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How to Find a Missing Windows Phone 7 Device

written by: •edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 11/25/2010

Losing your Windows Phone doesn't mean your data will fall into the hands of criminals - you can remotely delete your handset!

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    What Happens if I Lose My Windows Phone 7 Handset?

    It’s one of those things we all fear – losing our mobile phones. No amount of insurance can soften the impact of losing not just a mobile phone but all of the vital information that we store on them.

    Certainly in the case of Windows Phone 7, you might have photos, videos and music that you have purchased, saved game progress on Xbox LIVE or even emails.

    While photos, music and videos might have been synced with your PC there is still the problem of losing emails and gaming progress when your phone goes missing. If only there was some way to find your phone.

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    Windows Phone 7 Recovery Tools

    Windows Phone 7 Recovery Tools Thanks to your Windows Phone 7 GPS functionality and your Windows Live account, there is in fact a way to find your Windows Phone when it is missing.

    These Windows Phone 7 recovery tools can be accessed via the Zune client on your PC, which must be installed in order for you to sync your phone and PC. These tools allow you to use satellite imaging to find your phone, as well as send various commands to the phone so that you might find it if it is nearby or wipe the device if it is completely lost.

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    How to Find Your Windows Phone 7

    To begin tracing your Windows Phone 7, open Zune and go to Settings > Phone > Do more on the web. Click the Show me link in the main pane and sign in to your Windows Live account. If you have a Windows Live or Hotmail email account already set up on your phone, your phone details will be displayed.

    Click the Find My Phone link to access the tools to find your lost phone on a map. Via this link you can also ring, lock or erase your device.

    Via the Map it link, you can display the location of your Windows Phone 7 device on a map. This will take around 30 seconds to detect, but if your phone is switched on you will get a satellite view of where your phone is currently located.

    If your Windows Phone 7 handset is located in the near vicinity, you can use the Ring it option to find your mobile. This sends a unique ringtone to your Windows Phone 7 device if it is in range of a GPS satellite. If the phone is nearby, you should be able to track it down once it starts ringing.

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    My Windows Phone 7 is Lost or Stolen

    If you fear the worst for your Windows Phone 7 handset, you have two further options. To prevent anyone else using the phone you can Lock it. This option also displays a “please return” notification on the screen and allows you to set a 4 digit password which you can use to then unlock your phone upon receipt.

    However, this may not be successful; in which case your only course of action will be to Erase it. This will prevent your data falling into the wrong hands, and restore the phone to its factory settings.

    While this might be the last time you ever have contact with your phone, you can be certain no one will be finding any more personal information from it.