How do I track my phone using Google Maps? Google's Find My Device explained

Track your Android phone, play sounds, secure your device, erase all content – Google's Find My Device has helpful options

Google Maps to Find My Device
(Image credit: Google)

Phone gone missing? Here's how to use Google Maps to find your device. Well, it's actually a different Google service, called Find My Device, which will use Google Maps within its interface to help reveal where your device is (or devices, should you have multiples). 

Find My Device is easy to use, offers a bunch of useful security features – whether you want to show your device location, make the phone ring on remote command, secure the device and display a message, or even remote erase – and here we'll show you how to find your device using Google's service. 

Find My Device: Google's phone locator service

First thing's first, you'll need to be signed into your Google account. You can access this from a desktop, laptop, tablet, or another phone – whatever you have to hand. In this example, with the screengrab up top, we're showing the experience in Google Chrome on a laptop system.

Next up: open Google's Find My Device, located at www.android.com/find. That's why you'll need to be signed into your Google account first, as you will also need to have been on the device you're looking to find. 

Google Find My Device: What can it do?

Once successfully signed in you'll see the Google Find My Device page, as shown top of page. To the upper left corner it'll show various signed-in devices, if you possess multiple products. Click the relevant one to seek and find it, but if it's offline it won't be traceable (and will read "can't reach device"). Successfully locating a device will instead show "last seen" with details, including a Google Maps view of the device's location.

There's a lot more too. Play Sound will remotely cause your selected device to ring, for up to five minutes, which could be useful for finding it somewhere around the house. Secure Device gives you the control to lock the device and sign-out of Google. You can also display a message on the lock screen. Erase Device, meanwhile, does what it says on the tin: it'll ice all content on your phone, but you won't then be able to remotely locate it thereafter. 

It's as simple as that: using Google's Find My Device isn't quite the same as using Google Maps, but we can see the distinction and why so many people ask the question. Happy hunting!

As the Tech Editor at T3, Mike handles all things tech - from phones, tablets and laptops, to gaming and computing. Everything that's geeky yet cool. He's been working as a consumer technology journalist for the best part of 15 years, travelling the globe to attend all manner of industry events. You'll always find him setting up a new mobile phone or planning his next get-away.