How to Find/erase Data from a Lost or Stolen Android Phone

Let’s face it, smartphones have become an integral part of our daily life and we all keep lots of sensitive and even insensitive information on these easily misplaced devices. Losing or having your smartphone stolen is a panic-inducing event. Luckily there’s technology that can help and recover your precious android phone data or, in case it’s in the hands of a thief, protect your personal data from being accessed. If you have an Android smartphone, you should set up Android Device Manager as it can help you find your missing phone and remotely erase all your personal data. Here, is a step by step guide on How to set up Android Device Manager and use it to find your missing phone, make it ring loudly and remote lock or erase it.

How to set up android device manager?

To use Android Device Manager and to find or erase your phone, you’ll need to check three settings: Firstly, the Android Device Manager has to be turned ON. Secondly, the location services for your Android device has to be ENABLED and lastly, your device must be linked to your Google account.

First things first, You must be signed into your Google account on your phone to use Android Device Manager.

  1. How to turn ON Android Device Manager

    To turn ON Android Device Manager, go to Settings > Google > Security > Android Device Manager > Turn ON Remotely locate this device and allow remote lock and factory reset.

  2. How to turn ON Location Services

    If you have turned off the location services on your Android phone in the past, you’ll need to switch it back on to use the Android Device Manager. Here’s how: go to Settings > scroll down and tap on  Location > Turn ON location services.

  3. Confirm that Android Device Manager can locate your device

    With Android Device Manager and location services enabled on your Android smartphone, go to the Android Device Manager website and sign in using your Google account. Your device or list of devices if you have enabled Android Device Manager on multiple devices should show up on cards over a Google Maps screen. If you don’t see your Android device here, do check that the Android Device Manager and location access are both switched on.

How to find your phone using android device manager?

If you’ve misplaced your phone, or suspect it has been stolen, you can use Android Device Manager to see where it is on a map and also when it was last used – provided your phone is switched on and has a mobile data or Wi-Fi connection. If your phone is switched off or not connected to the internet, it will show up on the Android Device manager the next time it is switched on or when it connects to a data network.

There are mainly two ways in which you can use Android Device Manager to find your missing phone :

  1. Use the Android Device Manager website

    Go to the Android Device Manager website and sign in to your Google account. Android Device Manager will display your phone’s location on the google map and show you when it was last online. If you have more than one device connected to Android Device Manager, click on the arrow next to the current device to see and select a different device to locate.

  2. Use the Android Device Manager app

    If you have more than one Android device, you can use the one still in your possession to locate the missing device. First, install the Android Device Manager app (Note: App name is changed to Find My Device) on the device that you want to use to find the missing one. Once you’ve signed in with your Google account you can select the device to find by swiping along the bottom of the screen (if you’re using a smartphone) or by tapping the arrow next to the current device (if you’re using a tablet). Just like the webpage, the Android Device Manager app will show you where your missing device is located.

Remotely Ring, Lock, or Erase your Android device

Now that you know more or less where your missing phone is, Android Device Manager gives you a few options for recovering it or preventing your personal data from falling into the wrong hands. If you’ve simply misplaced your phone and are within the earshot of it, you can use Android Device Manager on the web or the app to make your phone ring loudly for a full five minutes – even if it is set to vibrate or silent. This should give you enough time to pinpoint your phone and let’s say dig it out from underneath the sofa cushions.

If you can’t get to your missing device quickly and want to safeguard it, you can use Android Device Manager to remotely lock your phone with a password. Remotely locking your phone also gives you the option to display an alternate phone number where you can be reached by if someone finds your lost phone. Now anyone who finds your phone can call you right from the lock screen – provided they’re a do-gooder of course. Your last and the most extreme option is to remotely erase all your personal data from your missing phone. This is the same as the factory reset and will wipe out your entire phone, so use it only if you feel there is a risk that someone might access your personal information.

Note that Android Device Manager will not delete data stored on an SD card, so we recommend not saving anything personal or sensitive on your device’s SD memory card.

Use Google to track your phone’s location

If you have linked your Android phone to your Google, you can also go to and type in “find my phone” to see a Google Maps history of where your phone has been. As with Android Device Manager, an active data connection is needed physically on your device.

SEE ALSO:  How to Factory Reset or Hard Reset Galaxy S8 And S8 Plus


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