Remotely Lock and Wipe Your Samsung Galaxy S4

Edited by Leomar Umpad, Anonymous, Lynn, Sean and 22 others

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This is part of the VisiHow series on how to use the Samsung Galaxy S4. You can visit the main VisiHow on how to USE SAMSUNG GALAXY S4 for a full list of S4 VisiHow Articles

Device security is one of the top priorities for any modern device. May it be computers, cellphones, handheld devices, or gaming consoles, the need to have your device secured from other people's access is as important as the device itself. In fact, there are cases where the information on your devices is more important and more valuable than the gadget itself. For mobile users, phone security is of great importance, whether you are on iOS, Android, Blackberry or Windows phone, having a secured device is always a concern. This is the reason phones have lock codes to keep unauthorized people from using them.

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Remotely locking and erasing data from your phone is the best thing that you could do when your device gets lost. As much as you want to get your phone back, and the pictures and files on it, you also want to protect the confidential data on it.

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Getting your phone ready for remote lock and wipe

Before setting up your phone for remote locking and data deletion you need to have these conditions met:

  1. 1
    Google account is setup on your phone.
    You need to set up a Google account on your device in order to start with setting up remote locking and wiping. Go to Home > Applications > Settings > Accounts > Add account > Google. You can also check on this comprehensive tutorial on how to Set Up Google Account on Samsung Galaxy S4. We also have a video tutorial for setting up Google account. You can watch this video on the VisiHow YouTube Channel
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  2. 2
    Your phone has internet access.
    You need to have internet access on your phone before you can do any remote tasks with it. Always turning ON the WiFi of your device may drain your battery faster, but if battery draining is not one of your concerns, then you can just leave the WiFi on. Besides, Galaxy S4's battery and CPU is designed to have minimal battery usage when WiFi is turned on.
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  3. 3
    Internet access on the device used for remote access.
    You need to have a computer or a mobile device with an internet access. You will use it as the controlling device to initiate the remote action.
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How to set up your Samsung Galaxy S4 for remote lock and wipe

The following procedures will allow you to set up remote locking and data wiping on your Samsung Galaxy S4:

  1. 1
    Log in with your Google account.
    The site that you will be visiting requires a Google account. If you do not have a Google account yet, you can use your Galaxy S4 to create a Gmail account by following the instructions on this article on how to Set Up Google Account on Samsung Galaxy S4. If you have not logged in to your Google account yet, log in through one of the various Google services like Gmail.
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  2. 2
    You will be taken to the Android Device Manager, where there is a brief description of the site and services available. It is important to note the last two important statements on the description: If you think that your S4 has been stolen, do not try to get back the device yourself; instead, ask for help from law enforcement.
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  3. 3
    Tap on the "Accept" button to proceed.
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  4. 4
    Sync in your Galaxy S4 with your Google account.
    If you get a "No active devices" message, it means that no device has been associated with your Gmail account yet. If you can see your device on the page, it means that setup has been done on your phone, and you can proceed with the next step. If your device has not been identified with your Google account, enable WiFi/data connectivity on your phone and follow the instructions on this article on how to Set Up Google Account on Samsung Galaxy S4.
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  5. 5
    Once you have setup your Google account with your S4, refresh your browser and you should see your device's name.
    On the page is also the last time and place that your device is located and the last time it was used.
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  6. 6
    Tap on "Setup Lock & Erase".
    This will allow you to start setting up the remote locking and erasing option for your Galaxy S4.
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  7. 7
    Tap on the "Send" button to send a setup notification to your Galaxy S4 to confirm your ownership over the device.
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  8. 8
    Your computer will now start contacting and connecting with your device.
    It will wait until you give the required authorization for remote wipe and lock on your Galaxy S4.
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  9. 9
    Go to your Galaxy S4 and wait for the setup notification.
    You need to have the internet connection enabled on your device to receive the setup message.
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  10. 10
    Once you receive the message, pull down your notification bar and locate a notification on setting up remote lock and Factory Reset.
    Tap on it to open the activation page.
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  11. 11
    On the activation page, tap on Activate.
    This will allow you to remotely erase all of your device's data, change your screen lock, and lock your screen.
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  12. 12
    You will be taken to the Android Device Manager page; put a check mark on the check boxes for "Remote locate this device" and "Allow remote lock and Factory Reset".
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  13. 13
    Once authorization and activation has been done, the webpage will now have the "Lock" and "Erase" option.
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  14. 14
    You are done with setting up remote lock and wipe on your Samsung Galaxy S4.
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How to remotely lock your Samsung Galaxy S4

In case of a lost phone, you can remotely lock your device so that unwanted people cannot have access to your device and its data. The following procedures will allow you to remotely lock your device.

