Things You Can Do Right Now to Help Locate Your Lost Tech Later

Things You Can Do Right Now to Help Locate Your Lost Tech Later

Taryn Williford
Jul 12, 2012

Right now, your phone (or tablet, or laptop) is sitting safely next to you at your desk. Or maybe you're using it to read this right now. But someday, sooner than you'd like, you may lose your beloved device. It could be in your house, or in a cab, or at the airport, and losing it will shake you to your screen-addicted core. Here are a few preventative measures you should take right now to make sure your separation from your lost tech is a brief one.

Leave ringers or alert voumes at the highest level.
If you ever misplace your phone in your house, or it slides out of your bag at the airport, you'll be thankful you heeded this advice. With the ringer at the highest volume, you have the best shot at hearing the phone ring (use a site like if you're alone) and finding your gear quickly. This could also work for any tech that has audible alerts (maybe for a low battery, if you're patient).

Get a case with bright colors.
If you drop your camera or phone in a dark place, like a cab or a bar, it will be way easier for you to spot if it's wrapped in a bright colored case. Even if you don't notice right away that your camera fell out of your purse or pocket, a bright case is more likely to catch the eye of the taxi driver or bartender who can return your stuff safely to you.

Keep your contact info in or on the device.
If your gear is out of eyeshot and earshot, you have the best chance of getting it back if your name and contact information are somewhere on the device:

• Store a photo on your camera of your contact information. (Bonus points for making it an adorable narrative series like this guy.)
• Make your phone's lock screen image a photo of your name and email address.
Put your contact information in your laptop's password hint.
• Quickly label your carry-on tech with address labels before you travel to help your stuff get returned if you leave it in a terminal or on a plane.
• Leave a text file on your USB drive named "if_found_return_to," and include your contact info in the document.

Enable GPS locating on your mobile device.
Lost phone? No problem! Look it up on a map. Apple has made this easy with Find my iPhone and Find my iPad apps. But all of the major mobile carriers will enable users to track the locations of GPS-enabled phones on family plans for an extra $5-$10 per month.

Do you have a great preventative tip for reuniting with a lost phone or other device?

(Images: 1., 2. Andrew McDonald, 3. Real Simple)

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