What to do when you can’t find your Windows phone.

Recently when traveling in Eastern Europe we had a missing phone.  Panic!


Windows 10 Phone, no pin, phone is the primary device for user account authentication. That is if changing password it wants to text that phone with a code.

Initial reaction was to go online and change the Windows login password. Was able to log into Windows with that account on a Surface connected to internet using a secondary (partner’s) Win 10 phone. Ran into Catch 22 impasse as needed missing phone to verify user.


Was then able to go to My Devices and select the missing find and request “Find my phone”. It noted the hotel we stayed in the previous night. It gave an option go ring, lock or erase the phone. Had previously tried to ring the phone without success; didn’t want to do the drastic thing so elected for locking the phone. This required the creation of a new pin which was applied to the phone when in next connected to the internet.

To cut a long story short, the phone was on the floor of the bus,; found about an hour later. When connected, the Lock Screen required the new pin before it could be used. It did state a message that was entered when the pin was created.

The phone was then fully usable as previous but wouldn’t have been to anyone without the pin. It did require the pin though every time it was activated. This could be disabled or the pin removed under the phone’s Lock Screen settings.


  • When traveling use a Lock Screen Pin

  • If a phone is lost without a Lock Screen Pin, log on with the phone’s user credentials to Windows on another system and set a new Lock Screen pin ASAP.

  • Changing the User account’s password isn’t necessary.