Updated date:

How To NOT Lose Your Cell Phone

Ever Lost Your Cell Phone? - Fess up!

Oh Where, Oh Where Has My Cell Phone Gone?

"Honey, sweetie-pie," I typed, sending my husband a gooey instant message while he was at work. "Sorry to bother you, but could you call me?"

I didn't have to explain why; we'd been through this umpteen times before. Last time he'd called my cell phone for me, it rang ... in my back pocket. Yes, I am a doofus.

But, aw, come on, you know you've done it. Maybe your phone wasn't "lost" in your back pocket, but if you're a normal human being with a mobile you just can't live without, you must have misplaced it at least a time or two, yes?

If so, you know the feeling -- that moment of panic when the phone is not right where it's supposed to be ... which may be any of seventeen places.

Then, when you recover your breath, you break out in a cold sweat. You panic and start rummaging through your underwear drawer, through the laundry basket, the freezer. Your house is a wreck, and then you gasp: *Gasp!* You used your cell on the city bus! Or was it in Wal-Mart? At the dentist's office?

I've been one of the lucky ones, though, always finding my missing mobile within an hour or two and usually in ridiculous places (even once in my sock ... that I was wearing at the time), but my mother wasn't so lucky. She must have dropped it at the Senior Center one day, never to be found again. So I got her a lanyard (her choice of accessory) to wear the phone around her neck. Then, once we'd gotten her a new one and I reprogrammed all of the numbers we could remember and those I could easily look up, I decided to put together this page to offer some suggestions to the rest of the wireless phone-addicted world.

The following are some tips, stories, funnies and handy accessories, as well as what to do if, by chance, your phone joins the millions of other wayward gadgets in the lost-but-never-found piles of the world.


A Simple Way to Keep Track: A comfortable and convenient lanyard

This is a very cheap way to save yourself a lot more money and hassle. My elderly mom used a lanyard just like this, to keep her phone literally at hand all the time. This may not be the best option for someone who's on the go a lot -- to have a phone hanging around your neck -- but for someone like my mom, who was very sedentary and also quite forgetful, this was the perfect solution.

Top 10 Worst Places to Lose Your Cell Phone

  • Top 10 Worst Places To Lose Your Cell Phone
    #10: Your Mother In-Law's House "Yeah, it sucks that you have to go back there and endure another long conversation about when you are going to give her those grandchildren...."
What to do if you lose your your cell phone

What to do if you lose your your cell phone

What To Do If You DO Lose Your Phone

Several steps to take to try to secure and, hopefuly, find it....

1. First things first: THINK. Where did you have your phone last? If it was in your house and you haven't left, well, nothing to worry about, unless maybe your dog looks like he has indigestion or your toddler just flushed the toilet. Otherwise, take a deep breath and look around. Better yet, if you think the phone was on, call it from your land line or have someone call your cell so you can follow that ring tone or happy little song to the source.

Don't have a land line? Not at home and don't have access to a tele but you do have a computer? Then try this: Go to Where's My Cell Phone? .com a free service by iGoogle. Simply enter your number and listen for a ring. Cool!

2. If that doesn't work, well, then you should call your provider, so some less-than-ethical doobie doesn't run up your bill calling all his (or her) buddies all over the globe. Let your provider know you can't find your phone, but tell them not to cancel your service just yet. Have them deactivate your phone while you continue your search.

Here are the numbers of some common wireless providers:

  • AT&T: (800) 331-0500
  • Verizon Wireless: (800) 922-0204
  • Sprint Nextel (888) 211-4727
  • T-Mobile: (877) 453-1304

3. Now that your phone can't be used, think again. Where have you been since you last saw or used it? Call those places or businesses where your cell might be and ask if it's in their lost-and-found or, if you can give them a specific location where you sat or shopped, perhaps a nice employee or manager might take a look for you.

4. If your phone still hasn't turned up, call your provider back and ask if there is any way, pretty please, that you can get a free replacement. Or perhaps you have insurance that will cover at least part of the new one. If not, don't sink a lot of money in a new phone, because your old beloved might still turn up somewhere (like in that black hole you call a purse perhaps).