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  1. 1
    Log in with your Google account.
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  2. 2
    Go to www.Google.com/Android/devicemanager to go to the Android Device Manager page.
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  3. 3
    Tap on the "Lock" option to lock your device against unauthorized access.
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  4. 4
    Enter your desired password to unlock your phone.
    Enter a secure password. Avoid obvious passwords such as 1234, 1111, 0000, among others. Confirm your password by typing it again.
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  5. 5
    You will receive a message that says that your device has been successfully locked with the new password/PIN.
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  6. 6
    Your phone will now have PIN lock automatically enabled, and it will be required before having access to your Galaxy S4.
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  7. 7
    You are done with remotely locking your Samsung Galaxy S4.
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How to remotely wipe your Samsung Galaxy S4

If your phone contains very important information, erasing all the data on it will be the best thing to do. If the wrong person gets to this important data, it may hurt you personally and financially. To erase data on your device, follow the procedures below:

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  1. 1
    Log in with your Google account.
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  2. 2
    Go to www.Google.com/Android/devicemanager to go to the Android Device Manager page.
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  3. 3
    Tap on the "Erase" option to start the procedure of remote wiping your Galaxy S4.
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  4. 4
    Confirm deletion by tapping on the "Erase" button.
    Your Galaxy S4 will be remotely wiped through Factory Reset. All of your applications, photos, music files, settings and other important data on your phone will be deleted. You will not have control over your device after the reset. You cannot track it anymore, and anyone having it can freely use it less the data on it.
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  5. 5
    You are done with remotely resetting your Samsung Galaxy S4.
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Tips, Tricks and Warnings

  • Internet is required on both computer and phone for the whole process to be completed.
  • When your phone is offline, it will automatically be reset and locked once it goes online through WiFi or data connection.
  • After erasing, you will no longer have access through your phone as your Google account that was initially set up with your device has also been deleted with the reset process.
  • Your personal safety is more important than your phone, so never attempt to recover it yourself. Ask for help from the proper authorities should you want to physically recover your device.

Questions and Answers

Can S4 be remotely wiped without previous set up?

Lost my phone a few weeks ago but did not previously set up to remote wipe. Can it be done if I have the IMEI #

Yes you don't have to turn anything on as long as you have a Google account setup on your phone which is the case 99% of the time for Android devices. To be able to activate the wipe device feature all you need to do is log into your Google account and choose activate remove wipe feature as explained in this wiki.

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Mobile S4 , what to do to block or make it useless?

My Samsung S4 was stolen and recorded the PIN no. what to do to block or make it useless?

Perform a remote lock on the device as per the instructions in this wiki.

See more questions like this: Someone stole my Samsung Galaxy S4 mobile phone. How can I deactivate it

How can I uninstall an app on my lost device?

My phone was stolen and I badly need to uninstall some apps for security reasons, how can I uninstall it?

You cannot uninstall a particular app. You can, as per the instructions in this wiki, completely wipe the device. The second the thief turns the phone on, it will erase itself. All programs and data will be totally erased without the thief having a chance to see your sensitive programs and data.

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I lost my Samsung S4, I would like to delete all my information in the device?

I want to delete all my information in the device

Please scroll up to the main article, above this Q&A, and follow the detailed steps provided there to perform a remote wipe of your Samsung Galaxy S4. This will allow you to delete all of the information on your device, and prevent anyone else from accessing your data or details. Please let us know if you need additional help, or have trouble performing this action.

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See more questions like this: How do I lock my Samsung Galaxy S4 and prevent the thief from using it

Lost my device and want to lock it with any available accounts on the device like Facebook, Viber, or Google?

I want to lock my device so that no one use it again but I didn't create a Samsung account on the S4 Galaxy, how can I lock it

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See more questions like this: Can't remember my Google account and my Samsung lock code?

Can data be retrieved if someone remotely erases the phone?

My daughter has a phone that was taken away from her for misuse. I went to retrieve deleted text messages only to find that the phone had been set back to original settings. The phone is not on my phone plan, it is on her mother's, therefor I believe it has been reset by her remotely

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Would the erase function over-ride the lock function?

I lost my phone and it was ringing every time I tried calling it for a few hours after which I assume the battery drained out and it stopped ringing. I am unsure if anyone has found it yet and hence I have gone to Android service manager and locked it and left the contact no that I can be reached on. I have a lot of confidential data on the phone and I would like to erase it as well. My question is that if I erase the data would it erase the lock information too in which case I may lose any possibility of recovering the phone. If lock pass-code stays even after erasing data then I am happy to erase the data immediately.

