An unprepared owner of a missing cellphone should retrace his steps, attempt to call or text his phone from another phone or through an Internet application and then contact his service provider. A prepared owner of a missing cellphone should enable his phone retrieval process immediately.
The most effective methods for finding a lost phone involve calling the phone and listening for its ringing or speaking to anyone who answers it, promising a reward to the person who finds it, physically retracing the activities done before and calling the service provider to see if they have any method of tracking the phone.
Owners of smartphones can use cellphone applications to locate lost phones. Apple iPhones have an application built into them called Find My iPhone. If the iPhone is powered on, the owner can use a computer or another iPhone to have their phone play a sound, send a message or erase the data on the phone. This feature does not have to be preconfigured.
Android smartphones have a number of ways to track them if they have become lost. The vast majority require a Google account be activated on the missing cellphone. Most android tracking methods must be configured before the phone is lost. Android Lost can be remotely installed and registered, and Google Maps' location history can be used even if the phone is turned off.