PSA: Re-enable remote lock and wipe on your Android after the most recent Google Play Services update

Android Device Manager (2)A strange thing happened to me last night: I was flipping through my phone’s settings and happened to notice that the setting for remote locking and factory resetting was unchecked in Android Device Manager – this is the fairly new built-in Android functionality that allows you to remotely locate, ring, lock, or wipe your device from a web interface powered by Google. I knew that I had previously set this option, but didn’t think too much of it at the time and rechecked the box, giving Android Device Manager administrative privileges on my phone once more.

Then today, several reports started cropping up online that the most recent update to Google Play Services actually disabled this option for some reason that know one really knows. (To check if your Google Play Services updated on your own device, you can check the color of Google Settings in your app drawer: if it’s green, it’s the old one; if it’s grey, it’s the new one.)

Since this feature could be essential if your phone gets lost or stolen, it definitely makes sense to go ahead and ensure this feature is re-enabled once more. To do this, simply navigate to your app drawer, select Google Settings Android Device Manager Allow remote lock and factory reset. You’ll then get a screen asking you to activate a new device administrator – select this option, and you should be good to go.

I’m not sure why this happened, but this is obviously quite a big security bug that, hopefully, Google won’t repeat ever again.

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John F

John was the editor-in-chief at Pocketables. His articles generally focus on all things Google, including Chrome and Android, although his love of new gadgets and technology doesn't stop there. His current arsenal includes the Nexus 6 by Motorola, the 2013 Nexus 7 by ASUS, the Nexus 9 by HTC, the LG G Watch, and the Chromebook Pixel, among others.

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2 thoughts on “PSA: Re-enable remote lock and wipe on your Android after the most recent Google Play Services update

  • Avatar of Simon Belmont
    November 6, 2013 at 4:15 pm
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    Yeah. This was annoying. Every Android device in our household had ADM disabled. I went through and re-enabled it on everything (except my day old Nexus 5, the sole device not to be affected).

    Not sure why, but the latest Google Play Services decided to switch it off. I hope this doesn’t become a regular thing with Google Play Services updates.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Fifth313ment
    November 6, 2013 at 10:32 pm
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    Yeah it disabled on my OG EVO, EVO LTE and Note 3. This is unacceptable!

    5th

    Reply

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