I got 2 questions regarding my Samsung Galaxy S7-

Q1) If I drain the battery so its dead and remove the simcard, can it's location be tracked down? I'm asking about a dead battery vs removing the battery since you can't remove a Samsung Galaxy S7 battery without special tools.

Q2) Does the Samsung Galaxy S7 have some sort of backup battery function where the phone will shut off before it completely drains? Or a second battery or way for your phone to be tracked even with a dead battery.

Ex: If your cell phone is on and you drive somewhere and lost your phone, it should be traceable. But if your battery is dead and you remove the simcard, my understanding is it CANNOT be traced and will only show the last point in which the phone was on or before the battery was dead.... but again, I don't know for sure.


According to some article I googled, it says it can't.

Can you track a cell phone with a dead battery? Unfortunately a phone with a dead battery will not respond to attempts to locate it via GPS. Lookout Mobile' automatically records your android phone's last known location just before the battery runs dead

2 Answers 2


In modern phones, neither the cellular radio (used in triangulation tracking) nor the GPS are powered when a device is truly powered down and functioning normally. Please note that standby is different than powered down and just tapping the power button does not turn off the radios, as I'm sure you know. It isn't necessary to drain the battery.

Now if we need to talk about extremes, there are ways in which government agencies and law enforcement have been able to allegedly circumvent this limitation. The NSA reportedly did it in Iraq in 2004 and while they aren't keen on divulging their specific methods, it is likely they did it using malware to compromise the devices remotely since they wouldn't have had physical access to the devices. The FBI has also been reported to to do this on a smaller scale.

Physically compromised devices also allow direct access to system resources and potentially even self contained power. This strains credibility though so I won't go in to much detail, but self-contained tracking devices are not a new technology.

Want to fool them all? Get a Mylar bag or two and put the phone in them. It's a lot easier and would prevent all of the above even if you are on the KGB's most wanted list!


There's a few different definition of dead battery.

Modern Lithium battery is never fully drained because doing that will damage the lithium chemistry. Instead a monitoring circuitry inside the battery will signal the device to shut down before the battery is fully exhausted and will prevent the device from turning on again.

Also, many devices has a secondary battery used to keep the real time clocks and the circuits monitoring the power button running even when the main battery is dislodged. This battery is usually not powerful enough to power the radio or the GPS circuitry though.

  • 2
    Do modern mobile phones actually have a secondary battery? The main battery is so rarely removed that I wouldn't think it would be a problem to use only it. After all, if the main battery is too weak to power the main CPU, it can still safely power the RTC.
    – forest
    May 28, 2019 at 1:39

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