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How to Return a Lost Phone to Its Owner

Annually millions of people around the world drop or forget their mobile phones at unknown places in unexpected circumstances. Some of them are given back to their original owners while majority of them get reused or resold in cheap prices. The loss of mobile phone is really an unfriendly experience to its original owner as it may contain private pictures, videos and other confidential information. Although, nowadays we can lock the mobiles with pass-code or screen lock pattern, but yet they are prone to hackers.


The phone you have found if unlocked, then you can easily access the contact list and other useful information about the owner. You can also simply pop up the contact list and call some family member to inform about the phone. But if you come across a phone which has security measures applied on it, it won’t be that easy to trace the actual owner.

So if you are someone who found a locked lost phone and wants to earn some good karma by returning it, here are some methods to do it.

With IMEI number in Hand

Every smartphone made in the world comes with a unique IMEI (Internet Mobile Station Equipment Identity) number. But getting access to IMEI number totally depends on the manufacturer. Some inscribe it beneath the battery while on some other devices you need to access the phone itself. But in case the phone is locked and fortunately you have IMEI number from the hardware, you can call the OEM customer service for the information of the owner. In most of the cases they will not give you the concerned information, but you can give your details to them and simply ask them to carry forward a message to the owner to pick up his/her phone from you.

When IMEI number not Available

If the phone you found is locked and you can access neither the contact lists nor the IMEI number, you can follow the below methods to reset the lock screen.

Keep the Phone Charged and Answer the Incoming Calls

You can simply wait for the owner to calls himself on the mobile for the situation or you can answer any incoming call and inform them that this particular phone is with you and request to inform the actual owner.

Android Debug Technique

This Android Debug (ADB) technique can reveal a mobile’s lock pattern by following some easy steps. This technique requires you have proper ADB installed on your PC or laptop with a USB cable in hand. If you are able to configure the ADB properly, you can now modify a file named ‘gestures.key’, which is still a security concern among Android phones. This will unlock the phone and you are now able to access the contact list.

Other Methods

There are also other old methods to beat the lock-screen pattern like tracing the finger smudges to reveal the lock pattern and exploiting the lock screen pattern that are available for various Android versions and are still unpatched. You can also find the specific model name pattern unlocks on the Google and if you are lucky you will find the answer.


Good people still exist in the world. It’s better to return the lost phone and as it will help clear the conscience and gives you motivation of good karma.

Drew is a Social Media Analyst by core strength and writing is his foremost passion. He is obsessed with books, movies, technology and entertainment.

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