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What should I do if I have lost my cell phone?

If a cell phone is lost, there is often a great deal of annoyance – regardless of whether it was carelessly left somewhere or even stolen. Users should act quickly, especially in this situation. Our emergency checklist shows you the best way to get your smartphone back and prevent loss before it’s too late.

Almost every fourth smartphone owner has lost their cell phone at some point. According to a survey by industry association Bitkom, 23 percent of respondents have already lost their phone once. The causes: Theft, but also carelessness while waiting for the train, in the restaurant, during sports. One moment of not paying attention and the smartphone is gone. But what can you do if you suddenly reach into your pocket and come up empty?

Our emergency checklist tells you how you should react in this case.

You would rather watch our tips? Then you can find our video here, in which we explain what to do if your cell phone is lost:

Lost cell phone? A phone call can help

If you have quickly noticed the loss of your smartphone, it is best to call yourself once. If the cell phone is still in the vicinity, you can locate it again with a little luck via the ringing. The prerequisite for this is that you have set the ringtone of your smartphone to loud. It is also possible that an honest finder will take the call and can tell you where you lost your cell phone and where you can pick it up.

How to locate the smartphone

Both iPhones and Android smartphones have ways to locate the device already built into the system. atechbook reveals how to use them step by step.

Locate Android smartphone

1. Go to the ” Find my device” page and log in with your Gmail data. The page will automatically search for the last device you used. Other devices connected to your account will appear as icons at the top left of the screen.

2. the map will show the current location of the device. The accuracy depends on whether GPS is enabled and the device is logged into a Wi-Fi network.

3. if it is not possible to find the device, a 5-minute alarm can be activated, with which the smartphone will make itself known, even if it is set to silent. Alternatively, options are available to lock the device or delete all data.

There are also numerous third-party apps for Android that offer similar functions. Samsung, for example, also has its own location function for its Galaxy smartphones called Find My Mobile .

Locate iPhone

Similar to Android smartphones, iPhones can also be easily located via Apple’s iCloud service. Options to lock and wipe storage are also available through this service. Make sure the “Where is?” feature is enabled on your device by navigating to Settings > Apple ID > Where is?

Where is on iPhone
To be able to locate the iPhone, the search in the “Where is?” option must be enabled Photo: atechbook.

1. go to the ” Where is? ” page and log in with your Apple ID.

2. on a map, you will now see the current location of the last iOS device you used. You can select other devices connected to iCloud from the menu under All Devices.

3. click on the green dot marking the location to get more options. You can now make the iPhone ring, lock it or wipe the phone memory.

Lock SIM card – important phone numbers

If you have searched all your pockets, your apartment and your car and still haven’t found the device, you should block the device’s SIM card. This will prevent people from using the cell phone to make calls, send SMS or surf the Internet at your expense. For the blocking, it is enough to call their mobile operator. The numbers of the largest providers are:

  • Vodafone : +49 172 12 172 12
  • CallYa : +49 172 229 0 229
  • Telekom : 0800 33 02202
  • Congstar : 0221 79 700 700
  • O2 : +49 176 888 55 222 (contract); +49 176 888 55 282 (prepaid)
  • Drillisch : 06181 7074 044

As an alternative to the mobile phone provider, the general blocking emergency call can also help. The emergency number 116 116 can be used not only to block credit cards, customer cards or employee ID cards with electronic access control, but also to block your SIM card if you have lost your cell phone. Calls from Germany are free of charge. From abroad, you can call the blocking emergency number for a fee on +49 116 116 or +49 30 4050 405.

Report cell phone theft

If you cannot rule out the possibility of theft, report it to the police. It is particularly important to note that the police need the IMEI number to be able to identify your device. The “International Mobile Equipment Identity” is a manufacturer-independent and individual number with which smartphones can be identified beyond doubt.

Depending on the manufacturer, this number can be found on the smartphone’s packaging, on the back of the device or under the battery. If you have received your smartphone as part of a cell phone contract, it is also worth taking a look at the invoice that you received with the phone. It is particularly easy to find out the IMEI of any device by dialing *#06# on the phone’s keypad – the fifteen-digit number is then displayed directly.

Change passwords

Although more than 90 percent of smartphone owners secure their phones with at least one PIN or swipe code, this lock is of little use if the passwords are simple ones such as “1234” or “0000”.

Swipe patterns are also not very secure if you rely on simple patterns like a Z or G – they can be cracked quickly with a little trial and error. Therefore, if your smartphone has disappeared and you have not secured it at all or have secured it with an easy-to-guess password, immediately change the passwords of all services that you also use via your smartphone. This includes, for example, e-mail accounts, shopping sites and the access data for your social media profiles.

Prevent cell phone loss

Even if you haven’t lost a cell phone yet, you can take precautions just in case. If you take care of it in good time, you increase your chances of getting your smartphone back despite the loss.

And the chances are not that bad: The Bitkom study mentioned at the beginning of this article also showed that around one fifth of those surveyed said they had got their smartphone back. To do this, however, it is important to prepare for the eventuality.

Use a secure PIN or swipe code

Choose something as a PIN code that strangers can’t easily guess. Even better: If your smartphone has a fingerprint sensor or iris recognition, then you can use it to log into your phone even more securely. Even a swipe code shouldn’t be too simple – the more complex, the better.

Enable location apps

On an iPhone, download the app ” Where is? ” or on an Android smartphone, activate Device Manager to locate the device .

Make a note of the IMEI

To do this, simply dial *#06# on the dial keys and write down the number displayed. It helps in case of loss to identify the device safely. Even the Munich police have already called on Facebook to make a note of the number:

The fastest way to find out the IMEI number is via the phone keypad.

You can find all other info about IMEI in this article .

Synchronize your smartphone with the cloud

If your Android device or iPhone offers you to backup pictures, contacts and numbers to the cloud – do it. That way, if you lose your phone, you won’t lose all your data as well. Because these are sometimes far more valuable than the smartphone itself.


  • Android
  • iPhone