Discover the Simple Steps to Recover Your Missing Samsung Device

Do you use your mobile phone to stay in touch with your loved ones, save cherished moments, and work from any location? Do you carry it around with you everywhere you go? Losing your phone or tablet can be a major setback for your personal and professional life. Fortunately, Samsung's range of smartphones comes equipped with SmartThings Find, a built-in tool that enables you to track and manage your device remotely. You can locate your lost device and protect your privacy by locking or erasing its contents.

Understanding SmartThings Find

SmartThings Find is a Samsung service accessible on any web browser. This platform is similar to Apple's Find My technology and allows you to locate, back up, and wipe your Samsung Galaxy device remotely, giving you exclusive authority over your data. SmartThings Find boasts several advanced features, such as Track Location, which automatically updates your device's whereabouts every 15 minutes. You can also trigger an alarm to locate your device instantly, lock its screen, prevent the device from being powered off, and display a personalized message for the finder to contact you.

Enabling SmartThings Find (a.k.a. Find My Mobile)

Before you can use SmartThings Find, you need to enable it on your device. If it's not activated, you won't be able to turn it on remotely and locate your missing device. Here are the steps to activate SmartThings Find:

    1. Launch Settings on your Galaxy device.

    2. Scroll down and select Security and Privacy.

    3. Choose the Find My Mobile option.

    4. Tap on Allow this Phone to be Found.

    5. Turn on Allow this Phone to be Found from this menu.

    6. For additional safety, enable other options such as Remote Unlock, Send Last Location, and Offline Finding.

    A screenshot of the SmartThings Find settingsA screenshot of the Samsung Security and Privacy settings

    Saving SmartThings Find Backup Codes

    SmartThings Find backup codes are unique 2FA codes that provide authentication when you need to manage your device remotely. It is crucial to store these codes in a secure location and regularly update your Samsung account details. If you only own one Samsung device, these backup codes may be required to authenticate your account.

    Although 2FA is a reliable method to secure your device, if you lose your phone, SmartThings Find will send a 2FA code to the missing device when attempting to erase its contents. To prevent complications, deactivate 2FA for SmartThings Find or set up backup codes that you can save. Keep these codes readily available in case you need to manage your device remotely, but do not save them on your phone for added security.

    samsung account options with the security and privacy option highlightedSamsung settings app with the samsung account options highlighted

    If you want to create backup codes for your device, start by opening the settings app on your phone. Here's what you need to do:

      Click the button with your name and profile picture to access the Samsung account options. Next, tap on the Security and privacy option from the Samsung account settings page. You will see Two-step verification, click on it, and you'll be directed to the 2FA settings page. Once you're there, tap on Backup codes to generate and view the backup codes. These codes are one-time use, so be sure to make a note of them or tap Save codes to store them as a TXT file on Google Drive or export them to a computer, laptop, or tablet. If you ever need to use these codes again, go back to this settings page and generate new ones.

      samsung two-step verification settings open with the backup codes option highlightedsamsung security and privacy settings page with the two-step verification option highlighted

      A simpler and more straightforward way to use the SmartThings Find app without disabling 2FA altogether is by utilizing these backup codes. Other methods, like an authenticator app, require you to sign up for a separate service or download a separate app.

      Locating your lost phone or tablet using SmartThings Find

      If you misplace your phone and need to locate or erase it, head over to the Smart Things Find web page and log in with your Samsung account. This portal will display a list of Samsung devices that can be located using this service.

      samsung find my mobile page with the sign in button highlighted

      If SmartThings Find successfully locates your device, it will show you the device's current location on the map with an active indicator. The map will also display additional important details such as the device's battery level, network connectivity type, and status. Please note that this feature is only available if the lost device is connected to a network and turned on.

      samsung find my mobile main page open with the phone location in the center and menu options to either side of the map

      To maximize the chances of finding your lost device, Samsung offers a remote power setting adjustment feature that can help you extend the life of your device's battery. Moreover, you can use this setting to recover access to your device if you have lost your password or PIN. Simply turn on the Remote Unlock feature when setting up your device.

