How To Find Your Lost Android Using Only Google

One of the perks of having a smartphone is being able to find it using some fancy technological trickery if it gets lost or stolen. And now, Android users have a cool new trick they can employ to accomplish just that: You can use Google to find your Android phone, even if you don't have one of those “find my phone” apps installed. Neat-o, right?

According to Gizmodo, the trick is just one of a few Google has quietly launched over the past few weeks. All of them let you use the Google search engine to operate your phone from afar—and given all the fun things we know Chrome can do, it's not exactly surprising, is it? I found the “find my phone” trick on Shortlist; it's been making the rounds, though, popping up on sites like Engadget, FastCoDesign, and of course the aforementioned Gizmodo. So, I figure now is the perfect time to impart this helpful tip to you, Gentle Bustle Readers.

You need to make sure you've got a few particular settings turned on in order for this one to work; it's easy to do, though, so don't worry if you're not terribly technologically inclined. Here's the step-by-step:

1. Download the latest version of the Google Android app.

I'm pretty sure pretty much everyone who has a smartphone has the Google app installed, but take a second to make sure you've got the latest one on there. If you don't, update it.

2. On your Android, enable “Google Now.”

Once you've updated your Google app, launch it, then open the menu by typing “Settings.” Then go to "Search and Now" and select "Now Cards." Make sure the switch is flipped to "on" for both "Show Cards" and "Show Notifications for Card Updates."

3. On your Google account, turn on “Web and App Activity.”

When you're logged into your Google account on any browser, just go to “Account History” and make sure the green switch here is turned on.

4. To find your phone: Log into your Google account on any computer, then Google “Find my phone.”

If your phone is turned on, connected to the Internet, and logged into your Google account, just Googling “Find my phone” from any other browser will show you exactly where your Android is. You can also select “Ring” and make it ring at full volume for five minutes — because let's face it: It's usually easier to find a phone that's lost somewhere in your home by sound.

And that's all! May it serve you well, my Android-loving friends.

Images: Giphy (4)