How does an app detect that it has been previously installed on a phone even though it was hard reset and completely wiped (even the system partition and sd card and everything)? I think it is due to IMEI number. Are there any methods to bypass this? In case of multiple such methods, what is the best method and what is the most popular? And how can each be bypassed?

  • 1
    Could you mention what app? There are many possibilities (e.g. IMEI, MAC address, phone number, "unreliable" device ID, etc), so it's better to pinpoint the cause on specific app.
    – Andrew T.
    Feb 19, 2016 at 9:00
  • @AndrewT. Actually I'm not interested in a particular app. I have edited the question in accordance with your comment. :) Feb 19, 2016 at 9:10

2 Answers 2


If you did the hard reset, but app still know, I think it check your IMEI, MAC address, google ID, or else stored in app owner server or google.


I can think of two things involved here:

  • Not clean wipe: An app might keep that record of being installed somewhere on the device, that even uninstalling the app, doesn't get deleted. Thus, upon being re-installed, goes to check that whatever it stored to learn if its been on that particular device before. Therefore, if you say you wiped clean, then it wasn't an 'entirely' clean wipe, as the app stored the file somewhere out of reach of a 'normal' wipe. With that said, wipe-wipe-totally-clean-everything, in other words, hard wipe
  • A remote account involved: Does the app request to login before using the app? If so, then probably, the app stored a combination of unique information about your phone somewhere remotely (online), then upon re-login, it simply checks to verify.

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