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Android Encryption and Android Device Manager

How to Enable Encryption on Android

Encryption may take an hour or even longer, depending on how much data you have on your device.

Important: Plug in your phone and ensure you have enough time before continuing. If you have to interrupt the encryption process, you’ll lose some of the data on your phone.

Before you continue, ensure you have a lock screen PIN or password set up. Android won’t allow you to encrypt your device until you create a PIN or password. To set one up if you haven’t already done so, open your device’s Settings screen, tap Security, tap Screen Lock, tap PIN or Password, and set up a new PIN or password.

You can now encrypt your Android phone’s storage. Open its Settings screen, tap Security, and tap Encrypt phone under Encryption.

Read the warning information and tap the Encrypt phone button to continue. You’ll see a message telling you to plug in your phone if it’s not plugged in yet.

You’ll have to provide the lock-screen PIN or password to continue with the encryption process. Agree to the warning and then leave your phone alone for a while – it may take an hour or more. Don’t interrupt the phone while it’s encrypting its storage.

You’ll see a progress indicator appear. After it’s done, your device’s storage will be encrypted. You’ll have to enter the PIN or password each time you boot your phone or its storage will be unreadable, so don’t forget the password! If you do, you can only remove the encryption by performing a factory reset.

If you used a PIN instead of a password, you’ll get a password prompt anyway. Just enter the PIN number using the numeric keyboard.

Android Device Manager

If you lose your Android device associated with your Google Account, Android Device Manager can help you find, lock, and erase it.

If you believe your device has been stolen, contact law enforcement. Don’t attempt to retrieve the device yourself.

Turn on Android Device Manager

Before you can use Android Device Manager, you have to enable it on your device and associate your device with your Google account. If more than one person uses a tablet, only the tablet owner can turn on Android Device Manager.

To turn on Android Device Manager on your device, follow these steps:

  • Open Google Settings from your device’s apps menu.
  • Touch Android Device Manager.
  • You have the option of turning on the following Android Device Manager options:
  • Remotely locate this device. You can use Android Device manager to show your device’s location. Check the box next to “Remotely locate this device” to allow Android Device Manager to show your device’s location on Android Device Manager.
  • For devices running 4.1 and higher: Location access must also be turned on. To turn it on, go to Google Settings > Location and turn the switch next to “Location” to On. When the dialog box appears, read the text and touch Agree to turn on location access.
  • Allow remote lock and factory reset. You can use Android Device Manager to remotely lock your device, erase everything on it, or change the lock screen passcode. Touch the box next to “Allow remote lock and factory reset.” When the “Activate device administrator” screen appears, read the text and touch Activate to turn on the device administrator.

You can also access these Android Device Manager options when you register your device using Android Device Manager on the web:

Access Android Device Manager Settings from the Web

  • Sign in to your Google Account on android.com/devicemanager.
  • Select Setup Lock & Erase.
  • Click Send to send a notification to each of the mobile devices that are linked to your Google Account. The notification asks you to turn on Android Device Manager.<
  • On your device, open the notification by swiping down from the top of the screen to open the notification tray. Touch the notification for “Android Device Manager.”
  • Adjust the Android Device Manager options as described above.

If you have more than one device, you also have the option to rename your devices in Android Device Manager by following these steps:

  • Click the arrow next to the device name and select the device you want to change.
  • Click the Edit icon.
  • Enter a new name and click Change.

Locate your device

If you’ve lost a device, you can use Android Device Manager on the web or the Device Manager app to see the device’s approximate location on a map and when it was last used.

Location Security

Android Device Manager doesn’t collect a location history. Your device’s approximate location is requested when you first sign in, and this location data is deleted when you sign out of the device manager.

Locate Your Device Using Android Device Manager on the Web

  • Sign in to your Google Account on android.com/devicemanager.
  • If you have more than one device, click the arrow next to the device name to select a different device.
  • Android Device Manager will show you the approximate location of the device selected.

Remotely ring, lock, or erase your device

If you’ve lost a device, you can use Android Device Manager on the web or the Device Manager app to remotely ring, lock, or erase your device.

Remotely Ring, Lock, or Erase Your Device Using Device Manager on the Web

  • Sign in to your Google Account on android.com/devicemanager.
  • If you have more than one device, click the arrow next to the device name to select a different device.

Select any of the following options in the top left corner of the screen:

  • Ring: Rings your device at full volume for 5 minutes – even if it’s set to silent or vibrate.
  • Lock: Locks your device with a new password.
  • Erase: Permanently deletes all of your data.

Devices that are offline or powered off

If your device is offline, Android Device Manager won’t be able to ring, lock, or erase the device until there’s a mobile data or Wi-Fi connection. When you select any of the options, the action will be performed once the device is back online.