5. If you didn't have it before, now's a good time to sign up for insurance on your phone. My experience with Verizon is that it costs $5 per month, and that insurance will cover the cost of a replacement if yours is lost or damaged.

The photo above is in the public domain.

Can You Imagine?

You're away on vacation, oblivious to the fact that your cell phone back home has been stolen, and the thief has run up a $26,000 bill!

This really did happen to Wendy Nguyen. Read the story and learn the outcome in Customers Pay For Lost Cell Calls.

In Related News.... - Some useful and interesting related links

  • Don't Lose That Number (Or Phone)
    An article from the Minnesota Fantasy Legislature Commissioner's Blog, including tales of lost cell phones and proposed legislation to protect customers.
  • TrackItBack
    A lost and found recovery service. I have no personal experience with this service, but it may be something to consider. The company claims to have returned over 85% of their customers' lost mobile devices, keys, luggage, and more, and that they usua
  • "Find My Cell Phone" ideas on WhyNot.net
    Some creative suggestions from cell phone users, including this one: "I'd like to be able to log into my Verizon account online and enter a password. Then my phone will automatically ring (possibly gradually getting louder) until I can find it. It wo

Just in Case

Don't lose all those numbers you once had at your fingertips.

Read Lost Cell Phone? Your Carrier Has Your Backup from The Wall Street Journal's "The Mossberg Solution."

Tips For Keeping Track Of Your Cell Phone

  • Keep your car keys next to your phone as it's charging.
  • Place your purse or wallet next to it and the charger.
  • Be consistent: Always put your phone in the same place in the house.
  • Attach it to your person at all times (ie. with a hip belt case) ... except maybe when you're in the shower or in bed


Cell phone holders

Cell phone holders

Ways To Keep Your Phone Attached

To you, that is....

The following are some handy accessories -- cases, arm and wrist bands, and lanyards -- for keeping your phone from wandering off.

Many of these products are also handy for attaching other gadgets -- like iPods, MP3 players and digital cameras -- to your personal person.

I'm trying to decide which type of case is right for me. Or maybe I'll just need more than one....

How About a Genuine Leather Cell Phone and Tool Holder - Hang, strap or clip it on. (Just don't forget to put your phone IN it.)

You can hang, strap or clip this cell phone, tool and accessory holder on work belts, suspenders, pants, etc. This is my husband's preferred way to keep his phone attached and its whereabouts known at all times (other than when he's sleeping, in which case it's right on the nightstand, every night).

Other Similar Accessories for Encasing and Protecting your Phone

A Waterproof Case

Protect your phone (or camera and other items weighing up to 11 ounces) from water, dirt , dust and more and keep them afloat in this 'jellyfish" case, which is airtight down to 5ft. in submersion.

A Wristlet Case for Your Phone

This wrist wallet comes in a variety of colors and has a snap closure and removable strap. The genuine leather case measures 5 inches long x 1.25 inches thick x 3.75 inches wide, with 2 interior zipper pocket, 6 card slots and center cell phone slot. You can carry your iPhone, Blackberry, HTC or most any cell phone, so this is one of those handy cases that can double as your wallet if you don't carry a lot of cards or change.

A Neoprene Armband Case for Active People - for cell phones, iPODS, & MP3 players

Other Accessories for keeping your phone hanging around

You can use a lanyard like this (which comes in black and red too) to carry any number of valuables, including your phone, camera, keys and more, so you can grab and use them quickly and easily without worrying that they might slip out of your hands or pocket.

Just a few dollars can help you save hundreds by keeping your phone or other accessories secure.


© 2009 Deb Kingsbury

Where Do You Keep Your Cell Phone? - Comments are welcome.

mobilitydefenderdotcom on July 08, 2014:

A great trick for locating a lost Android phone (even if it's on silent mode) is to create a Google account beforehand and enable Device Manager on your phone. If it isn't already on your phone, it's availablele for download in the Play Store. When the phone is lost, sign onto your Google account on your computer and use the Device Manager to make you phone ring or display a message on the screen. Your can also remote lock it or wipe all the data from the phone.

asereht1970 from Philippines on June 19, 2014:

In my pocket or near the bed. I don't put it inside my bag for fear of being snatched.

