Monday, October 14, 2013

How to retrieve your Android phone if lost or stolen, using Android Device Manager?

You lost your phone? Don’t panic. It is possible that it is easier to locate it than you think. Just activate a small application already installed on your device, and you will be always in power to track it down to the exact location.

If you have Android smart phone with at least Android 2.2 and running once a while Google Play, you have the feature on your phone already. Google loaded the Android Device Manager onto your Android phone sometime in the past. However, official announcement and activation of this feature was launched just recently on Android official blog.

While the application is installed, it is not activated by itself. You have to activate it manually and it takes couple of minutes after all. To activate it, go to Settings > Security > Device Administrators and confirm all requested permissions for Android Device Manager.

As soon as Android Device Manager is activated on your phone, it is recommended to test the new features, and get familiar with the available options.

To use Android Device Manager, go to and log in with your Google account (account you have originally signed for Google Play). You may get a prompt asking you for permission to allow Android Device Manager to use location data. Click on the "Accept" button to continue.

  • Location: The location of your Android device will appear automatically on the map, along with the name of the place, when it was last used, and when it was last located. You can zoom in and out of the map to check out the location.
  • Ring: The location data is an approximation and may not help you figure out if it's hiding somewhere in your home. Instead of having someone call your phone to help you find it, you can choose to ring your device from Android Device Manager. This will cause your device to ring for 5 minutes at the highest volume, even if it's set on silent or vibrate.
  • Lock: Locking your device remotely can be useful if you want to lock your Android device so no one can access your data while you're trying to recover your lost device. To lock your device, click on the "Lock" option. Enter your new password twice, then click the Lock button. Once the command is sent to your device, it will lock it immediately, even if it's being used.
  • Erase Device: If you think you've lost your device for good and would like to force a factory reset to protect your personal data, choose "Erase Device." This will erase all your apps, photos, music, and settings from your device. If your device is offline when you send the "Erase Device" command, it will perform the reset the next time it comes online. Once your device has been wiped, you will no longer be able to access it from Android Device Manager. Also keep in mind that a remote factory reset may not wipe external SD memory cards.

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Remember, if your device has been stolen, contact the police and let them do their jobs. With Android Device Manager, your data is safe, so make sure you stay safe as well by not attempting to retrieve the device on your own.

Sources and Additional Information:

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