How to Ping a Phone in 3 Easy Ways

Given how advanced mobile phones are today, you can actually use your phone to control your banking, interact with others on social media, and more. Hence, losing or misplacing it can be detrimental. One way you can find it is to learn how to ping a phone by setting its location.

If Google Find My Device has been set up on your phone and it’s still connected to the internet, simply go to to see where it is on the map.

In this post, we’ll discuss more ways on how to ping a phone’s location for free, together with its legal aspect and how you can prevent your phone from being pinged for privacy purposes.

What Does It Mean to Ping a Phone?

The term ping simply refers to checking whether or not a certain device — in this case, a mobile phone — is available or reachable. This is a feature that most operating systems support, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.

In the context of mobile phones, pinging one means not only checking whether it’s reachable or not but also involves identifying the location of the device too. This also means that your phone’s GPS data would be put to play.

When you ping a phone’s location, a certain signal is sent to your device, to which it responds by sending the information needed.

Can I Ping a Cell Phone for Its Location?

Knowing the location of your mobile phone depends on the tool or technology that you use to ping it. For example, you can use Google’s handy software called Find My Device to locate your gadget. The Apple version is called Find My works almost similarly.

Meanwhile, you can also ping your mobile phone using the command prompt on your desktop. This would indeed communicate with it, but the results that would be displayed won’t give any information about its physical location. See the difference?

How to Ping a Phone in 3 Methods

There are many reasons you’d want to ping a phone, including cases of stolen devices, tracking your kid’s location, keeping tabs on the location of criminally wanted people (this is only legally allowed for government authorities), and so on. Here are the different ways on how to ping a phone’s location for free.

Method 1: Using the Command Prompt

The command prompt on Windows and the Terminal app on macOS features the ping command, which works with the IP (Internet Protocol) address of your phone. However, this method would only work when:

  • You remember your phone’s IP address.
  • Your phone and computer are connected to the same network.

Keep in mind that you can use this method only to verify if your phone is still connected to your network, which would mean that it’s still within the premises of your current location. This is because the results on the command prompt don’t include any location information.

How to Find Your Phone’s IP Address

Note: You should accomplish this before losing your phone. Considering that everyone’s phone varies depending on the model and brand, we’ve kept the steps below more general.

Here’s what to do:

  1. First, go to your WiFi settings.
  2. To view advanced information, tap on the name (or any similar button) of the network you’re currently connected to.
  3. Next, scroll down and copy the values under the IP address section.

Usually, you may see two kinds of IP addresses: IPv4 and IPv6. IPv4 is more common and characterized by the format XXX.XXX.X.X. Meanwhile, the latter, known as IPv6, is longer and comes in this format: XXXX:XXXX:XXXX:XXXX. Any of the two would be fine to use.

On Windows

To use the command prompt on Windows, follow these steps:

  1. On your keyboard, press the Windows key + R at the same time.
  2. Enter cmd on the dialog box that appears and click OK.
Window device—run dialog box
  1. Input ping [your phone’s IP address] on the command prompt, e.g., ping
How to ping a phone—ping on command prompt

On macOS

To use the Terminal app on macOS, simply follow the steps below:

  1. Go to Applications > Utilities > Terminal.
  2. Enter ping -c [number of repetitions] [your phone’s IP address], e.g., ping -c 10

You can also omit the ping repetitions (or the number of times to ping your phone) from your prompt. This would result in continuous pinging, and you can manually put this to a halt by pressing Command + C on your keyboard at the same time.

If the ping has been processed successfully, your phone should still be somewhere near you. Otherwise, you might have to try the other methods we’ll discuss in the next sections.

Method 2: Using Google Find My Device for Android Users

Most modern Android mobile phones feature the Find My Device technology by Google. You can only leverage this feature if:

Turning On Your Location History

In case your phone is no longer online, you can still retrieve the most recent location it has appeared in if you have previously enabled the Location History feature on your Google account. Here’s how you do it.

  1. Go to your Google account.
  2. Then, select Data & Privacy on the left side of your screen.
  3. Scroll to History settings and click on Location History.
Location history on Google account
  1. Next, click Turn on.
Turn on location history

Enabling Find My Device

You can usually locate the options for this feature on the Settings app of your mobile phone. Simply follow the steps below:

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Go to Google > Find My Device.

  1. Toggle on Use Find My Device.
Find my device feature on Android

Keep in mind that the interface would vary depending on your specific phone model. If there’s no Google section in your Settings app, you can also try to go to Security > Security & Location to find this feature if they’re available.

