I had a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 stolen, so a remote wipe was sent from Android Device Manager. I have a spare tablet of the same model that I need to set up with the same account as the stolen one. When I sign into the Google account on the new device, will the pending remote wipe command affect it, or is that request somehow tied to the specific device it was originally issued to? I'm only concerned because the device is only identified by model number in ADM, rather than MAC or serial, so I want to be sure ADM won't send that command to the next thing signed in to with that Google account. Thanks!

1 Answer 1


Short answer


Some background

As you can have multiple devices associated with the same account (even if they're all of the same brand and model) and still target them separately, there must be an identifier. Logical conclusion is that identifier being the GSF1 android_id. When you register your "replacement", a new android_id will be created for your specific installation2, and stored with the device's configuration. This serves as device identifier for all related operations/interactions between your device and Google services, e.g. for GCM3 and Google Play (apps).

Hence I'd say it's safe to assume the same is used by ADM4, as it's part of Google Services as well. So as long as you don't restore a full backup of your old device, but register e.g. via the setup assistant, your replacement will get a new android_id and thus not receive the "wipe request" addressed at a different android_id.

Another proof to that I've just found on Reddit: Someone had setup multiple devices using the same Nandroid backup taken from a fully configured device, and hence with the same android_id. Result was ADM seeing them all as one device, always "communicating" with the last-used device.5 The issue was solved by resetting the ID.

References for further investigation

1: Google Services Framework
2: This is done whenever you register a device, i.e. associate it with your Google account
3: Google Cloud Messaging, e.g. used in the SE app to notify you that you've been mentioned or got an answer to your questions
4: Android Device Manager
5: Quote: it seems like the last device booted is recognized online, the other one isn't

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