Help prevent others from using your device without permission
You can set your Android phone or tablet to help prevent other people from using it if it gets reset to factory settings without your permission. For example, if your protected device got stolen and erased, only someone with your Google Account or screen lock could use it.
Note: This information applies only to devices running Android 5.1 and up that came preinstalled with Android 5.0 and up, like Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, and Nexus 9. See what version of Android you have.
To help prevent other people from using or erasing your device, set a screen lock. To help prevent other people from using your device if it gets erased, add your Google Account to your device.
If your device is lost or stolen:
- With a screen lock set:
Your device can't be erased using the Settings app (unless your screen is unlocked). Learn how to set a screen lock.
- Without a screen lock set:
If your device is turned on, connected to the Internet, and signed in to your Google Account, you can lock it remotely with Find My Device. Learn how to use Find My Device.
If your device gets erased, but has your Google Account on it, the device can't finish setup until your Google Account information is entered again.
If you reset your Google Account password and need to do a factory reset, wait 24 hours after changing your password before resetting your device. For security purposes, you can't use an account to set up a device after reset if that password changed within 24 hours.
To turn off device protection, remove your Google Account from your device. Learn how to remove an account.
If you have Developer options turned on, you can also turn off device protection from your device's Settings app . Tap Developer options OEM Unlocking.
To factory reset a protected device, you'll need to either unlock your screen or enter your Google Account password. This step ensures that you or someone you trust is doing the reset.
Expect to unlock your screen or enter Google Account information if you:
- Erase your device's data using the Settings app .
You'll be asked to enter your screen lock before using "Backup & reset."
- Reset your device using its buttons.
If you reset your device using its buttons ("Recovery mode"), you'll need to enter a Google username and password associated with the device.
- Remotely reset your device with Find My Device.
If you remotely reset your device using Find My Device, you'll need to enter a Google username and password associated with the device.
Important: You can sign in with any Google Account previously added and synced to the device as an account or user, but not as a guest. If you can't give this information during setup, you won't be able to use the device at all after factory reset. If you can't sign in to your Google Account, get sign-in help.
Amy is an Android expert and author of this help page. Leave her feedback below about the page.