, be sure to open this settings page and generate new codes.

To be fair, there are alternatives to using backup codes, such as using a verification app, but they all involve signing up for another service or downloading a separate app. Backup codes are the easiest way to ensure that you can use Find My Mobile to its full potential without completely disabling 2FA.

How do I find my phone using Find My Mobile?

Once Find My Mobile is set up on an Android phone, owners should go to the Find My Mobile website and sign in with their Samsung account. From there, they will see a list of all Samsung devices that have to be Find My Mobile enabled.

If the device's location is found, users will see an activity indicator on the map, along with device status, battery level, and network connection type (mobile or Wi-Fi). They will also have access to the remote features listed above.

It is worth noting that Find My Mobile will only work if the lost device is turned on and connected to the network.

For this reason, Samsung also offers a feature to remotely adjust power settings to extend the life of lost devices and give users more time to find them.

In addition, Find My Mobile can also be used to gain access to the device in case of a lost password or PIN, but for this users will need to enable remote unlocking during the setup process.

Some mobile operators may offer Google Find My Device instead of Samsung Find My Mobile. If this is the case, sign in to Find My Device with your Google Account credentials to access remote access features.

What can I do after I find my device using Find My Mobile?

If you've lost your phone and subsequently relocated it using Find My Mobile, it's worth picking it up. You might want to make sure it's not with someone else first. Unfortunately,

Samsung only lets you check your phone's location once every 15 minutes, so it takes at least 16 minutes to determine if it's sitting on a park bench or in someone's pocket. If the location changes, you'll know it's not where you left it, and you might at least be able to chat to get it back.

How to make your phone ring on Find My Mobile

So you've used a tablet to track your device to the mall, the park, the parking lot, or what have you, but you obviously can't run around telling everyone to empty their pockets, so what's a phone-free security guard like you to do? Luckily, Samsung has got you covered. Find My Mobile can help you locate your device with Ring - regardless of the sound mode or volume it's set to. To make your device ring, simply select Ring on the Find My Mobile page, then Start in the pop-up window that follows. The device will start ringing for one minute to alert you of its presence.

Unfortunately, this ringing can be stopped from the device, so it may take a few tries and you'll be awkwardly searching through a crowd of people with a confused or worried expression.

Don't face thieves

Whether you should do this if your phone has been stolen is a whole other story... in fact, you probably shouldn't jump in your car and confront the criminal who stole your phone. Instead, it's best to keep your data safe and inform local law enforcement of your device's location. Your mileage may vary on the success of this step, but it's definitely not worth risking your personal safety to retrieve a stolen device. So let's take a look at what steps you can—and should—take to keep your phone and information safe when it's stolen.

Back up your phone data to the Samsung cloud

If you often have valuable information on your phone that you can't afford to lose, you should definitely have a robust backup strategy in place. If it's been a while since you started a backup, Find My Mobile allows you to start a quick backup of your device remotely. All you need to do to start a backup is log into Find My Mobile on your computer or mobile browser - as shown above - then follow these steps:

On the Find My Mobile page, click or tap Backup in the menu bar on the right side of the screen to open the backup options.

In the backup options pop-up window, click or tap to select the options you want to back up. If your phone has a dead battery or you're not sure how long it will be in cell phone range or on, it's a good idea to start with the basics and come back to the extras later.

Once you've selected what you want to back up, click or tap Back Up to start the backup. You may see a pop-up confirming your mobile data usage. Click or tap I agree and then Back up to proceed with the backup.

And it is done. Once you click Backup, the phone will start backing up the required information if it is connected to a mobile network. Unfortunately, this is not a silent process and will trigger a notification on your phone, meaning that anyone who has your phone will be alerted to the fact that you are backing it up. After each individual backup is complete, the Find My Mobile page will display the backup completion time in a pop-up window.

Erase data from a lost or stolen phone with Find My Phone

Storing confidential or sensitive information on your phone is always risky. If your phone is stolen, you want a way to ensure that any information you have stored on it is not misused. A good way to lock down this information is to completely erase it from your device. To erase a missing phone using Find My Mobile, log in to the service and do the following:

On the Find My Mobile page, click or tap Wipe data to start erasing your device.

If you have 2FA enabled, a pop-up will appear asking for a code sent to your device. If you have another device signed in to your Samsung account, you can get a 2FA code on that device, but otherwise, you'll need to use a backup code to verify your actions. To use a backup code, select Verify with a backup code and enter the code in the following field.

After verifying in the Find My Mobile web interface, nothing happens and you will have to select Clear data again. This time you will be greeted with a pop-up confirming that you wish to perform a complete factory reset, including the information and files on your SD card if it is installed.

Select Wipe to continue with the factory reset.

Wiping your phone should be a last resort as you won't be able to track or control it after performing a reset. On the plus side, if your phone is stolen, the thief will still be locked out because the phone will force them to enter your Google account password before they can re-initialize the device.

Getting your phone back

While Samsung Find My Mobile is far from perfect, it is a valid tool to help you find your lost devices or at least prevent unauthorized access to the data on them.

And since we're talking about protecting Samsung phones, we recently rounded up the best Galaxy S22 screen protectors. You might want to check them out to make sure your device is safe from loose key rings and rogue coins.

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