How to Locate a Cell Phone for Free

By Nicolas Arteaga

Many of us have lost our cellular phones at one time or another. Fortunately cellular phones are increasingly being with built with GPS capabilities, which can enable you to locate your phone when it's gone missing. The Global Positioning System (GPS) works by emitting a series of radio signal that receivers then pick up. Although GPS is primarily intended to be used for emergency or safety reasons, it's possible to take advantage of GPS capabilities to locate your lost or stolen phone for free.

Things You'll Need

  • GPS tracking software

Step 1

Call your cell phone from your land line or another person's cell phone. Listen for the ring. This will only work if your cell phone is on and nearby. You can also have another party dial your cell phone number if you're not near where you think you left it. Look in your local lost and found or police station if you misplaced your phone in a public place.

Step 2

Contact your phone provider and ask if your phone has a GPS tracking system. Most cell phones have GPS capabilities but because GPS is generally meant to be used for emergency purposes it may not be properly enabled. Your phone may be set to emergency GPS, which will allow your phone to be traceable only during an emergency 911 call, or to constant GPS. The GPS works by receiving signals from satellites and using those signals to calculate its precise position on the earth.

Step 3

Use free GPS tracking software such as InstaMapper or Mologogo that is compatible with your phone. You will need to register your phone with the software. When you download tracking software, the website will have a section containing the types of phones that are compatible with the software (see Resources). You can also enable tracking software through your phone provider for a fee.

Step 4

Log in to your GPS software, if GPS is enabled on your phone. A map with a blinking dot appears, giving you a general idea to where your phone is located.

Tips & Warnings

  • Ask your phone provider about fees prior to using GPS tracing.