If only losing weight was as easy as losing your phone. At least you can take comfort in knowing that Android Device Manager will help you locate, or remotely lock and wipe your device. That is, if you weren’t experiencing password problems. Or if Android Device Manager was working at all.
Plenty of maladies can arise with Android Device Manager, making an already stressful situation even more stressful. To help ease this pain and anxiety, we have created a list of the most common problems and their accompanying solutions for Android Device Manager. Android Device Manager is supposed to be a solution in and of itself, not a hindrance. Let’s make it helpful again so that your phone can return to its rightful owner, or at least prevent others from using it.
Problem 1: “No Active Devices” Error Message
Of the problems that can arise with Android Device Manager, this is one of the most common. You might see your device on Google Play and other Google accounts, but not on ADM.
Log in to Account Associated with Device
If you log in to a different account, it will show there is no active device.
Remove Guest Accounts
This hasn’t been proven to work 100% of the time, but some have found a fix by removing any guest accounts.
Toggle Location Services and Clear Data for all Google Services
Disable, then re-enable Location Services. Clear data for Google Play Store, Google Services Framework, and Google Play Services. Reboot.
Similar Error Message: “Unfortunately, there are no eligible devices associated with this Google Account.”
Make sure that Android Device Manager is enabled by going to Settings > Security > Device Administrators. Turn off Android Device Manager temporarily to clear data. Clear data by going to Settings > Apps > Show System > Google Play Services > Storage > Manage Space > Clear All Data. Turn Android Device Manager back on and reboot.
Perform Factory Reset
Backup your data first, or you will lose it all. You will then need to complete setup again, as though you have a new device.
Problem 2: ADM Only Works on Wi-Fi
What are the odds that your lost device will have access to Wi-Fi?
Enable All Google Apps
The Google app itself, Google Maps, Google Play Store…Make sure they are all enabled to use data.
Give it Time
There can be a delay. If it’s an option to use Wi-Fi, it might be faster.
Ensure You Are Within Range
If Android Device Manager says Location Unavailable, your phone may be out of the range of the mobile network.
Use a Third-Party App
Apps such as Where’s My Droid can help you get around this.
Problem 3: Signed Out from Google Account and Can’t Get Back In
If you are perpetually signed into your Google account, it is really difficult to remember what to do when you suddenly aren’t signed in. This can definitely make a difference when it comes to having problems with Android Device Manager.
Sign In With Recovered Password
To sign back in, you will want to go to accounts.google.com. To recover your password, go to accounts.google.com/signin/recovery. Follow the instructions provided, starting by entering your login email or phone number.
You Don’t Recognize Hints Provided
Ensure you entered the correct email address. If so, try resetting your password using alternate authentication in case someone else has accessed your account and made changes.
Watch Out for Auto-Fill
You might be experiencing these sign-in problems because your browser has the wrong name or password saved.
Too Many Attempts
If you have submitted too many password recovery attempts, you will be required to either try again on the date listed below the recovery option, or use a different recovery option.
Problem 4: Ring, Lock, Erase, or Locate Features Don’t Work
If any or all of these features fail to function, try some of the solutions below.
Ensure Location Services are Active
Location Reporting and Location History should be activated through the Google Settings app.
Make Sure Remote Wipe/Locate is Enabled
Go through the Google Setting app and make sure that Android Device Manager is activated.
Ensure Device and Wi-Fi/Mobile Data is ON
ADM won’t work on devices that are turned off or that have no Internet access.
Make sure that Notifications isn’t set to Priority Only via Do Not Disturb. Also ensure that your Notifications Volume is turned on.
Problem 5: “Couldn’t Load Devices” Error Message
Similar to the problem behind the No Active Device error message, this error message is just as annoying. Keep in mind that Android Device Manager does have to be enabled on your device before you lose it.
Combination of Clearing Data and Toggling Settings
Clear the data for the following apps: Download Manager, Google Play, and Google Services Framework. Restart your device. Launch Google Play and sign into your account. When you see your device within Google Play registered under today’s date, open the Google Settings app.
Within Google Settings, tap on Security and uncheck Android Device Manager. Now go to your device’s Settings menu and select Apps > All > Google Play Services > Clear Data. Go back to Google Settings Security and re-enable Android Device Manager. Reboot.
You must be logged into the same Google account associated with your device. If you open ADM on your computer using a login to a Google account not connected with your device, it will tell you it couldn’t load or find the device.
The problem might be on Google’s end. Reach out to Google Play support for help.
Try removing any app you downloaded recently that you suspect may be causing the problem. If you are uncertain of which app it could be, try entering Safe Mode. If Android Device Manager works well in Safe Mode, use the process of elimination to see which app is causing the issue.
Go to Backup and reset from Settings and tap on Factory data reset. Instruct the Android to Reset the Device. This wipes data so you might want to backup what you wish to save!
Problem 6: Android Device Manager Not Working Since Update
Updates can bring many blessings; but occasionally they also bring compatibility issues, such as problems with Android Device Manager. Find out how you can enjoy your update and ADM features below.
Long-press the Power button and turn your Android off. Do the same to start it again.
Delete Google Account and ReAdd
Go to Settings > Accounts > Google and tap on the account. Select the menu icon in the upper right corner and choose Remove Account. Add it back by going back to Accounts and choosing Add Account.
This would not be my first resort, but for some, it has worked.
As always, backup your data first! Then locate Backup and reset in Settings and tap on Factory data reset. Give permission for Android to Reset the Device.
Problem 7: “Location Unavailable” Error Message
Seeing Location Unavailable in reference to your lost Android might seem like the cherry on top of your sundae of despair. Perhaps not all is lost, even your device. But your device does need to have an Internet connection.
Keep Your Device and Location Services Switched ON
Enable High Accuracy Mode by going to Settings > Locations > Mode > High Accuracy.
Log In and Out of Your Google/ADM Account
Go into the Android Device Manager app and if you aren’t logged in already, log in. Then log out. Do the same with your Google account.
Update Google Play and the OS
If you’ve been holding off on an update, don’t wait any longer.
Think Outside the Computer
There was a time when you lost something, you had to check with the Lost and Found Department at every location you had been. You might still need to do that. In this case, you do have the added advantage of being able to check with your network provider, even if ADM is telling you it cannot locate the device.
A lot of these problems and solutions can be interrelated, so if you jumped to one section and none of those solutions worked for you, try the others as well. If you know or suspect your phone was stolen, you can contact the police and they might be able to help you, especially if you have good leads. We also have articles for basic troubleshooting of Android phones, if ADM not working is one of many symptoms.
If you have a serious problem, especially involving hardware, the best solution might be to contact Google support or the manufacturer or retailer for your Android. If you still have no idea where your phone could be and ADM is still not working, leave us a comment.