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How to GPS Track a Cell Phone

If you've lost your phone, or you're worried about what your child might be up to after school, you can use GPS technology to track a phone and locate it with pinpoint accuracy. The methods vary depending on if you're tracking your own phone or someone else's. Read on after the jump to learn how to locate that lost phone or errant child.

Method1
Tracking a Lost Android Phone

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    1
    Open the Android Device Manager. The Android Device Manager is a tool that lets you track your lost or stolen Android Device. You can download the Android Device Manager app to another Android device, or you can access it through a web browser.
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    2
    Log in. When you first open the Android Device Manager, you will be asked to log into your Google account. Ensure that it is the same account that is linked with your lost device.
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    3
    Find your device. After logging in, Android Device Manager will attempt to locate your device. The last known location will be shown at the center of the map. Your device's details will be shown in the small window in the upper-left corner.
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    4
    Choose an action. There are several different actions you can perform with your lost phone:
    • Ring - This will make your phone ring, making it easier to find if it is lost nearby.
    • Lock - This puts a new lock code on your device, keeping others from accessing it. You can also include a message that will appear on the lock screen.
    • Erase - This will wipe the data from your phone in case it is completely lost or stolen. Be careful when selecting this option, as it is irreversible.

Method2
Tracking a Lost iPhone

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    1
    Log into the iCloud website. If you are using an iPhone and have an Apple ID, you can track your lost iPhone through any web browser or through your iPad. Location tracking needs to be turned on, but it is turned on by default for all devices with an Apple ID attached.
    • You will need to enter your Apple ID and password in order to log into the iCloud website.
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    2
    Open Find My iPhone. This can be found on the main page of the iCloud website. You can also download the Find My iPhone app on a friend's iPad or iPhone.
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    3
    Select your iPhone. At the top of the Find My iPhone page, you will see an "All Devices" link. Click this to select which device you want to track. The map will center on the last known location of the device.
    • If your device is out of battery or turned off, it will show the last place it was logged in.
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    4
    Choose an action. Click the dot representing your device on the map, and then click the "I" button that appears. A window will pop up in the upper-right corner of the map, showing a few options you can take with your lost device:
    • Play Sound - Your iPhone will emit a sound, helping you track it down if it's close.
    • Lost Mode - This will lock your iPhone and display a phone number that you can be reached at.
    • Erase iPhone - If your device has been stolen or you think it's lost for good, you can choose to remotely erase all of the contents. This can help prevent sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands. Be careful when doing this, as it is not reversible.

Method3
Tracking a Lost Windows Phone

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    1
    Open the Windows Phone website. If you have a Windows phone with an associated Microsoft Account, you can track the phone through the web interface available at the Windows Phone website.
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    2
    Hover over the My Phone menu. This is located in the upper-right corner of the page. Select "Find My Phone" from the menu. You will be asked to sign in with your Microsoft account. Ensure that you sign in with the same account that is linked with your phone.
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    3
    Choose your action. Once your phone has been located, the map will center on it and the phone details will be displayed above the map. You have several options to choose from:
    • Print - This will print the map showing the last known location of the phone.
    • Ring - This will make your phone ring, making it easier to find if it is lost nearby.
    • Lock - This puts a new lock code on your device, keeping others from accessing it. You can also include a message that will appear on the lock screen.
    • Erase - This will wipe the data from your phone in case it is completely lost or stolen. Be careful when selecting this option, as it is irreversible.

Method4
Tracking a Lost Samsung Phone

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    1
    Add your Samsung account to your phone. In order to use the Samsung Find My Mobile service, you will need to have your Samsung account linked with your phone. You can do this by opening the Settings menu, selecting "Accounts and sync", tapping "Add account", and then tapping "Samsung account". You will be prompted to enter your Samsung login information, or you can create a new account.
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    2
    Enable Remote Controls. This needs to be enabled in order to use the Find My Mobile service. When you register a Samsung account on your phone it is enabled by default. You can check to ensure it is turned on by opening the Settings menu, tapping "Location and security", and then checking the "Remote controls" box.
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    3
    Open the Find My Mobile website. This can be accessed through the Samsung website. You will be asked to log in with your Samsung account. Make sure that it is the same account that is associated with lost phone.
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    4
    Locate your phone. Click the "Locate my device" button in the left menu. A map will open, showing the last known location of your phone.
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    5
    Choose an action. You can use the left menu to choose from a variety of actions to perform on your lost phone:
    • Lock my mobile - This will enable you to enter a new code to lock your phone. You can also display a message and phone number that people can call if they find your phone.
    • Ring my mobile - This will make your phone ring, making it easier to find if it is lost nearby.
    • Call logs - You can check all of your recent calls using this option. This will let you know if other people have been using your device without your permission.
    • Wipe my device - This will erase all of the data on your phone if it is completely lost or stolen. Be careful when selecting this option, as it is irreversible. You can choose to just erase the media storage, or completely wipe the phone to factory settings.[1]

Method5
Tracking Someone Else’s Phone

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    1
    Install a third-party tracking app on the phone you want to track. There are a large variety of third-party programs that will allow you to track devices that have the program installed. Each phone that you want to track will need to have the application installed on the phone. Popular apps include: GPS Tracking Pro (Android) and GPS TRACKER (iOS).
    • There are also GPS tracking apps that disguise themselves, such as GPS Tracker Hidden for Android. In order to install a hidden tracking app on an iPhone, the iPhone you want to track will need to be jailbroken.
    • There is no method of tracking a phone unless you have personally installed the application on the phone you want to track, or you have that person’s consent to track them.
    • Tracking without consent is illegal in most countries.
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    2
    Check with your service provider to track family phones. If you have a family plan with your cellular service provider, you may be able to enable tracking for the phones on that plan. This is especially useful if your children have phones on your plan and you want to keep tabs on them. Some of the major services include:
    • AT&T – FamilyMap $10/month
    • Sprint – Family Locator $5/month
    • T-Mobile – FamilyWhere $10/month
    • Verizon – Family Locator $10/month
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    3
    Get your family and friends signed into the same social network. There are tracking apps that allow you to share your locations with other users in your network. This can be great for families with multiple smartphones that want to be able to keep tabs on each other. Each family member or friend will need to be signed up for the service and agree to share locations. Popular programs include:
    • Find My Friends
    • Live360
    • Cozi
    • Google+
    • Glympse

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