Can I track my mobile phone when it is switched off?

Modern smartphones come packed with heavy security features that make it easy to track them in case they get lost or stolen. However, there is one small catch. In order to know the live location of your smartphone, it must be switched on and emitting a data signal. If your smartphone is switched off, locating it can get tricky. But is it still possible to track your mobile phone when it is switched off? Here are a few things you can try.

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Track your mobile phone using IMEI

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Before location services made their way to mobile phones, the only way you could track your device was through its IMEI number. The IMEI number is unique to your phone and is used to establish contact with the nearest cell tower. In case you lose your phone, the first thing you should do is file an FIR at your nearest police station and let the police track your phone down. However, tracking a phone through its IMEI number only works if the phone is able to make contact with a cell tower. As soon as a call is made from the device, its exact location can be triangulated using the cell tower it established contact with. 

Tracking a phone using the IMEI number comes in useful when the device isn’t connected to the Internet. Since you won’t be able to access the location history of the device, the only way to track it is by intercepting its cellular signal. If your phone is switched off, you won’t be able to track it using IMEI. What you can do is block the phone and render it useless, in case it falls into malicious hands. Here’s how you can block your phone from the CEIR portal using its IMEI number.

Track your phone using Find My Device

Find My Device

If you lost your phone and aren’t able to ring it because it is switched off, you can still find its last location. Google’s Find My Device logs the location of your device as long as it is connected to the Internet. This service comes in handy when your lost phone dies out due to battery drainage. Tracking its last known location will still lead you to it. All you need to do is visit Google’s Find My Device webpage and log in using your Google account. If your phone is active you will be able to view its live location. If it is switched off, you can still view its last recorded location. Find My Device also gives you the option to remotely erase all data on your device.

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This is how you can track your mobile phone if it’s switched off. If you lost a regular feature phone, it can only be tracked using the IMEI number. Lost your TWS headset? Airpods can easily be tracked using Apple’s Find My service, while lost Galaxy Buds can be recovered by tracking their location through Samsung’s ‘Galaxy Wearable’ app.

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