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If I remote wipe my phone as it was stolen, will it affect my ability to restore back up data?

The problem is I'm not sure if I've actually backed up my data as Samsung servers don't automatically back up information as the iCloud does with the iPhone. As a result, I don't know if there's anything else I can pull from the remote lost phone before I wipe it. I can retrieve my contacts from Google but so far - not much else. Do you know if there is a built in auto sync feature for gallery data on an S4 and how it could be restored to another device?

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See more questions like this: MY SM-J1110G Was stolen. I NEED TO GET IT BACK AS SOON AS POSSIBLE?

Would like to wipe my S4 phone but through my PC?

I think my phone has a virus so now I can't even get into my phone, this is the second time this has happened to me from downloading stuff off of play store

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Can the remotely lock and wipe device clean process be interfered with once it has been initiated?

My Galaxy S4 was stolen earlier today by someone I know. I tried to locate it but it said location unavailable. Maybe because the phone service has been suspended for almost a year with Verizon?... I don't know, but I just found out about the remotely wipe and lock option. Earlier it was sending an error message that it couldn't do something (I never read it pass can't out of frustration). Several hours later I am trying (like now before you texted) and I have sent the notification twice and each time it said it was sent. So does that mean it was successful and whenever my phone is turned on or WiFi is available the process will start? Can the thief stop the process? Approve or disapprove? thank you for your time.

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VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

See more questions like this: Will the lock and wipe clean my entire device? It was stolen and I don't want people to access my phone?

My phone got lost at a busy shopping center today and I want to protect my privacy?

I forgot to set a lock on my phone and it is missing. I'm worried about my personal information leaking if it ends up in the wrong hands. Is it possible to prevent this from happening without my phone in my hand? I have a Samsung Galaxy S4. My bank info and other private information is on it.

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See more questions like this: HOW CAN I BLOCK MY LOST Galaxy PHONE USING MY Gmail AND PHONE NUMBER

Is there a way to wipe it by plugging it into my computer?

My Samsung Galaxy phone has a bad LCD (you can't see anything on it). I want to wipe it so none of my data is on it but I can't see anything. I can't wipe it from settings nor can I wipe it with a Hard Reset.

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Can't unlock found phone with Android Device Manager's pin?

Daughter's Galaxy S4 (SGH-I537) was left on a park bench. I activated Avast Anti-Theft. I also managed to login to Android Device Manager with her Google credentials. It found the phone, and I sent a "lock" with a message to call my number if it was found. It WAS found, the lady called me, we recovered the phone. Now trying to unlock for several days. Was able to tell Avast Anti-theft to cancel the theft with no problem, but no joy on Android Device Mgr. Regardless of pin sent with LOCK command, it says "incorrect pin" when typing it into device. Can't root the phone because it has a locked bootloader, so can't install CWM or any other recovery. Trying to save from doing factory reset, and I can't believe there's no way to circumvent or fix the ADM problem.

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See more questions like this: Google device manager problems?

My phone got stolen in my classroom by one of my students, Its a Samsung Galaxy Note4. I hope a miracle happen and I would be able to get my phone back. How can you help me

My Samsung Galaxy Note4 model no. SM-N910V has been stolen by one of my students in my classroom. I truly need my phone back as It has all my kids memories on it. How can I back up my data, documents, pictures, and contacts, and my personal info. from a stolen phone. I was trying to use device manager to locate it . It says location unavailable. I pressed the lock and erase button on Android device manager app. Will it erase all my pictures and personal info from my stolen phone? I don't want to erase anything yet unless I backed it up somewhere else (on new device, or iCloud, or Google drive)

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See more questions like this: Does this work with Samsung Galaxy E5?

Hi, I am a manager in an organization in Papua New Guinea and recently an employee resigned and walked away with a Samsung Galaxy S4. The phone is the organization's asset. Attempts to reach the ex-employee to ask him to bring back the phone have been futile?

Is there a way which we could remotely shutdown the phone?

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See more questions like this: How to wipe the data from Samsung Galaxy S4

How to obtain/transfer the photos stored in Galaxy 4 device to laptop?

The phone was stolen so I don't have it with me anymore. How could I transfer the photos remotely? Thanks!

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How can I use the WiFi to locate my phone?

I never kept the data on my phone active because I didn't want to use it all. (limited 4g) So instead I keep the WiFi on. How can that help me find the phone

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See more questions like this: Can I locate it, I need to know if it can be located when switched off?

Dear sir .... I am from middle eaast ( jordan) I have S4 Verizon ... when I switch on the phone it says SIM Card is not Verizon >>>. and some of applications does not work such as hotspot .. and does not support arabic language?

I wish I can pass this problem .. . activations agent . . thanks

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