Android Device Manager: Find Your Lost or Stolen Android Phone
After investing your well earned money in a marvelous Android device, the feeling of losing it or having it stolen must be quite terrible. We have so much data stored on our mobile devices these days that such an occurrence like this could be like a double loss; you would be losing both the device and your data.
Android Device Manager offers some hope in a situation like this. It allows you to locate your device in the event that it is lost along with some additional options.
How To Setup Android Device Manager
Before you can make use of Android Device Manager, you will have to make sure that it is set up first. To start, you will first need to open the Settings app on your device and then go into Security.
In Security under Device administration select Device administrators.
Make sure that Android Device Manager is checked.
Next, from the main Settings menu select Google.
You need to then select Security.
Make sure that the the following toggles are in the on position:
- Remotely locate this device
- Allow remote lock and erase
You can then track your device using the Android Device Manager interface either from another android device via the Android app which can be downloaded here or simply via a web browser here. We will be focusing on the browser version which can be found here, since the functionality is the same across the board.
How To Use Android Device Manager
Android Device Manager allows you to locate your device as mentioned before. In order to do this, press the location icon pictured in the screenshot below.
You can also make your phone ring to alert someone if they are in possession of your device, lock the device or in a last ditch effort you can erase it to make sure your data is not compromised.
If you were set the device to ring your device would ring at full volume for 5 minutes and the power button would need to be pressed in order to stop the ringing.
If you were to choose the Lock option, you would be prompted to set a new lock screen password in order to prevent unauthorized access. You would also be able to set a recovery message and phone number which would be visible on your lock screen. Doing this could help in getting your device recovered.
If you were to choose the Erase option, your device would be completely erased. Please note that if you erased your device, Android Device Manager would no longer function. It is a permanent reset. The contents of your SD card may not be wiped when choosing this option. Also, if your device is offline, the reset would be performed as soon as it goes online again. This is a last ditch option as stated before since you would no longer be able to track your device with Android Device Manager if this option is used.
If your device is stolen and factory reset by the thief, unfortunately Android Device Manager will not be able to help you as hinted it when I was speaking about the Erase option. Also, if your device has been stolen please do not attempt to recover the device yourself. Contact law enforcement and work with them to recover your device.
This is not a bullet proof method but it gives you a lot of options for potentially recovering your device.
Thanks for reading guys and if you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments below.