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Having issues connecting to devices via Android Device Manager? You're not alone

Android Device Manager can remotely locate, alert, lock or factory reset your smartphone... except when it can't. Multiple reports suggest Google's tool has been failing.

Published onJuly 21, 2015

android device manager call back lock screen

Android Device Manager can remotely locate, alert, lock or factory reset your smartphone… except when it can’t. Google’s theft protection service should work with no issues, given its delicate nature, but an onslaught of users have been reporting issues with the security system connecting to their devices.

It all started with Sandra Buensalida bringing the issue to light, back in March. We know that’s some time ago, but only lately did the story start picking up traction. Sandra’s Android Device Manager was displaying a “No Active Devices” message when trying to locate her Nexus 5 running Android 5.1. Her smartphone was active on the Google Play Store, Google account settings and everything else seemed to be working well; all with no luck on Android Device Manager.


The issue was buried in the product forums until Googler Paul came into the picture asking Sandra to perform some more trouble shooting. This is when all the other reports began coming in. While Paul previously believed this was an isolated event, more users started catching Google’s attention and Paul finally announced the Search Giant was working on it.

So far there hasn’t been another update suggesting the issue has been resolved, so all we can do is assume this problem is still active – even though that post was last edited on April 27th. The good news is Paul’s last update does mention a possible workaround.

How to fix this issue

This is not a proven method and even Google’s Paul mentioned it “may make your device show up again in the Android Device Manager”. Regardless, there seems to be at least a temporary fix. Those who have added a guest account to their Android devices should go ahead and remove it. Apparently this has helped some of the Google Product Forums members.


We still need a fix

This is hardly a solution, though, as you shouldn’t have to give up one feature just to use another. Also, Android Device Manager is part of the kill switch method Google integrated to the Android platform. Essentially, those going through these problems don’t have access to a kill switch, hence they can’t protect their phone or private data. Not good news, especially considering California law requires a working kill switch.

We were wondering how many of you guys were being affected by this. All my devices are showing up without an issue, so I can’t really speak on this myself. How about you?


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