The screen of a Samsung phone is broken completely and I want to take it to a repair shop, but before that I prefer to erase all data on it.

I have been able to verify that the phone was not associated to Google’s Find My Device but that it was associated with Samsung’s Find My Mobile. There, I can select the "Erase" option.

But the phone is marked as offline.

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It has no SIM installed now but is powered on and vibrates from time to time like when emails and other messages are received. So, I thought it must be connected to the home wifi. Scanning on Linux with Wifi Guard, I can see one supplementary device connected that must be this phone, but it is still reported as offline on that site.

Should I insert a SIM for the remote erase procedure to work? Or would a wifi connection suffice? - in which case I'm wrong saying it is already connected to wifi etc.

  • 1
    you can insert SIM card into working phone and disable SIM PIN
    – alecxs
    Oct 10, 2021 at 19:38
  • @alecxs - Now I understand what you meant (remove the SIM code while installed on a working phone). In fact the SIM is not locked, the lock is of the phone itself. I haven't had time for that lately, but I hope I can unlock it by using fingerprint - although at full restart it might ask for the number-code, and to that I have no solution. Thanks.
    – cipricus
    Oct 12, 2021 at 6:27
  • 1
    @alecxs - I don't know why it asks for unlock then. The SIM from my working phone has no PIN.
    – cipricus
    Oct 12, 2021 at 6:33
  • @alecxs - I guess I don't have to erase the data then. (The question may stand anyway for reasons of curiosity as formulated in the title. The answer may be "yes" as to whether SIM is needed for that findmobile.samsung procedure, but on the other hand remote erase seems very hard to achieve, SIM inside or not.)
    – cipricus
    Oct 12, 2021 at 6:51
  • 1
    Does this answer your question? How to recover data when everything is locked (FRP, OEM)
    – alecxs
    Oct 12, 2021 at 7:05

1 Answer 1


The answer seems to be "yes". The phone can connect to the home wifi but that is not enough.

After using a SIM card - namely a different one than the one initially used on this phone (and listed on the Samsung site)

  • the new number was seen by the Samsung website,

  • the "Erase" option triggered a new message saying that the phone has to be unlocked first

  • remote unlock didn't work though: "Can't unlock your phone. It's not connected to a network."

That seems a vicious circle but the answer is nevertheless "yes": because a phone needs a cellular connection for the "remote erase" procedure to work, a SIM card is indeed needed, although that is not sufficient; the phone has also to be unlocked for it to receive/use the cellular signal etc.

It seems extremely difficult if not impossible to erase remotely a lost phone if it's disconnected. Luckily I have access to the phone, and can use the other old SIM and the biometric data to unlock it, and once I do that I'll update this answer.

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