A Simple Guide to Google Find My Devices and Apple Find My

Device Tracking App Featured Image

Google’s Find My Device and Apple’s Find My are two native device-tracking apps for Android smartphones and iPhones. This article looks at how to best use the two services to recover lost or misplaced devices.

Finding Lost Devices with Google and Apple

Both Google’s Find My Device and Apple’s Find My function the same way: by locating devices connected to your Google account or Apple ID. These can be smartphones, computers, smartwatches, headphones, and other electronics that are trackable through your chosen device-tracking app. Here’s how to find a lost device using either of the two options.

Google Find My Device: How to Play Sound

This feature helps you locate your lost device much more quickly, as the sound immediately gives away the phone’s location. However, your lost device won’t produce a sound if it’s turned off.

  1. Launch “Find My Device” on your phone and log in to the Google account connected to the device you want to locate.
  1. Once logged in, you’ll see all the devices connected (including the one you’re tracking) to your Google account.
  1. Tap “Play Sound” under the device you want to locate. Your device will ring for five minutes if it’s turned on. You can keep playing the sound until you find it. Note that your device will still ring if it’s muted. However, it won’t ring if it’s not connected to the Internet.
Device Tracking App Google Play Sound
  1. To stop the sound, tap “Stop Sound.”
Device Tracking App Google Stop Sound

Google Find My Device: How to Secure Your Device

  1. In the Google Find My app, tap “Secure Device” under the lost device.
Device Tracking App Google Secure Device
  1. Add a lock screen message and phone number and tap “Secure Device.”
Device Tracking App Google Details
  1. When your phone is found, the following screen will be displayed.
Device Tracking App Google Call Owner

Google Find My Device: How to Erase Your Device

  1. Under your lost device, tap “Erase Device.”
  2. Read and understand what it means to reset your device. After resetting your device, you won’t be able to locate it using Google’s Find My Device app.
  3. Tap “Erase Device” again.
  4. Confirm your identity.
  5. Tap “Erase Device” for the final time.

Devices Supported by Google’s Find My Device

Google’s Find My Device only supports the following device types running Android:

  • Smartphone
  • Tablet
  • Smartwatch

In other words, you can only locate your device with Google’s Find My Device if it can connect to the Internet.

Lastly, you may be wondering if you can track Chromebooks using Google’s Find My Device app. The answer is no. You’ll have to log in to your Google account via the Web to access remote commands for lost Chromebooks.

Apple Find My: How to Play Sound

  1. Launch “Find My” on your iPhone and log in with your Apple ID.
  1. Select the device you want to locate from the list of connected devices.
Device Tracking App Apple Device
  1. Tap “Play Sound.” The device won’t ring if it’s in silent mode, powered off, or not connected to the Internet.
Device Tracking App Apple Play Sound
  1. Tap “X” to stop playing the sound.
Device Tracking App Apple Stop Sound

Apple Find My: How to Mark Device as Lost

  1. In the Find My app, tap the device you’re locating.
Device Tracking App Apple Device
  1. Tap Activate under “Mark As Lost.”
Device Tracking App Apple Lost
  1. Read the terms of marking your device as lost and tap “Continue.”
Device Tracking App Apple Lost Continue
  1. Your device’s lock screen will display the “Lost iPhone” message and will display your contact number.

Apple Find My: How to Erase Your Device

  1. Inside the menu for your lost device, tap the “Erase This Device” option at the bottom.
Device Tracking App Apple Erase 3
  1. Read and understand the meaning of erasing your device and tap “Continue.”
  2. After erasing your device, it won’t show up in your Find My app anymore.
Device Tracking App Apple Erase
  1. Enter a phone number so that the person who finds your phone can contact you and tap “Erase.”
Device Tracking App Apple Erase 2

Devices Types Supported by Apple’s Find My

What sets Apple’s Find My far ahead of Google’s Find My Device is its long list of compatible devices. In the Find My app, you can locate and execute a few remote controls on these Apple devices:

  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • Mac
  • Apple Watch
  • AirTag
  • AirPods (Pro and Max)
  • MagSafe Wallet

Apple Find My is also integrated into third-party products from Belkin, Chipolo, VanMoof, Targus, and Beats. This means specific items from these brands can be tracked in the Find My app without attaching an AirTag. Visit this page for more information on third-party products supported by Apple’s Find My.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Will people in my Family Sharing plan see the location of my connected Apple devices?

Yes. You can also see devices connected to the Apple ID they used to join Family Sharing with you.

2. Is the location shown in Google’s Find My Device and Apple’s Find My accurate?

Device locations shown in both apps are only approximate. They are the last known locations before the devices get disconnected from the Internet or run out of battery. That’s why it’s useful to use the apps’ “Play Sound” feature to locate your device when the maps show the devices are close.

Natalie dela Vega
Natalie dela Vega

Natalie is a writer specializing in tech how-tos and gaming. When she's not writing, she plays PC games and travels. Here at MakeTechEasier, you will see her write about guides, tips, and solutions for Windows and iOS.

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