      Once you have located your device using SmartThings Find, it is essential to retrieve it as soon as possible. We recommend verifying that your device is not in someone else's possession first by checking its location regularly. If the location keeps changing, your device is not in the same place you left it, and it might be a good idea to strike up a conversation with those around the location.

      samsung find my mobile page with the ring button highlighted

      If you are unable to find your device through regular tracking, Samsung's Ring feature can help you pinpoint the device's precise location. The Ring feature will make your device ring for one minute, even if it is set to silent or a low volume. Please select Ring on the SmartThings Find page and then Start in the pop-up that follows.

      find my mobile page open with a pop up confirming to start ringing the phone and the start button highlighted

      If your device has been stolen, do not confront the thief under any circumstances, as this can be very dangerous. Instead, ensure that your data is secure and contact the local law enforcement agency to report the theft and provide them with information about the device's location. To secure your phone and information after it has been stolen, back up your data to Samsung Cloud by selecting Backup on the SmartThings Find page's right menu panel.

      Choose the items you wish to secure by backup. If your phone's battery is running low or if you are uncertain about its availability or mobility, start with the essentials and return to the other things later.

      Once you have selected what to backup, activate the Backup button to commence the procedure. You may get a notification asking you to consent to the use of mobile data. Select Agree, then click Backup to begin your backup.

      the find my mobile page is open and the backup option is highlighted in the side panel menu

      That's all there is to it. Once you click Backup, if your phone is connected to a mobile network, it will back up the data you requested. This will result in a notification on your phone, informing anyone in possession of your phone that you are backing it up. The SmartThings Find page will show you when the backup was finished in a pop-up window.

      the find my mobile page is open with a pop up showing the backup options available with the back up button highlighted

      Eliminate data on a lost or stolen phone with SmartThings Find

      Storing confidential or sensitive data on a phone is always risky. If your phone is lost or stolen, you want to ensure that any information stored on it is not misused. A good way to secure that information is to remove it entirely from the device.

      the find my mobile page is open and a pop up is in the foreground confirming backup over mobile data with the I agree checkbox and the backup now button highlighted

      To remove a lost phone with SmartThings Find, log in to the service and follow these instructions:

      • Click on Erase Data on the SmartThings Find page to start wiping your phone.

      If you have activated 2FA, a message will appear asking for the code that has been sent to your device. If one of your other devices is logged into your Samsung account, you might receive the 2FA code on that device. Otherwise, you will require a backup code to authenticate your actions. To utilize a backup code, click Verify with Backup Code and type in the code in the following field.

      the find my mobile page is open with the erase data button highlighted

      Select Erase Data. At this point, you will be greeted with a pop-up asking you whether you want to perform a complete factory reset, including removing all information and files from your SD card if one is installed. Click Erase to proceed with the factory reset.

      As a last resort, erasing your phone should be avoided since it cannot be tracked or controlled after resetting. Nevertheless, if your phone is stolen, the thief will be unable to access it as the reset process requires your Google account password to be entered.

      a find my mobile two factor authentication page is open with the verify with backup code button highlighted

      Tracking your phone with Samsung Galaxy Watch

      If you have paired your Galaxy Watch with your lost phone, you can locate it using the watch but with limited functionality compared to SmartThings Find. It is a simpler tool that doesn't require a laptop to operate. In order to track your phone using your Galaxy Watch, follow these steps:

        the find my mobile page is open with a popup confirming a factory reset and the erase button highlighted

        Swipe up from the bottom of the watch face to bring up the apps drawer. Click on the SmartThings Find icon, which is a white rectangle with a magnifying glass on a blue background. Click Start to initiate the ringing of your phone.

        Protecting your privacy and data

        SmartThings Find allows for easy data backup and erasure in the event of a lost phone. It is crucial to maintain proper and frequent backups of your essential data. However, if your phone loses battery or network connection and becomes unreachable, so will your data.

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