QuizSquid on February 21, 2014:

In my left front pocket, the glass turned toward my leg. Nothing else goes in that pocket (except my hand on occasion).

WebMarketingPro on February 12, 2014:

Mine is "just" a safety phone from Tracfone and I don't keep it with me at all times. This means that sometimes I really lose track of it and sometimes it can take a week or two to find it again. Last time, it was in the very back of my night stand drawer.

Lynn Klobuchar on January 09, 2014:

In my pocket

Tom Christen from Switzerland/Ecuador on July 10, 2013:

The worst things happened to my Cell Phones was falling down in the toilet and when I was cooking falling down in the hot tomato sauce, no worries it was not the same cell phone;)....

anonymous on May 13, 2013:

Husband lost his cell phone once, and a guy at the motel we had checked out of found it and called MY cell phone. He left it for us at the front desk. Small acts of kindness go far these days..

Cynthia Haltom from Diamondhead on May 11, 2013:

I worst thing I did with my phone was to wash it in the washing machine. It still worked afterwards.

mariacarbonara on May 05, 2013:

We were on the beach once and spotted something sticking out of the sand. It was someones phone. We picked it up and search through the contacts. The one almost everyone has is mom or dad. We found mom and phoned the number. Apparently her daughter had been on the beach with friends the previous day and had lost her phone and didnt know where. The came and picked it up the next day!

harrisarshad76 on March 26, 2013:

nice lens good information

harrisarshad76 on March 26, 2013:

nice great accessories

top10deals on March 10, 2013:

I always keep in it in the same pocket when go out. And keep it on the same desk when at home.

uneasywriter lm on March 05, 2013:

I have lost 3 in the last two years... Gone for good.

angharad on February 07, 2013:

I always keep it on a shelf of one of the bookcases in my office, and when I leave the house it's in a specific zippered pocket of my purse. But I've still misplaced it and had to ask my husband to call it. Under the cat! Now that's a good possibility. :)

KateAdamsUSA on January 31, 2013:

great lens. dropped mine in the waters at Sharks Cove over the summer, it was not fun. at least i found it but was ruined. Oh well, I am thankful for it because I found the perfect phone for me afterwards, always a silver lining.

TeacherSerenia on January 19, 2013:

I dont own a cell phone, but I gotta say - this lens was hilarious. I certainly was giggling. I mean losing your phone when its in your back pocket. Shaking my head.

jimconrad2 on November 24, 2012:

Lost one off a roller coaster. Glad it was a tracfone.

Takkhis on November 02, 2012:

Nice lens. Well i keep my phone in my pant's pocket, i have never lost it before.

hntrssthmpsn on September 01, 2012:

I'm terrible about keeping track of my cell. I've mastered the art of not losing my keys or purse, but my cell keeps tricking me. It rings, I wander around the house talking on it, and the next thing I know it's vanished. My trick: I leave the alarm set to go off at 6am, on the loudest, most annoying setting. Worst comes to worse, I'll find it first thing in the morning, and hopefully the unpleasant awakening will help me remember to put it somewhere sane next time.

kellypruitt on August 09, 2012:

From time to time if found my cell phone at the bottom of my purse and since my purse is so big I don't see it unless someone calls and it lights up!

OrlandoTipster on July 23, 2012:

In my pocket when out and about

kimbesa from USA on June 20, 2012:

In or next to my purse, except when it's charging...thanks! I need these tips for staying attached to it!

writerkath on June 17, 2012:

I keep my cell phone at home - no more landline, so it doubles as my home phone. I don't really like carrying it. Too easy to lose! :)

MindPowerProofs1 on April 02, 2012:

In my pocket otherwise I can't hear it

top101 on March 10, 2012:

Haha I enjoyed this lens. I'm always losing my cell phone and it drives my friends crazy.

