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Drones are becoming extremely popular toys, even with the hefty price tag that comes with them. In fact, some people save up for many months just to be able to afford one.

For this reason, it can be an absolute nightmare for owners when their precious hundred-dollar drone goes missing. Unfortunately, it is very likely that it will vanish at some point, due to strong winds, glitches, a drained battery, or out-of-range flying.

In this article, we will be discussing how to find a lost drone without a tracker.

How To Find a Lost Drone Without a Tracker: 7 Tips

Do Not Turn Your Controller Off

Even if your drone loses signal with your control, you should never turn it off. Instead, head in the direction that you last saw your drone and see if you can get it to reconnect to your controller. As long as the power of the controller is still on, it will continue to search for your lost device. If you switch it off, it will end the pairing with your drone, meaning that it will not reconnect with it even once it is back in range.

If you would like to boost the signal range of your controller, find a metal pot or dish that is large enough to cover the remote. Once you place the controller inside, it will fill the role of a satellite and increase the chances of your drone reconnecting to it.

Hit The Return Home Button On The Controller

If you notice that your drone is beginning to struggle to stay connected to your controller, hit the return home button straight away. When this happens, the image feed on your remote will begin to glitch.

If the two devices lose connectivity before you can hit the button, simply follow the previous method and do not turn off your controller. You will notice that the two devices reconnect when the image feed returns to your remote.

Use Another Drone To Search For Your Own

If you are lucky enough to own more than one drone, be sure to bring a spare with you on your next outing. It is unimportant how old or out-dated the second model is – it will really come in handy if you happen to lose track of your primary drone.

You will be able to use your second drone to get a bird’s eye view of your surroundings. Be sure to look out for any shiny objects lying in the grass, rocks, or bushes. If you would like to make the search a little easier, you could even add lumo tape or paint to your drone – this will make it stand out much more if you ever lose it.

If your drone has a strong battery and will be able to last, wait until night time. You can then use your second device to search the surrounding area for blinking lights.

Refer To Your Drone’s Last Known Coordinates

If your remote control still has power, you will be able to find your drone even once its battery dies. Certain drone manufacturers design the controllers to store the last known location of lost or disconnected drones. For this reason, if you ever lose track of your precious device, do not switch the remote off. Instead, see if you can find these coordinates and plug the data into your phone’s GPS. The location will most likely be stored on the app of the drone.

Obviously, start heading towards that location. Even though you will still have to manually search for your drone, the coordinates will significantly narrow down your search area.

Check Telemetry Information

Most drone displays and apps will provide you with telemetry information. When you begin to lose connectivity, you should immediately study this information. It will inform you of the direction that your drone was last flying in and how far the device is from the last point of connectivity.

If you hit the return to home button and these numbers do not start decreasing, your device is either grounded, flat, or it has completely lost connectivity with your controller. However, if the numbers do start decreasing, it means that your drone is headed in your direction.

Try The Old-fashioned Way

If none of the previous methods work, you could always try searching for your lost device the old-fashioned way. Post signs about your missing drone in the local area, message local drone groups to inform them about your device, and report the missing drone to the Federal Aviation Administration. They will notify you immediately if your device is found.

Avoid Losing Your Drone

There are plenty of measures that you can take to avoid losing your precious drone. Even though trackers are an additional expense, you will be very glad that you made the investment once it saves you a drone.

However, as we have mentioned, you could also try painting or taping your device in order to make it more noticeable. This will make it much easier to find if it ever goes missing.


It is very painful for owners when they lose their expensive drones – especially ones that do not have trackers. However, there are a few ways in which they can go about finding their lost devices.

For starters, they should never switch off the controller. If you walk in the direction that your drone was last seen, the controller might be able to reconnect to the device. You should also try hitting the return home button, but this will only work if the drone still has battery life.

It is also a good idea to use another drone to get a bird’s eye view of the surrounding area. This will make it much easier to find your missing device. Finally, you could refer to your drone’s last known location via the controller or app. Knowing exactly where the drone was when it lost connection will greatly narrow down your search area. Remember not to turn off the controller as it may reconnect once you are close to the lost device.

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