Losing or getting your phone stolen can be a terrible situation to be in. Not only you’ve lost your hard-earned device but also all the years of important data and files stored within it. Although there are very slim chances of retrieving such a device, especially in a jam-packed location, you can actually track your device using the government-launched website and even get it remotely locked to prevent further harm to your data stored in the device. Similarly, phone manufacturers have also been pre-loading their devices with software and tools to locate a lost or stolen phone in a few simple steps. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the whole process of filing a request to trace your misplaced mobile phone, so without any further ado, let’s begin.
What is an IMEI number and how can it be used to track a phone?
IMEI stands for “International Mobile Equipment Identity”, which is a 15-digit unique number that acts as a certificate of your device. It is printed on the box of a mobile phone as well as within the software. What makes it so significant is that this number can be used by the police to locate your lost or misplaced cell phone. The concerned authorities have tracers in place to track any authentic IMEI number in case of criminal activity or mishappening with the owner/user of the device.
How to find lost phone using IMEI number online
Although there are very slim chances of retrieving a lost or stolen phone, however with the help of a government portal such as the Central Equipment Identity Registry (CEIR) you can remotely block your phone while the concerned authorities are investigating the case. But before proceeding with the process, ensure you have the lost phone’s IMEI number ready with you. This number can generally be found on the backside or sides of the mobile phone’s box. With that out of the way, here’s the step-by-step procedure to register a request for a lost/stolen phone.
- From your PC or desktop head over to the CIER website
- Upon opening the website, you’ll need to fill out a long form and provide all the necessary details related to the lost phone such as phone brand, model, last location etc.
- The portal will also ask you for the phone’s invoice and you’ll need to upload the same as well
- Next, fill out your personal details and when you’re done, provide an alternate number and select the ‘Get OTP’ button.
- Once you receive the OTP on the given mobile number, hit the ‘Submit’ button to complete your lost phone location request
- You’ll then receive a Request ID number which can be later used to unblock an IMEI number
Once you go through this process and submit your request, the network operators will be notified to blacklist the particular IMEI number to prevent any misuse of your phone. Subsequently, you can also file a request to your network operator to disable the SIM card on your lost or stolen phone. Also do note that this particular government service is only available in Delhi, Maharashtra and Karnataka for the time being.
1. What are other ways to track and find lost phone?
Blocking the IMEI number is a lengthy task but completely worth it. However, if you’ve just misplaced or got your phone stolen you can quickly track it while the internet is properly functioning on the device. Both Android phones and iPhones have their own built-in security trackers which can aid users to track their lost devices. Here’s how.
Find an Android phone using Google Find My device
Every Android phone has a ‘Find My Device’ feature which can be used to trace down a phone via a PC or others’ phones. Here’s the step by step process for the same.
- On Google type ‘Find My Device’ or simply head over to the official website here
- Next, the tool will automatically start searching for your device, if the internet on the lost device is functioning as it’s supposed to be
- Once the phone or lost Android device get’s located, you can remotely play a sound in case you feel the device is nearby
- Additionally, the feature can be used to erase data as well to prevent your personal information from falling into the wrong hands
That said, you must have Find My Device enabled for this tool to work.
Find an iPhone using Find My iPhone
Find My iPhone is Apple’s take on finding a lost or stolen iPhone remotely via a PC or desktop. The process to use the feature is as follows.
- Head over to Apple’s official Find My iPhone website
- Login with your Apple ID if you’ve already previously
- Select the device you want to locate
- If your device is found, it’ll show up on the map. However, if it doesn’t you can select “Notify me when found” to get an email right away when the device goes online
2. How to retrieve important data from a lost phone?
Both Android and iOS provide backups of basic data such as contacts, SMSes, app data, calendar events, etc. by default. As long as such data is backed up, you can log in to your email accounts on another device and retrieve the said data. However, as far as media files are concerned and if you’ve enabled the backup option specifically for them, then only there’s a chance of getting those locally stored files.