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I have lost or had my phone or tablet stolen, what can I do to help find them?

If the unthinkable happens and your phone or tablet is lost or stolen then there are things you can do to help get it back, or if you can't to at least wipe your device so all your data is safe.

To be able to trace your phone your location settings must be enabled on your device.

On iOS there is the 'Find my iPhone' app which is exceptionally easy to install and use

For Android Phone you can use Android Device Manager but to use all of the features you need to enable it ahead of time in your settings, find Security and either Device Administrators and check Android Device Manager and this will give you the ability to remotely wipe or lock your phone if needed.

To then find your phone, just navigate to Google Play via a web browser, click the settings wheel and hit Android Device Manager. From here you can locate, ring, lock and erase your device if needed.

For Windows Phone go via and log in with your details to spot its location on a map and make it ring, display a message or erase the whole device. If you're still rocking a BlackBerry, you can use the BlackBerry Protect tool to achieve a similar thing. This needs to be preset on the BlackBerry device, however.

It is also important to let the police know as much information about your phone if it is stolen so we can identify it and get it back to you but you need to know more than the model and colour of your handset.

Each handset manufactured for use in the UK has a unique International Mobile Equipment Identity number (IMEI) hardwired into it during the manufacturing process. Knowing the IMEI will help the police identify your handset should it be stolen. And UK network operators will also prevent a stolen handset from working across their respective networks if they know its IMEI.

You can find your handset’s IMEI by:

  • typing *#06# into the keypad of your handset
  • looking inside the battery or SIM card compartment of your handset
  • looking on the side of the box, or on the associated paperwork, that you received when purchasing the handset.

Finally you need to contact your service provider to let them know, do so might prevent someone from running up a big bill that you are then liable for and the service provider can also disconnect the handset from the network and block it so it can't be used with another SIM card.