Aug 08 AT 11:37 AM Dustin Earley 100 Comments

How to use Google’s Android Device Manager to find your lost device

adm featured

Losing your Android device, either to theft or your own forgetfulness, is certainly no fun. But it’s a lot better than it used to be. Google has finally released their answer to Lost Android, Lookout, and Apple’s Find My iPhone: Android Device Manager. ADM should be hitting your device soon, if it hasn’t already, to help you locate or factory wipe your misplaced Android device. Here’s how to use it.

Set up

Android Device Manager will automatically hit your device without you having to do a thing. If you don’t have it yet, you will soon. But before you can take full advantage of ADM, you’re going to need to do a few things, like enable factory reset on your device. Setting it up is pretty simple. First, visit

Screen Shot 2013-08-07 at 9.32.01 PM

From there, a map will pop up with some information about your device, along with a prompt to enable the Erase Device function of ADM. You can either manually open up the green Google Settings app, which should be in your app drawer, or use the send notification link on the ADM webpage, giving you an easy way to find exactly where you need to be to enable remote factory reset. If you don’t use the notification, just open Google Settings, and select Android Device Manager. The option to toggle both the ability to factory reset your phone from ADM, and locate it, will be in there.

Screen Shot 2013-08-07 at 9.42.13 PM

Using ADM

After you’ve done that, you’re all set to go. At the moment, there are three main functions of Android Device Manager. You can ring a lost phone, factory reset a lost phone or locate your device on a map using your phones GPS. You can also rename what your device appears as in ADM.

Simply loading ADM online will show you the location of your device, but if you’re tracking it while it’s on the move, there’s a refresh button that will recalculate your device’s location.

Screen Shot 2013-08-07 at 9.32.51 PM

If your device is located somewhere simple, like in your own house, you may want to use the Ring function. As Google explains, even if your phone is on silent, using the ring function in ADM will force your phone to ring at full volume for five minutes. To turn it off, you have to press the power button on your phone. There’s nothing on your device indicating why it’s ringing, you’d have to know how to stop the ringing or play around to figure it out.

Screen Shot 2013-08-07 at 9.33.25 PM

If you believe your device has been stolen, and your have precious information on it, then the Erase Device function will come in handy. After you click Erase Device, a pop up will tell you what it will erase (essentially everything), and what will happen after that. Unfortunately, Google says it “may not be able to wipe the content of the SD card in your device.” Best of luck if you have anything private on there.

If your device is off when you try to factory reset it, have no fear. The moment it’s turned on, it will be erased.

You may think erasing the content of your device is the best thing to do as soon as you find it’s missing, but you may want to hold on. After you erase your device, ADM will not work anymore.

Wrap up

Right now, that’s all there is to it. As with all of Google’s products, we expect to see more features added in time. If you have any questions, please be sure to let us know in the comments, and we’ll help however we can.

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • SGB101

    Good heads up, thanks.

    I just followed the link and all my devices was already listed. Works on my note2, the wife’s sgs3, the one X and my youngests galaxy y (as y bother).

    The nexus 7 won’t locate but will ring.

    • Santosh

      How to check my phone list on Google maps?

    • Bhavna Dwivedi

      Each and every androd app of stolen phone traking and imei traking app is very bad . these app such a fake app .these app useless because these app could not trak my stolen phone and not my stolen phone location

      • Bhavna Dwivedi

        These fake app can not work . when a phone stolen thief remove sims of phone and thief enjoy phone and the owner become sick and all mobile company and all tracing app does not help to search phone this is very bad. Androd phone is very expensive and thief stole it then what do the ower of phone

        • Shivendra

          Exact you said …i agree with coz i am facing such problams

  • hurric

    thanks for the screenshots and quick tutorial..just enabled on my N4

    • rohan

      Whether I have to do factory reset on phone or need anything like google+ or updated version of maps or android device policy or google admin because google settings does not show android device manager in my xperia pro and I am not able to locate it from web.

