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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 put your worries to rest. This free service at 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.

Find My Phone map showing a phone's location

To sign in to Find My Phone for the first time

The first time you use Find My Phone, you'll need to sign in to it using your Microsoft account.

  1. On your computer, go to windowsphone.com.

  2. Point to the phone in the top-right corner, and click Find My Phone. If you're prompted, sign in with the same Microsoft account you used to sign in on your phone.

To map your phone's location

  1. On your computer, go to windowsphone.com.

  2. Point to the phone in the top-right corner, and click Find My Phone. If you're prompted, sign in with the same Microsoft account you used to sign in on your phone.

  3. On your computer, go to the Find My Phone page on windowsphone.com and sign in with the same Microsoft account you used to sign in on your phone.

  4. Do any of the following:

    • Not seeing the latest location? Click Refresh.
    • If you'd like to make a hard copy of your phone's location, click Print.
    • If you've scrolled around on the map and lost track of your phone's location on it, click Centre on map.

    Note

    If we can't find your phone right away, we'll offer to keep trying if you like, and we'll send you an email if we find it. (You can change your email address at any time in Account settings after you've signed in to windowsphone.com with your Microsoft account.)

To make your phone ring

  1. On your computer, go to the Find My Phone page on windowsphone.com.

  2. Click Ring, then follow the instructions to ring the phone.

    Tip

    When you ring your phone, it will ring even if the volume is off or it is in vibrate mode.

To lock your phone and show a message

  1. On your computer, go to windowsphone.com.

  2. Point to the phone in the top-right corner, and click Find My Phone. If you're prompted, sign in with the same Microsoft account you used to sign in on your phone.

  3. Click Lock, then follow the instructions. 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 if you get it back.

    Note

    If we can't lock your phone right away, we'll offer to keep trying. We'll send you an email if we succeed.

    Tip

    You can also type a message to display on your phone's lock screen. Consider providing a phone number or an email address in the message, so that someone who finds your phone can contact you.

To erase your phone

If you're certain that you can't get your phone back, or if you have sensitive information on it that you want to protect until you recover it, you can erase your phone remotely.

  1. On your computer, go to windowsphone.com.

  2. Point to the phone in the top-right corner, and click Find My Phone. If you're prompted, sign in with the same Microsoft account you used to sign in on your phone.

  3. Click Erase.

  4. If you're absolutely, positively sure, select the Yes! Erase my phone immediately checkbox, then click Erase.

    Notes

    • If we can't erase your phone right away, we can keep trying. We'll send you an email if we succeed.
    • 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 (and apps) to your phone faster and more cheaply. Change these settings on your phone, not on your computer.

  1. In the App list, tap SettingsSettings icon, then tap Find my phone.

  2. Select one or both of the following:

    • Send apps to my phone using push notifications (not SMS). The Find My Phone service and the Windows Phone Store on the web use text messaging to send commands and apps to your phone. Tick 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 phone's location periodically and before the battery runs out to make it easier to find. 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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