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Why you should take five minutes out of your time to activate Find my Phone

You will be thankful you activated it if your phone is ever stolen or goes missing.

Obviously, it's more useful for the moments where it's not in your hand, but the point still stands.
Obviously, it's more useful for the moments where it's not in your hand, but the point still stands.
Image: Android Device Manager

IT’S ONE OF the handiest features on your phone, but it’s surprising how few take the time to activate the Find my Phone features, despite how little time it takes.

By right, you should have it activated regardless of whether you think your phone will be stolen or not. If you’re not sure how exactly you do that, it’s quite simple and will only take you five minutes at best.

What you can do with it

In general, there are four main functions to be aware of. The first is it will show you the location of your phone, or if it’s not on, the last known location in the past 24 hours.

The other three functions are to ring your phone/play a sound, lock it remotely or erase all data. The phone needs to be online for these actions to be carried out, otherwise it will wait until it’s connected before it happens.

Also, when you activate the feature, be sure to  bookmark the desktop website for future reference, just in case you do need it.

iOS

To activate Find my Phone, you have to sign into iCloud first. Go into settings and look for iCloud in the fourth section. Once you’ve signed in, activate Find my Phone near the bottom.

iPhone FmP Source: iPhone

Once that’s done, sign into iCloud on desktop and you will be presented with the Find my Phone option. Remember that you have to click on the phone’s location on the map before you can activate lost mode or erase it.

iOS Find My Phone Source: iCloud

Android

The best method for Android is to download Android Device Manager on your phone (if it isn’t there already) and signing in with your main Google account.

Device manager Android Source: Android Device Manager/Google Play

By going into the main desktop site, you will be able to see where it’s located and perform the usual actions.

Android Device Manager Source: Android Device Manager

Windows Phone

A rather straightforward process. Go into settings, look for ‘find my phone’ and then tick both boxes. The first will send you push notifications instead of SMS messages, which could end up cheaper in the long-run, but SMS might be the better option if you’re uncertain about 3G/4G reception.

The second option saves its location periodically and before the battery runs out so it’s easier to find.

Windows Phone FmP Source: Windows Phone

Once that’s done, you need to go into Windows Phone’s main site and sign in to your account. When that’s done, scroll over the Windows Phone menu at the top-right hand corner and select Find my Phone. Alternatively, you can access the main Find my Phone link here.

WP find my phone Source: Windows Phone

Read: Think Airplane Mode is only useful when you’re on a flight? Think again >

Read: What to keep in mind when using your phone as a WiFi connection >

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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