Basics

Finding a lost phone

It's nerve-wracking when you can't find your phone – whether it's really lost or just stuck down the back of your settee. Find My Phone can help lay your worries to rest. This free service in the My Phone section of windowsphone.com can ring, lock, erase or show your phone on a map from any Internet-connected computer. Find My Phone makes it easier to recover your phone – or to prevent someone from using it without your permission.

To learn more about what you can do at My Phone – such as seeing your OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive) pictures and reinstalling applications – see My Phone FAQ.

Note

If you're having trouble getting Find My Phone to work, see Error messages when using Find My Phone on windowsphone.com/my in Microsoft Support.

To map your phone's location

  1. On your computer, open a web browser and go to windowsphone.com.

  2. Navigate to the My Phone drop-down menu, located in the top-right corner of the screen, then sign in with the same Windows Live ID you use on your phone.

  3. In the My Phone menu, click Find My Phone.

  4. Click Find My Phone, then follow the instructions in the dialogue box (you'll only need to do this once – after that, your phone will automatically show up on the map when you go to Find My Phone).

  5. If your computer is connected to a printer, click Print to make a hard copy of your phone's location.

    Tips

    • Not seeing the latest location? Click Refresh.
    • If you've scrolled the map and lost track of your phone's location on it, click Centre on map.

To make your phone ring

  1. On your computer, open a web browser and go to windowsphone.com.

  2. Navigate to the My Phone drop-down menu, located in the top-right corner of the screen, then sign in with the same Windows Live ID you use on your phone.

  3. In the My Phone menu, click Find My Phone.

  4. Click Ring, then follow the instructions in the dialogue box (you'll only need to do this the first time you ring your phone).

    Tip

    • When you ring your phone, it will ring even if the volume is off or it's on vibrate mode.

To lock your phone and show a message

  1. On your computer, open a web browser and go to windowsphone.com.

  2. Navigate to the My Phone drop-down menu, located in the top-right corner of the screen, then sign in with the same Windows Live ID you use on your phone.

  3. In the My Phone menu, click Find My Phone.

  4. Click Lock, then follow the instructions in the dialogue box. If you don't already have a password set up on your phone, you'll need to enter one – you'll use it to unlock the phone when you get it back. You can also type a message to display on your phone's screen. Typically you'd enter an alternative phone number or an email address, so someone who finds your phone can contact you.

To erase your phone

  1. On your computer, open a web browser and go to windowsphone.com.

  2. Navigate to the My Phone drop-down menu, located in the top-right corner of the screen, then sign in with the same Windows Live ID you use on your phone.

  3. In the My Phone menu, click Find My Phone.

  4. Click Erase. On the confirmation screen, do one of the following:

    • To start erasing your phone, select I'm sure! Please erase my phone now, then click Erase.
    • If you've changed your mind, click Cancel.

    Warning

    Be careful! This is your last chance to back out.

Note

It's a good idea to let your mobile operator know that you've lost your phone.

To change settings for Find My Phone

You can set up Find My Phone to save your location every few hours or to use push notifications instead of text messages to send commands to your phone. Change these settings on your phone, not on your computer.

  1. On Start, flick left to the Application list, then press SettingsSettings icon.

  2. Press Find My Phone.

  3. Select one or both of the following:

    • Connect to these features faster (may use more battery). The Find My Phone service uses text messaging to send commands to your phone. Check this option to use push notifications instead. Why? Push notifications can be faster than text messages, and if your mobile operator charges you for each incoming text message, push notifications might also be cheaper. Also, My Phone can only send 15 text messages to your phone in a three-day period. With push notifications, there's no limit.
    • Save my location every few hours for better mapping. Microsoft can save your phone's location details every few hours so that if your phone is out of range or the battery dies, we can still show your phone's last-known location on a map.

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