How To Find A Lost Drone | 6 Different Ways Explained

how to find a lost drone

No matter if you are a casual, hobbyist drone flyer or a full-blown professional, the thought of your drone not responding to your commands, flying away into the abyss and perhaps crash landing into the woods or anywhere out of sight is a night time, and you can fly your drone in night time also.   So, that is why in this article, we are going to tackle the question “how to find a lost drone”. 

Before talking about other things, without beating around the bush, let me answer the main question.

How To Find A Lost Drone

If you look at the stats, well, they are not very good. Most people do not end up finding their drones and even if they do, its almost always destroyed. Surprisingly, people who got FPV goggle for drone navigation have a significant change in recovering their drone. With that said, do not lose hope as there are somethings that you can do.

Use a GPS Tracker

Now, I am going to assume for this point that your drone either came equipped with a GPS tracker or you got one installed after purchasing it. If you did not, well, too bad. If you did, the GPS tracker should help you in finding your drones by providing you with important information like the current, approximate position of your drone and the longitude and latitude of the location which will help you in narrowing it down and in return, increasing your chances of finding your drone

Getting a Black Box

Yep, just like the one you find in Airplanes. You can get a Black Box of your drone and it works almost exactly in the same manner. It will provide you with GPS and flight-related data which you will be able to access using your computer. It will provide you with information like the last known location and the flight plan which will prove to be very useful in your search.

Find my Drone App

If the mishap has happened fairly recently, using this smartphone app, you can pinpoint the position of your drone. Just, get there before someone else picks it up.

Okay, so, what if you have no GPS Tracker, No app, nothing as such. What can you do in a situation like that? Well, again, do not lose hope, keep your cool. Try doing the following:

Keep the remote connected

The reason why you should keep your remote connected are several… and I will mention all of them. If, for example, you lose your drone due to weather condition, maybe its windy, maybe it is foggy. Turning off the remote is something you should absolutely avoid as if your drone is still in the air, it is going to come crashing down and probably break so you do not want that happening.

how to find a lost drone

The remote, even if the drone runs out of battery, is a great tool that will help you track down where your drone was last seen. Keep it connected for as long as possible, use it every now and then. Drones make noise, try flying it up slowly, etc..

Get a group together

I am gonna assume you are not an extreme introvert and have a couple of friends that can help you find your drone. Even if you don’t, the drone community is very empathetic to situations like these and I am sure they will help you out in your search for your drone (and friends).

Ask them to flyover their drones over the last known area where you lost your drone and around it and see if you see any clues.

Do not walk around blindly

Time is very important, you do not want to waste it. So, when you are looking for your drone, make sure you do it in a methodical way. By doing so, you will not look for your drone in an area that you have already searched.

If you get your hands on a couple of maps of the region, you and your friends and divide areas of search, increasing the area searched and reducing the time wasted. Also, using a map in this day-and-age is gonna look so cool.


A lot of things can go wrong. Do not beat yourself over it. Drones are, at the end of the day, electronic items and as electronic items go, they sometimes malfunction. There can be a host of reasons:

  • Malfunction.
  • Lost of connection.
  • Hitting something solid like a tree, hill, rock or bird (unlikely but it happens).
  • Heavy rain or winds.
  • Low Battery.

And many more. I could go on but you get it. Besides, this article is about finding, not determining what went wrong.

If nothing else works, if you have tried everything, you can seek out the help of the people. Inform the localities of the nearest place about the mishappening and ask them to inform you if they see anything. Go online and tell your followers, friends about it, write a post in drone communities and let them know and post up signs. Leave the rest to luck, my friend.


It is an extremely terrible experience losing your drone. Not only are you out of a solid amount of cash but perhaps, you lost something that you were quite enthusiastic about. A hobby of yours. Follow at the tips I gave and see if anything works.

If yes, wonderful! If not, next time you are flying, be careful of environmental conditions, make sure your drone is up-to-date when it comes to maintenance and hopefully, it also has a GPS tracker. Hope this how to find a lost drone article helped!

how to find a lost drone

Stefan is a software engineer who graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 2016 and currently living in San Francisco, California. He works in the leading media software industry who is quite an expert in computer manufacturing, systems development, imaging software and document management systems, and consulting. He is so passionate about computers, sports and photography and shares his knowledge by reviewing products at Yournabe.

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