On the weekend I had a brand new phone stolen from me. It was out of battery at the time. I'm assuming whoever stole the phone has removed the SIM card and probably re-flashed it as it was locked.

Does Android Device Manager still have ability to track it? Can anyone inform me how the tracking on it works? I have not yet had the phone locked via IMEI as im sure that would halt this method of location (they cant use it anyway).

The phone is an HTC One.

Much appreciated.

1 Answer 1


No. Once it's factory-reset or even flashed, the Android Device Manager is no longer able to find it.

Background: Android Device Manager uses your Google account to communicate with the device. Moreover, you have to explicitly enable it on the device. Once factory-reset / wiped / flashed, all that is gone.

  • As its an android phone do you think Google would flag a second account being registered with the same IMEI considering its a stolen phone? This seems a very simple for them to find out.
    – MaxSan
    Nov 12, 2013 at 10:57
  • @MaxSan Google will not track your phone via IMEI - end of story. They will only go by the Google account on the phone. Nov 12, 2013 at 11:09
  • @MaxSan Why should it? There are many people out there having multiple SIM cards (I do, for example) and/or multiple Google accounts. So no, I do not think they will automatically consider such a device "stolen"; though I'm not that sure they don't use the IMEI to identify devices in some way or the other.
    – Izzy
    Nov 12, 2013 at 11:39
  • I understand but if a phone is stolen and its on registered database of stolen phones, you would assume it is something they would check when creating new accounts on mobiles..
    – MaxSan
    Nov 12, 2013 at 12:09
  • That's not a question for us to answer, as it's at least not "published". You would need to approach Google directly with this question.
    – Izzy
    Nov 12, 2013 at 12:17

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