Pinging Your Phone

Once you have turned on Find My Device, you can now access its website version where you can locate and ping your device. Here’s the detailed process to do it.

  1. Launch your browser and type find my device on the search bar.
  2. Select Find My Device – Google from the search results.
Find my device on Google search

If you have more than one mobile phone connected to your account, you can simply select the device that has been lost to display its location. Otherwise, your phone’s location would be automatically displayed on the screen. Find My Device also allows you to do the following aside from pinging your account:

  • Play a repeating sound on your lost device to make it easier for you to find.
  • Lock your device and remove your Google account to ensure your data is secured.
  • Erase your entire information from your phone.

Method 3: Using Find My for iOS Users

Apple also offers the Find My app, which lets you track not only your iPhone but also your other same-brand devices like iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, and more. Keep in mind that this would only be functional in finding your device when you have it set up way before it got lost.

Setting Up Find My on Your iPhone

To set up Find My on your iPhone, here’s what you should do:

  1. Launch the Settings app and tap on your name.
  2. Locate and tap Find My.
  3. Toggle on Find My iPhone.

Doing the steps above will let you locate your phone as long as it’s powered on and connected to the internet. You can also toggle on a few optional features like the following to ensure you get to know where your phone is when its battery is drained or somewhere without connection.

  • Find My Network: This lets you locate your phone even when it’s not connected online.
  • Send Last Location: Your iPhone’s most recent location will be shared with Apple once it hits a low battery.

Pinging Your iPhone via the Find My App

To ping your iPhone through Find My app, follow these steps:

  1. Launch the Find My app on another device of yours.
  2. Go to Devices or Items and select your iPhone.
  3. Tap on Directions to view your phone’s location in Maps.

The Find My app also lets you do other functions other than locating your device. Here are its current offers:

  • Playing a sound from your device to help you locate it faster.
  • Declaring your device as a lost item automatically locks it with a passcode to prevent unauthorized use.
  • Enable Lost Mode, allowing you to share your contact details someone can use if they find your device.
  • Erase your data from your lost device.

Pinging Your iPhone via iCloud

You can also do the pinging process on using the Find Devices feature. Here’s how:

  1. Head over to
  2. Go to Find Devices > All Devices.
  3. Click on your phone’s name for its location to be displayed on the map.
  4. If your phone is offline:
    1. You can also see its most recent location on the map.
    2. You can choose the Notify me when found option to be prompted when it’s connected to the internet again.

The process on how to ping someone’s phone via iCloud would be similar to the steps above as long as you’re included in a Family Sharing group.

Other Solutions on How to Ping a Lost Phone

If none of the how-tos we’ve discussed above work for you, you can also try the following methods:

  • Reaching out to your phone’s carrier line to help ping a phone number installed on your device.
  • Using third-party apps like Life360 and TrueCaller.
  • Referring to your location history on Google Maps to determine where your phone is likely to be found.

The Legal Aspect

Whether or not pinging a phone is legal largely boils down to the owner’s consent. If you or your friend agreed to have your cell phone pinged, it should be legal for someone or something (like a third-party tool) to ping your phone.

It’s standard practice for almost every program available for download to ask for app permissions before you can use its services. For example, Google may ask you to enable location access for its related products.

If an entity pings your phone without you giving explicit consent, it counts as illegal.

How to Stop Your Phone from Being Pinged

In cases you don’t want your phone to be pinged and tracked, here are some tips you can follow:

  • Remove or disable all apps that use your location data, such as Google Find My Device and similar third-party software.
  • Toggle off your phone’s location.
  • Turn on Airplane mode to remove every type of connection from your phone, including WiFi, cellular, and even the ping feature.

Final Thoughts

Your phone might hold your personal information, from your bank accounts to your social media profiles, and losing it can pose security and privacy risks for you. In case you can’t find your phone, just perform any of the solutions we’ve discussed on how to ping a phone in this article.

If you’re having trouble remembering where you place your phone, you might need some enhancement in the memory department. Visit these online courses at Udemy to learn how to boost your memory today!

You might also be interested in checking out these handy mobile apps to add to your phone.


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Emma Collins is a tech writer for Productivity Spot. She's been writing tech tutorials & how-to guides on Windows, Android, iOS, Social Media, Data Recovery, Cybersecurity, Gaming, and more as a tech writer for over 6 years. You can find her work on many established tech websites, including, MakeUseOf, Help Desk Geek, Online Tech Tips, Switching To Mac, HandyRecovery, Cleverfiles, and more.

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