C A Chancellor from US/TN on February 04, 2012:

I usually keep my phone in my purse. My Mom is terrible about misplacing her phone inside the house or car! We tried the lanyard but she said it irritated her neck, so we just call the phone to locate it. :-)

jeremykim2011 on February 01, 2012:

I keep my cellphone usually in my pocket.

gosssysas on January 15, 2012:

nice lens actually i found my cell phone

anonymous on December 11, 2011:

Fun lens. Isn't it frustrating when you lose your cell and ask someone to call it and then remember you had the volume on silent mode?

nerdterd28 on November 27, 2011:

hhahaha ive lost my phone more than angelina jolie has adopted a baby

Ronlove LM on November 18, 2011:

Good advice!

jseven lm on October 31, 2011:

Excellent advice for a common problem!

pawpaw911 on October 31, 2011:

Great lens. Like they say, necessity is the mother of invention. Great common sense tips. Thanks.

redleafloans on October 25, 2011:

Awesome tips. So far I haven't lost a cellular phone yet. I hope I won't lose it anytime soon. Lol.. I had fun reading your lens. Keep it up..:)

Ronald Tucker from Louisville, Kentucky on October 17, 2011:

The Cellet Small Soft Cell Phone Univesal/Holster/Pouch/Case with Swivel belt clip is just what I need!

E L Seaton from Virginia on October 10, 2011:

Thanks for helping keep cell phone relationships intact longer. Great lens squiddly!

cocktailsexaminer on August 30, 2011:

There is also a website where you can enter your cell phone number and it will dial it for you - I've certainly found it useful!

Joan Haines on August 17, 2011:

Great to be assured I'm not the only cell phone losing dufus around.

GrinningFool on August 11, 2011:

I like it! My wife and I lose our phones all the time! All the time! Glad we are not alone!

anonymous on July 22, 2011:

Great lens info! I always lose my phone! And the tv remote. Reverse Cell Phone Lookup

Loraine Brummer from Hartington, Nebraska on July 20, 2011:

Losing my phone hasn't been my problem, taking it for a swim was. I found this lens very interesting.

zblessedlife lm on July 19, 2011:

glued to my desk!!!! it's like it has natural hiding abilities lol!!!

pico88 on June 01, 2011:

last week i almost lost my cellphones, good tips

dellgirl on May 30, 2011:

I like your lens a lot. Itâs very helpful, thanks for sharing. I've done the same as CathyLou a few times but that's all. mr-dellgirl is the cell phone looser around here.

Wednesday-Elf from Savannah, Georgia on May 06, 2011:

Just had to read this because my daughter lost her cell phone while out running errands last month and I loaned her mine until she could get a new one. Yes, she looked - everywhere - it's gone forever! Luckily it was a prepaid phone with only 5 days left before it expired, so she wasn't out much, except for the extra minutes she had paid for. :) Learned her lesson. Now she has a case for her 'new' cell phone.

mattseefood lm on April 25, 2011:

Great tips! I always seem to lose my cellphone only to find out that it's still here in my pocket :)

squidootime on April 14, 2011:

Nice topic - well put across.

Cheers

CathyLou LM on April 08, 2011:

I haven't lost my current phone yet... though I did think I'd lost it only to discover it was in my hand, does that count? :)

exposure on April 04, 2011:

Excellent.

WirelessOEMShop.com

anonymous on April 02, 2011:

I enjoyed reading this lens. Very informative! :)

CruiseReady from East Central Florida on March 19, 2011:

I once left mine on a ship... realized it halfway across the gangplank as we disembarked on the final day... guess what? Once you slide your cruise card into the reader that final time, you can't go back! Never got that phone back.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on March 10, 2011:

My husband's phone has been pickpocketed several times and I am sure the pickpockets were disappointed as we have cheap phones. Luckily where we are, you only load so much each time so it is not a big problem and you can claim your number back as often they just throw the sim card so as not to be traced. It is still a hassle.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on March 10, 2011:

My husband's phone has been pickpocketed several times and I am sure the pickpockets were disappointed as we have cheap phones. Luckily where we are, you only load so much each time so it is not a big problem and you can claim your number back as often they just throw the sim card so as not to be traced. It is still a hassle.

evitaa on February 27, 2011:

Excellent lens. :-))

DelightfulDanie on February 20, 2011:

I don't have a cellphone but I enjoyed this lens!

