This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.
How To Video: Find your lost device with Android Device Manager
About Video Comments (0 ) Transcript

How To Video: Find your lost device with Android Device Manager

2:18 /

Can't find your Android phone or tablet? Pinpoint its location and remotely erase it with the Android Device Manager. Sharon Vaknin shows you how.

If you've been jealous of Apple's Find My iPhone service, you've probably wondered why Google doesn't give Android owners the same thing. Well, it took a few years, but that locator tool is finally here. The Android Device Manager lets you find an Android phone or tablet, make it ring, and if you think it's in the hands of a thief, you can even remotely erase it. To show you how this works, let's say I lost this phone and I'm trying to find it with this tablet. First, head on over to google.com/android/devicemanager and log in with the Google account associated with the device you're looking for. Use the drop-down menu in the white box to choose the device you wanna locate. Now, if we look at my lost phone, we can see that the GPS is working to find it. Back in the browser, the blue circle on the map shows you where your device is. It's not a precise location, but it's usually accurate within a few decimeters. At this point, you can make your phone ring by clicking this button and it will sound off even if it's on silent. If you think your phone was stolen, it's probably a good idea to leave the investigation to the police. In the meantime, you can use this Erase Device option to remotely wipe all the data. For this feature to work, you'll have to set it up on that device ahead of time. Head to your phone or tablet, then go to Google Settings, Android Device Manager, and check this box. Just note that if you are forced to use that Erase Device option, you completely lose access to it. Meaning, you can no longer locate it. Now, it's great that Google is finally giving us this feature, but it could use a little help. For starters, you can't remotely lock your phone, so be sure to set a secure lock screen passcode and this probably goes without saying, but this feature only works when the phone you're looking for is online and still registered to your account. If you have any questions along the way, hit me up on Twitter and check out howto.cnet.com for the written guide to this tutorial. For CNET.com, I'm Sharon Vaknin.
  • This is the interactive sidebar!

    Click any icon for more information as they appear--don't worry, we'll pause the video and wait for you to come back.

  • Links Polls Galleries
  • Video Review

New releases

Swap your iOS 8 keyboard for these...
0:59 September 19, 2014
With iOS 8, you can use a different keyboard than the default. Check out these third-party alternatives.
Play video
2015 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat...
5:50 September 19, 2014
The 2015 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack has the muscle car power (and fuel economy) to back up its nostalgic...
Play video
Compact, budget Samsung Galaxy...
2:01 September 19, 2014
This wallet-friendly Android phone fits nicely in the hand, but has a few drawbacks you'll want to know about...
Play video
Line up for an iPhone 6, get a...
2:11 September 19, 2014
Why do people wait in line for days at Apple stores for the latest iPhones when they could preorder online?...
Play video
3D Pocketcopter crowdfunding soars...
5:13 September 19, 2014
This week on Crave it's your last chance to order a Pocketcopter that doesn't exist, run for your lives from...
Play video
The Blendtec Designer 725 is too...
2:33 September 19, 2014
A significant design flaw keeps us from recommending this high-end appliance
Play video
Genius hacker Walter O'Brien tells...
3:11 September 19, 2014
When Scorpion makes its debut on Monday night, it will bring hacking and computer security to prime time like...
Play video
The hidden features inside iOS...
2:04 September 19, 2014
Brian Tong shows you the features inside of iOS 8 that you might not know about.
Play video