How To Find Your Lost or Stolen Windows Phone

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Somehow you lost your Windows Phone. It might have been stolen, or it could be down the back of a chair in your local pub. How will you get it back? Hopefully, you enabled the native Find My Phone setting before you were separated from your phone. If you did, you can now use the web-based service to retrieve it.

Impact Of A Lost Windows Phone

It might be the opinion of some that a lost Windows Phone device isn’t all that big a deal. After all, they’re not exactly iPhones or Samsung Galaxys, are they?

Well, that’s not really an argument. Regardless of the operating system, Windows Phone 8 handsets have a high specification, especially those produced by Nokia. While the operating system isn’t so bloated that it has a need for anything above a quad core CPU at present, there are other aspects to consider, such as high definition displays, storage space and battery life.

When it comes to Nokia devices, then there is also the added element of the camera, which is supported by a Carl Zeiss lens and superb image processing software and the selection of impressive camera apps. Phones such as the Nokia Lumia 920, 925, 1020 and higher have remarkable cameras as good as – if not better than – those on other devices.

Your lost Windows Phone might contain your personal data. It might have a collection of recently-snapped photos, vital emails and documents and apps that are a lifeline to your work. Losing a Windows Phone can be as devastating as losing a phone running any other productive operating system – with cloud applications installed, it could be as risky as losing a desktop computer.

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Enabling The Find My Phone Service


While you won’t find any third party tracking apps like Prey for Windows Phone, Microsoft offers the Find My Phone service for Windows Phone owners. The service is the same for Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 8 devices, and requires that you enable the options in Settings > Find My Phone. The service uses triangulation technology to locate it, so you don’t need to worry about having mobile Internet activated – as long as the phone isn’t in airplane mode, everything should work fine.

Finding a Lost or Stolen Windows Phone Device

With the Find My Phone option enabled (see above), you can launch the retrieval process whenever you lost sight of your device.


The first thing you should do is log into and select Find My Phone via the drop-down menu.


You will then see a map, and the approximate location of your phone will be displayed. Various factors affect the precision of this feature; for instance, if the phone was stolen, it might still be in transit, which makes it tricky to find until it stops moving.

Once you know where your phone is geographically, there are three things that you can do to retrieve or disable it.

Ring Your Phone

If your phone is somewhere close by, the sensible approach would be to ring it. Of course, on the off chance that you don’t have another phone to hand, or cannot guarantee you will find it before the phone rings out, Find My Phone offers a useful Ring feature, which sends an instruction to your Windows Phone to play a special ringtone reserved for this purpose.

You shouldn’t have much trouble tracking down the handset with this feature, as long as it’s within hearing distance. This alert also plays at full volume, overriding vibrate mode or low volume settings.

Remotely Lock Your Phone

Of course, the situation may be more desperate; it could be that your phone is in the hands of someone you do not trust, or has been left in a position where it can easily be found.


The Lock option allows you to display a custom message on your phone’s screen and set a new 4-digit PIN that will be required to unlock the device. You will also have the option to ring the phone when it is locked, so that it attracts attention.

Given that the majority of people are honest, there is a good chance that the device will be spotted, the message read and your Windows Phone will be returned. We can think of seven reasons why someone might return your lost phone, so don’t be disheartened – your phone may well come back.

Erase Your Windows Phone

The final option is, of course, the most devastating. In order to protect your data (including access to more information via your phone’s SkyDrive app), you should use the Erase tool to remotely reset your phone. This reverts the handset to factory settings, and will result in the Find My Phone service being unable to track it.


Naturally, this is only for desperate situations, and for you to use the erase option you must check the box labelled I’m sure! Please erase my phone now before proceeding with the Erase button.

Tackle Thieves With This Native Windows Phone App!

The Windows Phone tracking app is simple to use, enabling you to quickly find, trace and if necessary, erase your device should it be lost or stolen. If you’ve prepared your device correctly and perhaps sent a polite screen message, someone might find and return it. After all, it’s not that hard to return a lost phone.

For the best results with this service, however, you should put yourself in a position of never having to use it.

Did you ever need to use the Find My Phone service? How did it go?

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12 Comments - Write a Comment


John Solo

I was under the impression you’d be able to find it without technology by picking it up from where you left it as everyone else will pass it by …

Francis R

that is possible only if you remember where you left it.



I believe it only works as long as the sim card used to register the product on (with the phone number) is still in the phone. So it’s a fight against time if you were to forget it in the metro. You have to be quick to go online, locate it an lock it. For if someone takes the sim card out, it’s over.



This is a great tool .. however there are few things which i would like to share with you all ..
1.) The same sim number which was activated along with the phone , if that has been changed this wont work.

2.) What surprised me was even with the same sim number i tried Ring, Lock, Erase.. none of these options worked and i got a error saying try this service after some time .. its like you have a security blanket on this phone and the next moment you realize it is not.

3.) Last but not the least .. yesterday my dad windows phone (Lumia 520) was lost and i was like OK .. well i have this find my phone feature .. but it failed.

Anyways guys if anyone of you succeeded in either of the options what is there on the website let me know .. my email id is



only works till you someone not changed your sim card, later the application sucks…. I have lost my nokia lumia 720 , 2 days ago, this app dnt work a single time… well if anyone got any idea to get back stolen phone then please [let me know]



booooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! . i just lost my windows phone yesterday and none of those things work …………. !!!!!!!!!! wtf ..



Lost mine a few days ago. The thief didn’t want to bring it back. He kept stalling so I locked it.

Less than 20 minutes after I locked it, he brought it back. I have him some change because I forgot the phone in a public place

Christian Cawley

Great news, Prince, glad you got a result from it! Thanks for sharing.



Why my phone does not function “Always send commands and apps to my phone push notifications (not SMS)

Christian Cawley

Could you explain further? What are you doing when this doesn’t work? Are you attempting to test Find My Phone?



I got my phone I click on the “Find My Phone”, but when it does not open a window function “Always send commands and apps to my phone push notifications (not SMS)” is only 2 functions: on / off “Find My Phone” and “Save my phone location information periodically and before it resolves”.
Why my phone does not function “Always send commands and apps to my phone push notifications (not SMS)”?



I got my phone I click on the “Find My Phone”, but when it does not open a window function “Always send commands and apps to my phone push notifications (not SMS)” is only 2 functions: on / off “Find My Phone” and “Save my phone location information periodically and before it resolves”.
Why my phone does not function “Always send commands and apps to my phone push notifications (not SMS)”?

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