There's a new Google Play Services app in town, and it includes all kinds of goodies for developers. But there's a nasty surprise waiting inside Google Play Services 4.0, at least for users on some devices: it may have disabled the Android Device Manager's permission to act as a Device Administrator. This is what allows users to access the new remote lock and device wipe features from the web... which some of them might not realize they can no longer do.

2013-11-06 08.31.15

2013-11-06 08.31.45 2013-11-06 08.31.59

It's a simple fix: just check the version number of your Google Play Services app (it seems to be affecting both 4.0.30 and the slightly newer 4.0.31), then check the Device Administrators section of your Security settings page. If Android Device Manager isn't enabled (and you want it to be), tap it and press activate. Problem solved.

The larger issue is that this seems to be affecting users without alerting them, so at least some Android phones could be lost or stolen without having the location and wipe security feature that the owner was depending on. It's a huge security problem, especially if you rely on the Device Manager as a failsafe for sensitive data or device access. It doesn't appear to be universal: here at Android Police, we've seen the new Google Play Services de-activate Device Manager's administrator status on at least one Galaxy Note 3 (4.3), Moto X, and DROID MAXX (4.2), but it's also left the permission untouched on a Nexus 5 (4.4) and Nexus 7 2013 (4.3).

Better safe than sorry: if you rely on Device Manager, check your Settings menu. Google Play Services 4.0 hasn't disseminated to all 2.3+ Android devices yet, so be aware that this issue may affect you at a later date. If you've seen this issue, let us know your phone or tablet model and Google Play Services version in the comments.

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • anzensepp1987

    The update also caused some random Google-Apps-crashes on my N5 (and N4) yesterday. After a reboot everything seems to be fine.

    • ujujujus

      You must be rich because you have both.

      • anzensepp1987

        Well, to reassure you, my N4 is already on ebay...

        • ujujujus

          just because I said you're generous?

      • exadeci

        Well if he bought the most expensive Nexus 4 and same for Nexus 5 he only paid 750 that's just 1 Iphone ;)

        • ujujujus

          yes but iPhone become bought in contracts for cents, while for nexus you have to pay from mountain.

          • Michael Lee

            OR, he bought the Nexus 4 on contract last year on, say, T-Mobile for $0 down, and then is just now buying the Nexus 5 full price.

      • remister

        I have Nexus 4/5/7 WHOOO!

    • Ryan Stewart

      Let me know if they return. Mine started doing that every morning the past couple of days.

  • nyr2k2

    I just checked on my Verizon Galaxy S3, Services version 4.0.31, and the setting had become disabled.

  • Mskina

    RAZR MAXX 4.1.2 here (old version; EU). The setting had become disabled too

  • Mark Childs

    Corporate email also broken in KitKat.


    • Jooyoung Hong

      does this have to do anything with the random force closes of Exchange.apk?
      It happens when I try to add a new google account for g-mail purposes..

      • Mark Childs

        Not sure, it failed on IMAP and EXCHANGE for me. I have to use my N4 until this is fixed. Bummer.

    • Theratchetnclank

      Works on my n4 with a n5 Port rom.

      • Mark Childs

        How do you connect, and what security settings do you use, I think the issue is around certificates?

        • Theratchetnclank

          Ah thats why then we don't use certs.

  • Matteo Rosina

    Nexus S and Nexus 4 too

  • htowngtr

    I have .31 on my N5 but it still shows ADM is enabled.

  • Greg Borman

    Thanks for letting me know. On my phone this was case didn't know till I just checked. Can't believe Google would do updates like this. Been using lookout security as well and that wasn't disabled. Much better service for me.

  • Andre Santos

    I had to enable remote wipe in Google Settings which I noticed today that it was disabled.

  • Krzysztof Bryk

    now try device manager while screen on ;]]]]

  • Philipp

    Deactivated the Device Administrator in both, my Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 2013

  • http://ignaciozippy.com/ Ignacio Zippy

    It was disabled, Nexus 4 on stock 4.3. Thanks

    • Krzysztof Bryk


      2013/11/6 Disqus

    • https://steamcommunity.com/id/m-p-3 m-p{3}

      Affected as well, I'll make sure to check my relative's devices and reenable it.

  • Liquid

    Sony Xperia ZL (ZQ) too!!

  • LeaVer

    Samsung Galaxy S3 and Motorola Xyboard 10.1 need to re-enable too (GPS 4.0.31).

  • tumatos

    same version as image on post and on my i9300 it was disabled too

  • MasterJam

    Thx for sharing.
    It was disabled on my N4 and N7 LTE


    2012 Nexus 7. The option was disabled. Was also disabled on my Verizon Galaxy Nexus.

  • JayLaramee

    It was disable for me too on my Nexus S running CM 9.1.0 stable. Google Play service version is 4.0.31. I have reactivate Android Device Manager.
    P.S.: I can't wait to receive my Nexus 5 tonight! UPS is on it's way to my home!

