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How to remotely find, lock and wipe your Android

Posted: , by Chris P.

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How to remotely find, lock and wipe your Android

Ever had one of those incredulous episodes that force you to go hunting your phone – a quest that more often than not includes a descend into the depths of the living room couch? We sure have. And it's almost never a pretty picture – couch cushions thrown each and every direction, all the while you're trying to fight off the not-so-nice voices in your head that keep pointing out to you just how silly and imperfect you are. Of course, what usually follows is the realization that your phone is actually under the newspaper on the coffee table right in front of you. That's right – you just spent 15 minutes rustling through leftover food from Thanksgiving 3 years ago that somehow got stuck under the seat cushion.

Sure, you may say that we're exaggerating, but we're only doing so to make a point: Google's Android Device Manager is a gem that we have been missing sincerely on the platform. What's more, with the latest update to it, the Manager is actually getting more and more valuable for more than your trivial sparring with home furniture. Namely, apart from the original duo of features that the Android Device Manager launched with – a Ringer and an option to wipe your device's data and settings – it now also has the option of locking your device remotely. More importantly, now that we've had a chance to fiddle with the new lock feature, it feels so essential that we're scratching our heads wondering how Mountain View missed this in the initial version. After all, nobody wants to lose all his data, even if his device is lost or stolen, by sheer virtue of hope that it'll be reclaimed. The new lock options is a life-saver in this very regard.

TLDR? Right. So let's get right to our how-to guide.

  • Options

posted on 24 Sep 2013, 05:03 1

1. scriptwriter (Posts: 396; Member since: 13 Nov 2012)

I've tried doing this for troubleshooting purposes. Its near enough impossible if your phone is inside. Plus the whole setup of this feature takes for forever and is tiresome. Its just whole lot easier to get your network to block the phone if you've lost it or had it stolen

posted on 24 Sep 2013, 05:21 6

4. Chris.P (Posts: 567; Member since: 27 Jun 2013)

That's like completely, 100% untrue. It's easy, hassle-free and just works. The only reason the guide above is as extensive as it is because its aimed at beginners.

It took me under a minute to work it all out and test it.

posted on 24 Sep 2013, 05:04 3

2. Dingy_cellar_dweller (Posts: 265; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)

Just turned it on and I rang the phone, worked well and at the same time pin pointed the phones location with Google Maps.

Better than any paid App.

posted on 24 Sep 2013, 05:17 2

3. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 3718; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)

It's easy and helpful and free.

posted on 24 Sep 2013, 06:56

5. JDMC..SmartphoneFan (Posts: 8; Member since: 14 Sep 2012)

Excellent, a good way to protect your device (y)

posted on 24 Sep 2013, 07:20

6. Fuego84 (Posts: 352; Member since: 13 May 2012)

What about a free app like Android lost.

posted on 24 Sep 2013, 11:35 1

7. T-rex (unregistered)

What an awful waste of words, the whole first paragraph

posted on 24 Sep 2013, 12:37

8. torr310 (Posts: 1084; Member since: 27 Oct 2011)

What's the point of the first paragraph all about? Get to the point.

posted on 24 Sep 2013, 13:06

9. Santi_Santi (unregistered)

Works perfect

posted on 24 Sep 2013, 18:04

10. akita256 (Posts: 81; Member since: 26 Jan 2012)

OK, two questions (from a novice):

1) If you don't have a password already set on your lock screen, can you establish one remotely or can you only change a password you have already set?

2) What kind of secondary device do you need to use in order to send the commands to your phone? Do you have to borrow someone else's phone or can it be done using a laptop, tablet, or PC?

posted on 25 Sep 2013, 01:35

12. Crossblade (Posts: 215; Member since: 21 Apr 2005)

1) Setting a password works no matter if you have one or not; if you have one - it will replace it.

2) You can do it via browser on laptop/PC, etc

posted on 25 Sep 2013, 06:27

13. akita256 (Posts: 81; Member since: 26 Jan 2012)

Thank you for the reply.

In the other article about this on PA, it says that, "the Application Manager is used in conjunction with an app you install on the phone".

So what is the app that has to bee installed on the phone? If I go into the PlayStore, what app do I look for? And is it correct that the Device Manager doesn't have to be downloaded from the PlayStore?

Does the app (or another one) have to be installed on another phone (or PC or tablet or laptop) that is used to send commands to the lost phone as well? Or how do I send commands to the lost phone from my PC........what web site do I go to or what program is needed? And if I do go to a web site from my PC, do I use the phone number of the lost phone to connect to it or some other ID number or some code number that may be provided with the app that was installed on it?

(I wish this article explained all of this)

Thank you again!

posted on 24 Sep 2013, 19:09

11. frydaexiii (Posts: 1475; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)

This isn't going to work without data network right? For example, I have a Tasker profile that turns off Data when my screen is off, so it's basically useless for that right?

posted on 22 Jun 2016, 08:09

14. MarkArk (Posts: 1; Member since: 22 Jun 2016)

Even if your device was stolen and you performed a remote wipe of your data, it's not lost forever. You can restore your wiped data to another machine using Cloud services but it's only possible if previously you'd made backups. Or if your device was somehow returned to you, you can use a recovery tool (for example hetmanrecovery_dot_com/recovery_news/remote_data_w​ipe.htm) to get back the data contained on an sd card but not from the device's memory.

posted on 16 Aug 2016, 00:45

15. touyunle (banned) (Posts: 89; Member since: 05 Jul 2016)

How to wipe android device? Just try the android data eraser program.

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