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What to do if you lose your phone

What you should do if your phone is lost or stolen, and how to track down a missing mobile…

The sheer terror and heartbreak of reaching into your pocket and discovering that your trusty mobile has vanished is a special kind of horror, on par with being trapped in a lift with Justin Bieber, Jeremy Clarkson and that Farage fella. But don’t panic, we’re here to hold your hand in a purely platonic way and tell you exactly what to do when you lose your smartphone…

What should I do when I realise my phone is missing?

As soon as you realise your phone is gone, you should:

1. Call your mobile provider (EE, Vodafone, or whoever else you pay your bills to) AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

2. Inform the police.

3. Register the missing device on, which cites you as the mobile’s owner – that way it can be returned to you if it’s recovered.

4. Log onto all of the accounts you used on your lost phone – Twitter, Facebook, etc – and change your passwords.

Can I track my lost/stolen phone down?

If you had an iPhone, you can use the ‘Find My iPhone’ feature to get a GPS lock on the little blighter – providing you turned the feature on, and the iPhone still has power. If you don’t fancy hunting it down, in case there’s a chance it’s in the pocket of some evil-doer, you can remotely message the phone or completely wipe it.

Android users can do the same with Android Device Manager, which offers the same features.

Can I keep my number when I get a new phone?

You can indeed keep your old number – just ask your provider for a new SIM card, and when it arrives, it should use the same phone number as your old one.

Have I lost all my contact info?

When you’ve got your new phone, you might be able to copy your old contact info over, providing it’s backed up somewhere.

If you had an Android phone, chances are your contact info is backed up to your Google account. Try logging on from your home PC, and browsing to the ‘contacts’ section, and you should see everything stored in there.

If you had an iPhone and you synced it with your computer using iTunes, your contacts should also be backed up. These can be transferred to a new phone with an irritatingly complex procedure – check out this page for more info

Things you can do in case you lose your phone again

Just in case lightning strikes twice, here’s some things you should do to make the second time less painful, and make it more likely that you’ll find your lost mobile.

If it’s an iPhone, make sure you enable Find My iPhone, found in Settings > Privacy > Location Services. You can install the app on another device to locate your new iPhone if it wanders off.

If it’s an Android, try installing a security app like LookOut Security AntiVirus, which can help you track a lost mobile down and identify who has it in their dastardly clutches – check out our full guide to catching a phone thief red-faced for more info.


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