  • Marty Halpern

    I dunno… I set up the Device Manager in the Settings on my Nexus 7. Then I tried the “Ring” function — I typically keep the sound “off” on my Nexus 7 — but nothing happened: no ring, nada, zip, zero.



    • bdg


      • daniel

        why have to enable it. so the thief can disable it?

        • armyofantz

          You’re an idiot.

  • pjamies

    Question: Is it OS Version specific?
    I thought you had to be on JB 4.2+ to get
    this ability?
    Also, does this work if you are a Google Domain user,
    or does the Domain setup already have this ability, and
    so is not needed?
    I have a Samsung Note (1st ver) with ICS and am a Google Domain
    user. I need to let my staff know if they will need to do something to get
    this to work (or not).


    • SGB101

      2.2 (froyo) and up.

  • JQuest81

    Grrr.. Mine keeps coming up “Location Unavailable” when I try to ping my phone.. I wonder if it’s because I’m rooted…

    • JQuest81

      Well nevermind. It just showed up!

      • SGB101

        It’s very strange all these people struggling, I literally hit the link and 5 devices was already showing, and working.

        The strange thing probably is that summit tech related worked for me first time!

      • Keeks

        HOW?! My phone is rooted too. It’s not showing up

    • calvin johnson

      well if your device is rooted it want work check this site out to find out more

      • geralsv

        Awwww, that sucks.

  • Pete

    Has anyone got this working with the free Google Apps for Domains account?

    I just get error saying its for business and education customers only.

    • Artie

      Works for me on my free Google Apps account.

  • scubabum

    Thanks for the info.

  • donger

    Very useful.

  • Dan

    I activated ADM on my GT-N7000 running ICS 4.0.4 but it’s not showing on the ADM website. Do I need to enable GPS or other location feature?

  • Ritesh G

    For those running Cyanogen Mod like myself… you my find it under security and then by choosing “device administrators”. Cheers!

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      • Renee

        I lost my phone but i do not have a phone tracker on it is there anyway i can find my phone

    • BogdanD

      Yes.From there, you can give rights to adm. For me, on 4.4.2 N4 it worked without installing adm. It has android integration aswell on new versions. From 4.3, i think, that security option appeared.

  • surethom

    very useful & something that should have been available years ago.

    What would also be useful if you could send a message that appears on the lock screen, say a contact number to reclaim your phone.

  • sanjeev

    hey . i had a doubt . what if my phone is not connected to internet?

  • Afza

    It seems to rely on data. Once I switch off mobile data & wifi, it can’t locate my device and it won’t ring. So, it’s quite useless to those without mobile data and not in near proximity of a wifi.

    And make sure you had screen lock, otherwise, the thief will just switch off data and you can’t do anything.

  • anubhav sangal

    Hey can I use this app to locate my friend’s phone???

  • v s punn

    My device is showing under settings for Google Play. But when I check under Android Device Manage, it says, No Active Device. WiFi was on when I tried to check.

    I have been using play on my mobile for downloading some apps, using the same account.

    My device is Samsung Galaxy music duos

  • rajesh kumar jain

    Ihad lost my phone Samsung galaxy note 2 oa month ago Ihad used that set 15 days newly purchased my Google account password is same as I have for my new Samsung galaxy note 2 so how I can track the lost Samsung galaxy note 2 by the help of android device manager

  • Juma Ali

    Exellent. Thanx Google.

  • yazan

    does it work if the mobile phone was not connected to wifi or data service or even without sim card?

  • geronimo8

    So, if the thief performed “wipe data/factory reset” on the phone, it will be untraceable anymore?
    I was hoping that it was tracked my IMEI or Mac Address. :(

    • weethomas

      How is android supposed to tell whether a thief wiped the phone or you sold the phone to someone who wiped it but hadn’t yet added it to their account so it was still on yours?

