How to Locate a Hidden or Lost Bluetooth Device

ByLance T. Lee

May 7, 2022

If you think there’s a Bluetooth device hidden in your house, apartment, or office, or if you’ve just lost a Bluetooth-enabled device, there’s an easy way to track down its physical location through an app on iPhone and Android. Here’s how.

The Bluetooth beacon

All devices with Bluetooth operating in an enabled state emit a constant signal that can be picked up by other Bluetooth-enabled devices. This is how they send data wirelessly and also how devices connect to each other.

Using this property of Bluetooth, an app called Wunderfind for iPhone or Android can help you physically locate a lost, hidden, or unknown Bluetooth device using your smartphone. This includes PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones, Bluetooth headphones, Airpods, smartwatches, smart home devices, and more. However, to locate any of these devices via Bluetooth signals, they must be turned on with Bluetooth enabled.

Wunderfind is free to use without any annoying ads, and the Pro version which offers additional features is currently a reasonable $5 in-app purchase (as of May 2022). There are other Bluetooth tracking apps, but we found that some of them had predatory app subscriptions or intrusive ads. Wunderfind currently has none of these issues. Here’s how to use it.

RELATED: What is ELK-BLEDOM on my Bluetooth list?

How to Locate a Hidden or Lost Bluetooth Device with WunderFind

To find an active Bluetooth device, first make sure Bluetooth is enabled on your smartphone. Then download Wunderfind for your iPhone or Android device and launch the app. Immediately, you’ll see a list of Bluetooth devices that your smartphone has detected using its built-in Bluetooth radio.

Next to each device, you will notice an estimated distance between your smartphone’s current location and the hidden or missing Bluetooth device. This number changes dynamically as you move. To get more details about the signal strength, tap one of the items in the list.

Estimate the distance to ELK-BLEDOM with Wunderfind.

After tapping on an item, you will see a screen asking you to move around while holding your smartphone and watching the signal strength of the targeted Bluetooth device change.

Wunderfind Bluetooth signal strength screen.

As you get closer to the target device, the signal strength approaches 100%. As you move away from the target device, the signal strength approaches 0%. Using this reading, you can move through your space until the signal strength cannot increase any further. If the device is lost and is in your home or office, it will be nearby.

If the device is unknown and you cannot find it, it may be in someone else’s house, office or apartment. Or it could be deliberately hidden somewhere nearby. It’s worth nothing that most hidden surveillance cameras use Wi-Fi and not Bluetooth to communicate, because Bluetooth usually has a short wireless range and someone would have to be nearby to receive the data. (You can’t detect Wi-Fi cameras only with Wunderfind, but there are other methods that will help you.)

In the past, we’ve seen a mysterious Bluetooth device called “ELK-BLEDOM” in our Bluetooth listings and found it to be a neighbour’s LED light strip, so don’t assume you’re being spied on if you can’t find the unknown device in your home or office – most likely you’re picking up a neighbor’s Bluetooth device which is sending spurious signals in your direction. Good luck and stay safe out there!


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