    • Simon Belmont

      Got mine yesterday. You're gonna love it, man.

      I'm coming from a Galaxy Nexus (which I still love), but it's a big step up. Great phone.

  • pdone

    Thanks for the heads up. Note 2 on VZW stock software was disabled too.

  • Janice

    On Galaxy S3 mini with Google Play Services 4.0.31, ADM became deactivated.

  • Dave

    Thank you. Was disabled on my Verizon HTC One.

    • Nathan Gentry

      Same on my Verizon HTC One. I caught it by accident when I saw the new Google settings icon

  • http://htmlspinnr.smugmug.com/ Rick Johnson

    Noticed it by accident on my Nexus 4, and just re-checked the box.

  • Dudu

    Affected my Nexus 4 with Google Play Services 4.0.31

  • http://www.zadig.info Mario Gaucher

    it was disabled on my device after the update to 4.0.31. I have a Galaxy Note 3 SM-N900.

  • Ben J

    Disabled for my Moto X, updated 4.2.2, Google Play Services 4.0.31
    Device manager still located my phone before reactivating, though, strangely.

  • Tommie89

    it was disabled, LG G2 on android 4.2.2. :|

  • Luis G

    Galaxy S4 Tmobile running google play services 4.0.31. I noticed this morning that the google settings icon had changed colors from green to grey and figured GPS had been updated and started looking for any new things, only thing i noticed was under Android Device Manager the allow remote lock and factory reset option had been unchecked so i re-checked it. After i came across this post i checked the device administrator and android device manager was checked but i believe when i changed the setting it asked me permission to do so. Hope this helps.

  • Guest

    I have 4.0.31 and it works just fine on my HTC One http://i.imgur.com/J7oIU7i.png

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      What the hell...

      • http://www.buttie.pl/ buttie

        Location works cause update disables only lock and wipe. Like it was on my both HTC (One with 4.3 and DHD with CM 10.2, both with .31 Services) devices. Nexus 7 2013 didn't get update yet but I'm pretty sure that it will be disabled also.

        Google, you've screwed up pretty hard this time...

  • Luca Comellini

    It was disabled in my Galaxy Nexus with Google Play service 4.0.31

  • SoffMouf

    I thought being a device admin was only required for remote wiping. The location stuff still works without it.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Remote wipe and password reset.

      • SoffMouf

        You should probably remove 'remote locate' from "This is what allows users to access the new remote locate, unlock, and device wipe features" :)

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          Yeah, I pinged Jeremiah.

    • Jeremiah Rice

      Thanks - adjusted the title and story.

      • ujujujus

        you welcome

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    All of my devices had it disabled - what the fuck, Google? This behavior is absolutely unacceptable and turns your security efforts into a joke.

    A hidden update hit your device randomly without your knowledge? Now your phone is less secure, unless you decide to check the settings once again or see this PSA. And who's to say future Play Services updates won't do it again?

    Security people, what do you think of this behavior?

    • The_Chlero

      I dont know but Google is starting to disappoint me with many other things besides this.

      For one the unacceptable inconsistency of their design team is outrageous. It seems that each section of Android is made with different development teams across the globe and they dont communicate each other. Here in the site, Artem has appointed how big these inconsistency they are.

      Second:Like Ars Technica article points, Google has slowly making all the AOSP into closed source and sending the open source into oblivion.At the end this will lead into a Google-owned OS, just like Windows and iOS are for Windows and Apple. Which can be good or bad depends on the way you look.

      Third: That "GNex no Android 4.4" fiasco disappointed me so much. GNex is a perfectly capable phone of handling 4.4 and yet, Google refused to update just because is beyond 18 months life support. I mean, 4.2 and 4.3 are just "minor" updated to 4.1 JB, the REAL update for 4.1 is 4.4, yet Google dont updated the GNex leaving that phone with many bugs like the Wifi Issue and the Bug Display issue.

      I'm fan of Android because all the possibilities, but all these things make me think that walled garden OS like iOS and Windows are better because they can ensure long life support updates. (iPhone 4 got updated to iOS7 besides being a 3 year old device, 36 months old, sure the performance is sometimes bad, but the core features are there)

      • Senoy


      • Theratchetnclank

        The maker of the SOC (TI) for the GN no longer supports it with drivers ect,how is google going to support it?

        • The_Chlero

          New drivers are not needed for 4.4 just like new drivers were not needed for 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3. Those are always the same drivers or like developers call it: "binaries".

      • tookieboy

        I quote from the comment by Cowboydroid via Wired:
        "You’ve probably heard Android is free and open source. But that’s not entirely true."

        It sounds like that's entirely true, if a team like Replicant, or CyanogenMod, or anyone else can take the source and make their own version however they like.