  • sergio.blum

    Please help

    Android tablet stolen
    currently I get ::
    Location unavailable
    Last used August 11, 2013 (wish list:: GPS position and TimeStamp on when last used would be helpful)

    Is it possible not to have to click to refresh search?
    in other words:
    is it possible to trigger trying to contact until thieves eventually turn Tablet on???


    • Michelle

      I had my android tablet stolen about 1 mo ago. I did not enable anything on the tablet before I lost it. I tried remotely downloading several free “GPS” type programs onto the device, but was unable to activate them. I also immediately tried device manager to locate it but it kept saying device unavailable or unable to locate device. I just kept trying to locate it with device manager over the last several weeks and I it finally worked and I finally found it’s approximate location within 12 meters!!! Although the police can’t/won’t do much since it’s location is in an apartment complex, and they won’t go knocking on everyone’s door…I am glad to be able to track it a little bit. So keep trying to use device manager.

      • plela

        Thanks for posting this. My high schooler’s sg3 was stolen from school ova 3 weeks ago. Had phone only 3 wks. School wants to protect it’s image, won’t do anything…not important to police. Contact me for more info on getting court subpeona, search warrant

  • Stevon

    does adm work on cyanogenmod, my galaxy s 2 x? running 4.2.2 jelly bean does not show up on adm “location unavailable”

    • Grant Williams

      Yes… Go to security and then administrators.

  • aranea

    I see my nexus 10 but not the nexus 4 yet. I hope it gets on that one soon.

  • Atmaling

    What will happen if my phone is stolen and the thief sign-out from my Google account and make login from his own google account.

    Whether ADM will work now?

  • jessen

    my S3 is always shoving location unavailable
    i tried activating all the location trackers in my mobile but still location unavailable

  • Richard

    I was registered and showed up on the website when I looked. However, I had to reset my phone to factory default. Everything was backed up and restored correctly. Now it says that I don’t have a registered device. How do I get it registered again?

  • Deepak PK

    Hi guys, check out my app to find misplaced android mobiles.
    its free and opensource :)

  • Anish S Pillai

    I put my phone into silent mode and hit ring but phone won’t ring. But it works wild phone is in general mode and

  • Hans de Bruin

    It *would* be a very useful function, if it would be more difficult for the thief to disable it. All he has to do is go into google settings and disable the abovementioned factory reset and location… password required.

    • Mark


  • dev

    I tried to check it from my galaxy note shows location unavailable and am not able to sign out from that page to sign in to check my friends s3 phone.some one plz mail it to me.

  • sachin

    madarchod nai ho ra

  • nasrin

    If my phone was turned off, it will rang? because some times we lost our phone and it’s be off because of losing sharj

  • Sabarish

    should my phone be connected to the internet to locate it ?

  • Mani

    It doesn’t work, if you have turned off the GPS or the Data/Data roaming. All these must be running to locate your mobile using ADM ;)

  • Mark

    What would prevent the person who stole your phone from simply opening the application and changing your settings before you either realize your phone is missing, or you get to a computer to shut it down??? I found no way to do this, and the only hope is that you have a screen lock in place. Useless? Kinda ..

  • jabir

    see i have done the initialisation of ADM. And i have lost my sony neo v cell .so can it be located?

  • jabir

    *see i have not done the initialisation of ADM. And i have lost my sony neo v cell .so can it be located?

  • satyannarayana.y

    Not working: ADM shows location unavailable.

    • Keener

      For all those who get location unavailable. You MUST enable “Access location” in “location” under “Google settings” which is is found in “Apps” on your phone. Maybe be the same for other Android devices. I am not sure because I don’t have one to test it on. I am running Android version 4.2.2 on a Galaxy S4.

  • unnikrishnan

    I can able to ring my device, but once I sign in, I can’t sign out from the website. I can’t sign in with other User ID. Please anybody can give a solution for this..

  • sachin

    i galaxy is stolen can i trace it…??

