Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus Forum

Tips Tracking down a stolen S8+

Hi, they just stole my Galaxy S7 and, despite the 4 tracking apps I had installed on it, there wasn't way to track it down. The problem, the phone was locked and the thie managed to turn it off and for sure to wipe its memory.

Now I bought a S8+ SM-G955FD (double sim) and I want to ask you guys for some methods to avoid it from beeing wiped or turned off when locked so I can track it down if some one steals it. I don't want to root it because I don't want to loose warranty of my brand new phone... Any Ideas??

I was wondering if there's any way to lock the recovery or download mode...

Thank you in advance!!
 

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#1 velezfel, Nov 24, 2017
Once the phone is turned off, there's nothing you can do...
 
#2 Dannydet, Nov 24, 2017
You can always power down (press and hold power button will force a restart), and you can't lock recovery (it's not part of the android OS, so no android app can lock it). Of course your Google login will be required after a factory reset, so while a reset will remove your tracker it will also render the phone useless to them (your S7 will have had this too).
 
#3 Hadron, Nov 25, 2017
Do you mean that the thief turned off the lock of the phone? I don't think that would be possible...

Clearing the memory, or Factory Resetting won't help them, because new phones require you to login to your Google account after factory resets as @Hadron said, it won't be of any use to them...

I use Google's Android Device manager (Find my device)... It doesn't always work, but it's still effective. I've been searching for some good free apps that rely on SMS, but couldn't find any...

I also use CrookCatcher. It takes a picture from the front camera if someone enters the wrong password certain number of time and email it to you. My problem is that I use WiFi and so I never leave my internet on and thats why I wanted SMS...
 
#4 Daniel Fernandes, Nov 25, 2017
Thank you all! For someone to login to Google after a factory reset, he must be connected to the internet (?), that means the Google "Find My Device" will be able to track the phone? Or it'll be disabled while you login?
 
#5 velezfel, Nov 25, 2017
I've never really gone through this, but I assume that if he did the factory reset, your Google account will be logged, and all your settings will be removed (at least that's what happened to me on my ultra old phone). So, unfortunately Find My Device will be disabled while he logs in. But I'm not sure.

Still you can try at myaccount.google.com >> Device Activity an Security Events >> and see what was the last time your device was synced. This may work and is worth a try.

If the thief doesn't have access to your Google account (Like the password/ 2FA). Then he won't be able to do much with your phone (Unless you rooted it). He, probably knows that it won't work, and might have never tried resetting it. If he didn't know that and he did a reset, he will be asked to login to YOUR Google account to continue using it. There is also a possibility that the phone was never stolen...
 
#6 Daniel Fernandes, Nov 25, 2017
Thanks, is there anyway to prevent the factory reset of an adroid device?
 
#7 velezfel, Nov 27, 2017
No, there isn't really.

The idea behind the factory reset protection feature is to deter theft by making the phone useless if you reset it. But there's no way of preventing a reset if someone knows how to get into recovery.

(Well you could if you sabotaged the recovery module, but that has huge risks and I'd not recommend it. Plus you need to unlock the bootloader to do anything to recovery, and that will reset the device itself - and if you can do it, so could a hypothetical knowledgeable thief).
 
#8 Hadron, Nov 27, 2017
What about using secure start up (uses KNOX)?

I mean ok it's a low cunning device but requires a password to reboot the phone so unless there's a way of cable booting the phone to get round it a thief just gets a nice shiny brick?

I use it for the reason 'deprive me of my phone and I'll deprive you of it too'.
 
#9 mymailbox771, Dec 7, 2017