        Stop confusing Android with the proprietary apps that are used on it. Android is an OS, not an application. You can do almost anything you want on Android, provided you can develop applications to work on it.

        • The_Chlero

          Just like Ars Technica article points, the main flavor of Android are their core aps. If you dare to make your own "Android" like Amazon, you must face all the costs and infrastructure that that conveys. Android works like that because of Google infrastructure. All the communication is handled in the Google Messaging Services announced early this year. All the apps and syncing processes are handled in Google servers, and so on.

          If you strip Google from Android you are left like CP3-0 in the Empires Strikes Back.

          • didibus

            That's ok and probably for the best. It doesn't need for all apps on android to be open source. What is more important is to make sure the OS has a set of services that allows a dev to easily build a UI interface for things like Gallery, Settings, Alarms, Launcher, Lock Screen, Dialer, etc.

            As long as Android core, the OS part, the one that allows those feature to work, is kept open, I think it's just a good thing that google is taking more charge of it's apps.

            The ultimate vision of android for me, would be an OS that comes without a launcher, no settings manager, no dialer, no lock screen, etc. And you just go through a simple process of installing the ones you want. Want the Google ones, which are probably entangled to the Google servers, go with that, want another, go with them.

            At least Android, the OS, is free and open, and Google apps are Free. Let's not forget the importance of Free, WP and iOS are not only closed, but they are not free.

            If Google doesn't find a way to keep control of at least one distribution of Android, and make it a Google tied experience, Android as a whole is doomed, because you need a leader to push the open source code forward. In the linux world, that leader does not exist, which is why Linux has never taken of outside of enterprise.

          • The_Chlero

            As I said in my first post: depends on how you look at it.

            (TL;TR: Google can screw us, want a long read? Go ahead)


            Very few companies have the resources(read: money, a lot of money) AND the experience in infrastructure like Google has.

            Amazon and their tablets, the Kindle series, have been struggling to raise over the sea of sales. Kindle OS is a derivation of AOSP, which in turn, doesnt have all the backend we have come to know as "Android". They have to outsourcing a big portion of the services that power the Kindle tablets. This is because, Amazon, being the world giant that is, is not capable of having ALL that infrastructure needed to run an OS.

            The other contender is Samsung. This company have been showing testing their own ecosystem within they Android phones, called Galaxy series. They have their own app for each main google service, except maps.Even so, Samsung doesnt have the experience in servers and services that Amazon know (remember, Amazon was born as an Internet business, meaning that they already have the minimum servers to allow a deployment of their services). If Samsung decides to fork their own "Android", they will be kicked off from the Android Alliance, which dictates that if you sell your smartphones with Google's Android, you never will make or use another fork of AOSP, and that "forked Android" will never be able to use Google's Apps and their infrastructure, yes, just like Kindle OS.

            This is a bad thing for manufacturers and companies trying to make their own Android, because the main thing that makes an OS successful is the ecosystem and the amount of apps in their ecosystem. Google provides those two main things, which means that developers will focus more on that ecosystem and will reach a wider audience, which in turn is very attractive for phone manufacturers and the circle complete.

            That's the main reason why all of the Android "cooked" ROMS or custom ROMS are dependent on Googles services. AOKP, CyanogenMod, Paranoid, you call it. Until now, Google has been kind for allowing THEIR CLOSED SOURCE apps into these custom ROMS. What will happen(and CyanogenMod had a taste of this 1 year ago) when Google dont want that those closed source apps being installed in non other OS than their own Google's Android and those in the Android Alliance (Samsung, HTC, Sony, LG, etc).

            Now, when you install a new custom ROM like, lets say, CM10.1, after you install it, you have to manually download and install what we call: GAPPS or Google Apps which are a group of Google's main apps like Play Store, Play Services, Maps, etc. What if Google stop releasing this GAPPS and the only way to get it is only by buying the actual phone. Yes, just like Apple and WP.

            There is a high chance of this, remember, those GAPPS are CLOSED SOURCE and Google main objective is to protect those and the Android Alliance group.

            More here:


          • didibus

            It's hard for me to explain my argument shortly. So you might need to read a bit.

            Linux has never managed to appeal to consumers to the same extent as Windows or Mac OSX. This is because no distro managed to come up with a compelling set of apps and services. I believe this is your point. That without a compelling set of apps and services, an OS is unappealing. Keep in mind, it is not worthless though, simply useless to end users. It is still relevant to devs.

            Now, Google is the reason why Android made it to so many user's phone and tablets, because they provided a compelling set of apps and services that had people want to use it.

            The thing is, why should those be open source and free? Open Source could be useful if it would mean leveraging the power of devs around the world to fix bugs and add features, but it seems Google don't need help on that front. The other reason would be because you actually want to make competing apps or services to Google's own. In which case, it'd be stupid for Google to head start you by letting you fork their apps and services, and it probably mean your set of apps and services won't differ enough to warrant existing, since the code base will be the same.