  • Robert

    Last month I installed (Android Device manager) on my Samsung note 2. I’ve encrypted both the internal devise and the SD card. I have entered my password several times over the past month and it worked perfectly.
    Recently, I took out the battery, and when I re-installed the battery I was prompted to put in the password to open my encrypted phone. Unfortunately, this time when I went to enter my password it is not excepting it. This password is definitely correct and I’ve used it numerous times. I’m now down to three log ins left ,and the message is stating at this point all data will be deleted and lost after the final three attempts. Is there any way to reset password or reset attempts… Thank you, Robert

  • tam

    After active ADM and active lock device feature,then i must enter password each time open mobile. How to dissble enter password. Thanks

  • Vanessa

    Do you need your GPS to be turned on on your phone for this app to work? Also, if my phone is suspended, will it still work? Thanks :)

  • Connie

    I have two devices listed on ADM (one I have with me at all times and the other was stolen). ALWAYS tells me “location unavailable.” Even when the one phone is directly in front of me. I click on “ring phone” and ADM tells me the phone has been rung, but there is no ringing from the phone. Sure would like to find the stolen phone through this application. I have suspended service through my carrier on the stolen phone. Still can not locate through ADM.

  • ben

    none 4 now

  • ChilledTiger

    Tracking will works if your wifi/data connection is enabled.

    1. Select device administrator from Phone/Tablet Settings>Select Device Administrator>tick ADM.
    2. Phone/Tablet Settings>Location and security>Check/Tick Use wireless network.
    3. Open Google Settings from your device’s apps menu. Touch Android Device Manager.
    turn on options remote locate,lock,erase.
    4. then open ADM web interface and ring,locate your phone…. :)

    Tracking will Not work if your wifi/data connection is Disabled or phone formated/data wiped..

  • uk maurice

    Pls I lost my Android phone. LG L-P990. Pls how can I track it. Reply through my email address. Thanks

  • Afrina Khanam

    It doesn’t work.It is showing u have no active device.That asshole thief has removed the sim card and kept the phone how can I Erase my device?

  • yakuza


  • Niluge

    what happens if we have 2 phones on the same google account will both of them show on google device manager

  • Brett

    awesome works for me found my phone in my mates car although today is golf day for him so yea it popped up at the golf club lol

    works great I would say if it doesn’t pop up first time just try again might not be in an area that it can be reached or worse its off

  • wizard

    This does not work on galaxy ace S5830. I have turned all the settings on as detailed and activated everything as described, i have even un-rooted the phone and done a factory reset, and still all i get is ‘location unavailable’ The ADM page does recvogise the correct phone that i own,, ‘Just Does Not Work”…!! I have spent over 14 hrs on this.. ‘No More’..

  • brandon

    My phones been stolen but the gps is off so is there an way i can remotely turn it on and track it

  • Jitu

    I have lost my Nexus 4 and tried multiple times google Device manager to locate it but its giving ” location unavailable”. The mobile is switched of by the stolen person. Kindly help is letting know what all things I should do to locate my mobile.

  • Sunitha

    Lost my phone yesterday.think it is stolen.the thief has removed the SIM card immediately…mobile was ù reachable yesterday.Today when I dialled in morning – gives message phone switched off.

    Did not have a mobile tracker installed.

    Today morning installed Android jumpstart and android lost remotely to the device.
    But when I log onto my account in android it gives the message-waiting for phone to be registered.

    What could be done to track it?…..the sim is obviously removed,phone when dialled is switched off.
    Could a factory reinstall or google account on the phone be changed and is that cause the problem?..or is the phone have no network access as yet.

    What could be done under this scenario to recover?….is there no hope?… I missing anything?…..please help.

  • Sunitha

    Please help.Lost my phone yesterday.think it is stolen.the thief has removed the SIM card immediately…mobile was ù reachable yesterday.Today when I dialled in morning – gives message phone switched off.

    Did not have a mobile tracker installed.

    Today morning installed Android jumpstart and android lost remotely to the device.
    But when I log onto my account in android it gives the message-waiting for phone to be registered.

