Finding, erasing and locking mobile devices

You can find, lock or erase your phone or tablet if it's lost. See how.

Updated 3 Apr 2019

I've lost my mobile device? What can I do?

Don't panic. You might be able to get it back.

Losing your device can be a drama. We'll show you how to retrieve it, or help prevent access to its contents if you can't. Bear in mind, the lost device needs to be on and connected to the internet for these steps to work.

My phone has gone missing. Now what?

Telstra Device Locator

Telstra customers can now use Telstra Device Locator to help locate any IOS or Android device that has a Telstra SIM through the Telstra 24x7 App. Telstra Device Locator will tell you the last time and approximate location your device was last active on the Telstra Mobile Network or in range.
The pin on the Telstra Device Locator map is accurate to within a 30-50 metres depending on the physical environment. If your lost device has Telstra Device Locator enabled, you can message it with instructions that display on screen. Depending on IOS or Android a sound may play to help you find it.
For more information visit https://www.telstra.com.au/device-locator

 

Apple and Android devices also enable you to track lost devices.

Android™ devices

Android has a service called Find My Device. On a computer, go to android.com/find and sign in to your Google™ Account. Or install the Find My Device app on another Android phone or tablet.

Android find my device

What if your Google Account has 2-step verification? If you created backup codes when you first set up 2-step verification, you can use these. If you don't have them, but have access to the 2-step verification code that is sent to you, you can view your backup codes in the security settings section of your Google Account. Alternatively, you can generate new backup codes by removing 2-step from your account and re-adding it to generate new codes (this will invalidate the old ones). If you have been locked out of your account by losing your phone, unless you have another trusted device that you can login to, you will have to contact Google to recover your account.

Apple devices

You need to log into iCloud.com and start Find My iPhone. Alternatively, you can download the Find My iPhone app to another iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch to track your missing your device.

With iCloud’s 2-step authentication, you generally don’t have to enter a code with Find My iPhone.

Both Android and Apple

If you have more than one device on your account, click the lost device at the top of the screen. If your lost device has more than one user profile, sign in with the main profile.

 

What happens next?

Both services give you a range of features to help you recover or protect your lost device. These include:

  • View the approximate location of your device on a map
  • Apple lets you play a sound for two minutes, even if it's set to silent or vibrate
  • Android can make your device ring at full volume for 5 minutes, even if it's set to silent or vibrate

 

If you think someone has picked up your device, here's what to do:

  • Lock your device with a PIN or password. If you don't have it locked already, you can lock it remotely
  • Show a personalised message like 'Thanks for finding my phone' and a number to call on your device's lock screen
  • As a last resort, you can erase your device remotely. Your personal message is still displayed, but everything else is permanently wiped. Be aware that data on an SD card usually cannot be erased.

 

Good to know

Both Find My iPhone and Find My Device work from the cloud. You don't need the apps installed on your lost device.

What if my device is stolen?

What's gone is gone. But you can still protect yourself. Follow these steps:

  • Change your Apple ID or Google Account passwords
  • Change your passwords for other accounts like email, Facebook and Twitter
  • Tell your phone service provider so they can disable the account
  • Tell the police and supply your device serial number. If it's recovered, you should get it back.

 

Hot tip

Password protect your device now. You can view our video on How to secure your Android device for the steps on how to do it. This will save you a lot of trouble if it gets lost or stolen.

 

Telstra Locator™ is a new finding service that will help you find the things that matter the most – from keys to bikes, pets and business assets like tools and vehicles. By attaching a Telstra Locator™ Tag to your valuables, you can use the Telstra Locator™ App to help find possessions if they go missing. You’ll also be able to locate compatible iOS and Android smartphones and tablets from the Telstra Locator™ App. To learn more: visit https://www.telstra.com.au/location-of-things/telstra-locator

 

Google, Android and other marks are trademarks of Google LLC.

We’re here to help

Need help setting up or securing your device? Talk to our experts at Telstra Platinum.

Call 13 75 87

Outside Australia call +612 9242 0570

 

What else can Telstra Platinum help me with?

Whether your service or technology is from Telstra or another provider, our tech experts can help you. They’re available 24x7 over the phone and online to help you with your mobile, tablet, Wi-Fi, email, smart home and connected devices, data back-up and more. It’s all part of a Telstra Platinum subscription.


Got a one-off problem? Find out more about our no-fix no-fee services.

 

Find out more