DelightfulDanie on February 20, 2011:

I don't have a cellphone but I enjoyed this lens!

anonymous on February 06, 2011:

Great idea for a lens,and some good tips here! Blessed by a Squidoo Angelon 4/6/2011.

Have a great day!

LouisaDembul on January 25, 2011:

This lens is about me! I should have it taped to my forehead not to loose it! I have trained my children to look for it!

yourgoldenfuture on January 07, 2011:

everywhere you did not even imagine it could be

anonymous on January 01, 2011:

in the belt clip

Pmona LM on December 27, 2010:

I normally keep mine in my back pocket. But, like you, I've misplaced it many times before. I've always misplaced it at home, fortunately, and have found it just about every place imaginable. I'm so scattered!

mannasugar on December 24, 2010:

In my pocket...

luecjennifer on December 22, 2010:

on the desk, in the pocket

VarietyWriter2 on December 07, 2010:

The one and only time I put my cell phone in my back pocket... I forgot about it when I went to the bathroom. Guess where the cell phone ended up? Yup, you guessed it... in the toilet!

Sycro on November 29, 2010:

Hey, just stopping by to say really nice lense about cell phones. I had some problems with numbers calling me that i didn't recognise, so i bought phone number scan and they solved all my problems. Now i know exactly who is calling!Check it out.

Sycro on November 29, 2010:

great lense

PopStarPeaches on November 03, 2010:

Very nice tips and how not to lose your cellphone!

myraggededge on November 02, 2010:

Love this! My son recently lost his admittedly old and scabby cellphone. He thought it was over the playpark. I immediately phoned it and left a message asking whoever found it to drop it back to us or we'd pick it up. Nothing. We phoned a few times but it clicked off immediately. Then one day I made a big effort to get the accumulated laundry done and there it was, at the bottom of the basket, in the pocket of a pair of jeans. Completely dead, of course. The bit I am ashamed of is that it took 3 weeks to find it. D'you see how I truly hate housework? LOL!

lovelylashes on November 01, 2010:

What an interesting and creative lens! Cool!

Mrmakingusmile LM on October 20, 2010:

You have a very nice collection of lenses. Thank you for making me smile.

kasumi tendou on October 20, 2010:

I usually keep my cell phone in my pocket and just hope to remember to take it out when I get home. One time I forgot and washed it in the washing machine.

Jack on October 19, 2010:

My last cell phone got dropped and that ruined it. I keep my new phone in a case to protect it.

Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on October 06, 2010:

I actually don't use a cell phone very much, but when I carry it, I keep it in a designated compartment on the front of my purse. Otherwise, I'd have to use one of the solutions you recommended above. I kind of like that red armband case. SquidAngel blessings for all the useful information, well presented!

Petalm on October 03, 2010:

Lost it, killed it, dropped it from a few stories high, ran it over, you name it I've ruined and lost phones in ways people only dream of!

KokoTravel on October 03, 2010:

I have a holder for my present cell phone but I really would like to see the iphone get to be a little bigger or the ipad capable of being a phone. That's when I think I may have problems misplacing my phone... anyone have ideas to keep an iphone from being forgotten?

howdoyouspellst on September 30, 2010:

Great lens!! I'll check here next time I lose my phone... Maybe these ideas will help!

hayleylou lm on September 18, 2010:

I am always losing my phone - usually ringing it helps, except for the time when I washed a pair of jeans with my phone still in the pocket! Thumbs up, for a fun lens :)

thewirelesstech on September 15, 2010:

I try and keep my personal phone in my pocket and my work blackberry in its holster. But with the personal smart phone I do have to remind myself to STICK it into my pocket when I am playing around with the screen. I have damn near left it on the train. There is an app called Mobile Defense, but it is in beta and they aren't taking new testers right now, darn it.