    What could be done to track it?…..the sim is obviously removed,phone when dialled is switched off.
    Could a factory reinstall or google account on the phone be changed and is that cause the problem?..or is the phone have no network access as yet.

    What could be done under this scenario to recover?….is there no hope?… I missing anything?…..please help.

  • Chris

    Like most of the locate apps this is next to useless if your phone has been stolen as any thief knows an android device can be factory reset without the need for any passwords that then gives them full use of the stolen device!

    What we need is a remote application that will lock the phone and stop factory resets. This would be so easy for Google to add to this yet they dont do it………WHY?

    • s1cat

      Can a thief factory reset my phone if it is encrypted and has a password required to access the screen?

  • Jence

    Prevention is better than cure. I think we all should keep an anti theft app on your phone. I think Ghostrack is the best app for android tracking or anti theft purpose. Just try it for once. Very low crash report. Small app so will not consume your memory or ram on a large scale. Doesn’t even require Internet connection. A simple sms will do the work. So trust me worthy of downloading. Just go to google play . Give a search by “Ghostrack”.

  • vikram2010

    These folks can help you track your lost or stolen Iphone if you still have IMEI: or

  • shrenik

    Its really an amazing service…just checked it and its working amazingly on my Nexus 4….thank you very much Google….you are always best

  • umar farooq

    hi friend i lost my android phone QMobile noir A20 last 23 decmber 2013

    M_IMEI is 356769050100130
    S_IMEI is 356769055100135
    how can i find it plzz tel me easy way or help me finding my cell
    regards umar farooq

  • pini

    find your phone in one simple sms highly recommended application

  • Nithin Kumar

    I lost my phone moto g and mobile internet was on, but android device manager wasn’t able to locate it and now its turned off, is there something else to do or my only hope is notifying the cops

  • Eugene Mitchell

    Not much use if it does not remotely activate my GPS and Wifi, giving my phone within a 500m-1km radium won’t help me find it…

  • nasmung hangzo

    someone stolen my android phone Sony xperia sp
    Model no: C5302
    IMEI No : 355810050185951
    SL number : 1272-9664
    Swap serial No : 355810054830685
    so there’s no sim card inserted on that phone at that moment so can you pils help me out how to tract the location through imei no. I try several times but its doesn’t work so I need your help is ders someone who can help me out here my email:[email protected] if anyone who can help to track the phone location do contact me on that email plizzz

  • Dharma kshetri

    Hi, i have mistakenly clicked erase button from web, after that i have lost all data of my mobile? any solution or method how to get my data from web( or any other solution. give me any idea.

  • Fegelein

    So what happens if the person who steals your phone unticks “remotely lock this device” “Allow remote factory reset” before you realize it went missing?

  • Alejandro Guerra

    Hello I lost my nexus 4 please help me find it

  • roopasri

    i got lost my android phone… app .use full.

  • Geeta Singh

    i got lost my android phone good app.

  • Mappa Golden

    What such good news! Does this work efficiently? Once I have lost my phone on the bus. Because there were so many people and I can’t move my body. After it was lost, I find many ways to find it but has no results. Later, I was recommended to install monitoring software like iKeyMonitor which can be used to track my lost phone and I install it on my new phone. I can’t afford another iPhone any longer.

  • anjanee

    i lost my samsung galaxy note 2 phone and how to get back that one? i am worried about that phone and data.

  • Gary

    Why has Google device manager stopped listing my stolen phone? It has been reported but it will not list any more in my device manage. This just seems so wrong. Hopefully someone following this can tell me how to find where my phone is.

  • terrywheatley

    Hope you can help. I accidentely used android device manager and it shut down my lenovo tablet immediately.
    I have tried factory reset but all that does is turn on tablet for a few seconds then turns itself off again.any advice would be appreciated
    Regards Terry

  • Jenn

    OK so there is no way to locate a lost/stolen iPhone from any other device other than a PC/Mac or another iPhone?