Android device manager remote wipe is ineffective

Thread Starter


Joined Oct 3, 2010
If you didn't know about it, Google has an app called Android Device Manager. I found out about it last year when I lost my 4G tablet; I called AT&T asking if they had a way to remotely wipe my lost tablet because it had sensitive info on it, and the tech rep told me about it. Any device which you sign into your google account from, is tracked by the app. You can log in from a laptop and see the current (or last known, if it's powered off) location of your lost phone/tablet/etc. You also have the option to make it ring so you can find it, or erase its entire contents.

I chose to erase its contents. Google told me that the next time it's powered on and connects to the 4G network, it will be reset to factory install. I bought a new tablet and I've been using it for a year now. I found my lost tablet last month while I was moving. I broke my new tablet screen today and decided to put my new sim card in my old tablet and start using that one again, but first I wanted to try and retrieve the data off it before I powered it on and google wiped it.

I went to Android Device Manager and tried to find an option to cancel my wipe instruction, but no dice. I did not see my old tablet in the list any more. So I removed the sim card and wrapped the tablet in aluminum foil just in case there is some method by which the tablet might access the 4G network despite not having a sim card, if only just to be given a wipe command. I disabled the NIC in my laptop in case there is some method by which the tablet can access the laptop's internet connection while plugged in via USB, and successfully backed up my data to the laptop.

Then I removed the aluminum foil hat from my head and from the tablet, put the new sim card in, and waited for the ominous notification that the device would be wiped. nothing happened. Successfully connected to 4G. I signed into all my accounts with the new passwords I've established in the last year, including google. Still nothing happened. So my tablet outlived the wipe instruction, which apparently expires after some time, or just simply doesn't work at all. Next time I get a new android device I'm going to test the remote wipe feature immediately before I get settled into it.


Joined Nov 30, 2010
Thank you.
Some people will be interested in the remote wiping abilities.
I am interested in knowing what things and which software tracks my location.;)


Joined Oct 29, 2009
I get around that problem by using a stupid phone. Just yesterday it was so stupid that it couldn't track whether it was still in my pants pocket when I washed my laundry!:D
Today, it can't track anything.:(

I call it a smart phone. I am smart enough to not pay $80 a month just so I can get Facebook updates every 5 minutes.