Ellen Brundige from California on September 15, 2010:

Aww. The lens photo looks like a cellphone I lost about 5 years ago. It was a little blue motorola, the blobby kind that preceded the flat things they've got now, and it looked JUST LIKE my Prius.

I lost it and found it about 4 times, and it finally disappeared out of the car. My favorite place to lose it was the grocery store. It kept crawling out of my purse.

svarun on September 15, 2010:

You should attach your cell pohone to elastic band :-)

Nightowl John on September 14, 2010:

I'm pretty good at keeping track of my phone, but my wife....well, that's another story. Fortunately, between the two of us and over a dozen years of cell phones, only one has gone missing forever. That happened at Disneyland! And your advice about calling the carrier is right on! Great lens.

Michelle Collins from Florida on September 12, 2010:

I have lost my phone so many times I cant count anymore! Lost one never found it!

Drives my husband nuts :)

anonymous on March 04, 2010:

my boyfriend is always losing his cellphone and keys haha

anonymous on February 19, 2010:

I like that you think. Thank you for share very much.

anonymous on February 14, 2010:

Have you heard of the findini? It holds cell phones, ipods (that you can have charging) right beside your bed at night--also holds eyeglasses. www.thefindini.com

Lee Hansen from Vermont on January 22, 2010:

I have a strap plus a holster. Works well, but I really like that neoprene wrist/arm band for my husband. He carries his phone is a pocket and constantly puts it down around the house or office, then can't find it. Cool lens - and really practical!

Steven Cousley from Young, NSW, Australia on January 10, 2010:

Now I have to get my kids to check this lens.

Great job :)

Cynthia Arre from Quezon City on December 31, 2009:

I enjoyed reading this a lot and I especially like that armband thingy you featured (I didn't know such things existed). I have been known to misplace my phone quite often so I definitely need these tips, thank you for sharing them! (:

divacratus 2 on December 22, 2009:

Thankfully I haven't lost my cell phone till now! I take my cellphone everywhere I go!

puzzlerpaige on November 11, 2009:

I've found so many cell phones I've lost count. All rightfully returned.

This lens is extremely helpful for those feeling panicked about what to do.

aDeepBreath on November 02, 2009:

I always rely on calling my cell phone to find it. I know have a special pocket in my purse just for my cell phone - that has been really helpful. My brother in law just lost his in a pile of leaves that he just raked in the yard that day. It took a couple hours and lots of calling to find that one! Great lens and thanks for the igoogle calling service - did not know that was available. Also, I appreciate you giving me some tips on improving my cookie lens!

Jody

Addy Bell on October 02, 2009:

It's good to know that if I lose my phone, the phone company still has my data.

OK, it's also a little creepy. But the convenience factor is worth it. Thanks!

missbat on September 16, 2009:

My cousins are always losing their cells. I think I will send them the link to this lens as a hint. You've got some perfect tips, great job!

FunGifts4All on September 13, 2009:

Nice lens and great tips.

Susanna Duffy from Melbourne Australia on September 06, 2009:

Oh the stories I could tell you! Blessed by an angel today (squidoo.com/september-blessings )

worldbuilder lm on August 13, 2009:

I would have to go into mourning if I lost my BlackBerry. I've been lucky and have never lost my cell phone for more than a few minutes, thank God. However, I do regularly lose my mind...

paulmattus on August 12, 2009:

Hello here, I've just ordered cell phone lanyard from Mother Ducker. They are looking good and stylish and the main thing is: it will help me not to lose my cell phone again.

Just bought this one: http://motherducker.us/catalog/product_info.php?cP...

I found image of it here at Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/motherducker/38128464...

That's my favourite but there are many more that looks really good. Tough job to choose one.

Hope this tip will help someone.

anonymous on August 07, 2009:

I've just bought trackit stickers and saved where's my cell.com to my favourites. This is after losing my phone 5 times in 3 years. 2 have come back to me. The rest never to be seen again.

anonymous on August 06, 2009:

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Margaret

http://bluetoothspeakerphone.net

Louise0711 on July 20, 2009:

I am always losing things including my phone. Great lens. I will try to take on board some of the tips!

Related Articles