If I add my work Exchange email account to my Android 4.4 tablet, it sets the device-administrator "erase all data" permission. Does that apply to all users on the device, or just to that one user?

I.e. can I prevent a remote wipe from wiping my personal data by setting up a separate Android user account on my device for work stuff, or will it still wipe the entire device?

Whatever the answer, does the same apply to other device administrator policies?

1 Answer 1


As the policy says: this enables the administrator to erase ALL data. As it's a device administrator (and not a user admin), this applies to the entire device.

Idea behind this is to protect sensitive corporate data, which might be contained in your Exchange account. In case the device gets lost, your IT admin can trigger the "data self destruct". Sounds like using atomics to kill a fly to me (wouldn't it be enough to destroy all those Exchange app data?); but of course you could have copied sensitive data to any other part of the device.

Besides, that's usually not the only policy installed with an Exchange account. In most cases it also includes that you have to use certain lock mechanisms (e.g. you no longer can use a pattern, but have to use a PIN or password), and in some cases even other stuff. Which is one of the reasons I'd never accept such an account on my device.

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