            Now, if you make a phone, Google gives you their distro of android for free. So, I really don't see where is the problem. All I see is companies wanting to take the profit Google makes with their apps and services, and redirect it into their own accounts. If that's the case, I see no reason why they can't put in the work themselves.

            I feel it's enough already for Google to provide them the foundation, the Android OS, for free and with all of it's glorious code base. That's already such a head start. Imagine if Amazon had to also make it's own mobile OS, it's already lacking in it's apps, it would just slow them down even more and increase their cost to compete a lot more.

            The only thing this hurts, is modders. Since the source is closed, if you don't like where the toolbar is in the Gmail app, and wanted to move it to the side, well you're out of luck. Of Course, your free to make an entirely new Mail app. Android makes this easy, and Google made it so it can run in the same flawlessly integrated way as Gmail, because of how good Android is an integrating apps with the OS.

          • The_Chlero

            I think we missed the point here:

            The point is that, currently, Android without Google's sugar is just an empty case of code. Its a useless OS unless you want it to develop a calculator app, some single player game or use it like research tool in a campus.

            That's why few companies make their own Android flavor. In fact, just 1, Amazon, has dare to do so and is somewhat struggling and thats it because is not competing DIRECTLY with Google's Android. They focus on another sub market, they make Readers not smartphones or tablets like we know it.

            I think that Google is slowly heading to a model like Windows in PC in the short term. You can have the hardware you want but the OS is MINE, yeah go ahead and make your own OS and lets see with what you come.

            In the long term, Google is heading for the semi-Apple model, 1 OS for the Nexus (which can be 2 or 3 at time from different OEM(Sony Nexus 6, LG Nexus 6, Sammy Nexus 6, all of them licensed of course.)

          • didibus

            Except that Android is not heading that way at all. The OS is open source and free. You will always be able to fork Android and the only difference is, when you do, it will come with less apps and services bundled in. You are right, it would be an empty shell, but the "shell" is the OS, that's the part that is difficult to build. This is exactly as it is in the Linux world. Linux is the shell, and each distro adds it's own set of apps and services on top of it.

            - Google's Android = Android OS + set of apps and services from Google

            - Samsung's Android = Android OS + set of apps and services from Google and Samsung

            - Amazon's Android = Android OS + set of apps and services from Amazon

            - Ouya's Android = Android OS + set of apps and services from Ouya

            - CyanogenMod = Android OS + set of apps and services from CyanogenMod with possibility to install google's apps and services afterwards

            I don't see where the threat to the Android OS is. All I see is an issue with the accessibility of Google's apps and Services. Until now, Google was making it's apps and services free and open source, slowly, they are changing them to be closed source and partially free, restrictions apply if you want to include them.

            Until I see that Google is implementing a closed source file system into it's distro of Android, or changing the VM to ART, and making ART closed source, or adding proprietary APIs and optimisations that are kept closed source, or adding security features, etc. all things related to an Operating System, I don't see any threat to Android's openness.

          • The_Chlero

            Quick answer:

            I quote your:

            "CyanogenMod = Android OS + set of apps and services from CyanogenMod with possibility to install google's apps and services afterwards"

            That last part is the point of everything. Until now, you can install GAPPS after you flash some custom ROM into your phone. Its ok. It gives you the sense of freedom and that you can do whatever you want witn AOSP and then just slap GAPPS into your ROM and voila, you have you own custom Android fully functional.

            The thing is that, that custom ROM is actually functional just because you install the GAPPS into it. CyanogeMod is successful because it runs on Google infrastructure. Lets see if you can slap Amazon infrastructure into the core AOSP in CyangenMod and lets see how it turns into.

            The only "service" that CyanogenMod has is some kind of subscription via the creation of an account which can be set in a regular PC on the CyanogenMod's side. So the fact is that those custom ROMS, ARE NOT Android forks, are just modifications to AOSP with the support of Google infrastructure.

            Google has been kind of letting people installing custom ROMS grab the GAPPS and slap them into their custom ROMS. The whole point of this argument is: What if Google suddenly stop letting modders grab these apps and only OEM are allowed to install into their licensed devices (Samsung, HTC, Sony).

            In 2009, CyanogenMod had a taste of this, and I will bet that Google will continue to control Google's Android until the point where if you don't have a licensed devices, you will no be able to have the Google's ecosystem which all Android phone are now into.

            I have a GNex which dont be updated by Google. My first though is: No problem, CM or AOKP will release a ROM with 4.4 for my GNex. The truth is that I'm comfortable because I know that until today I can slap GAPPS into that custom ROM and continue enjoying my apps and the benefits of Google's Android ecosystem. What if tomorrow, Google disable installing GAPPS in custom ROMS and the only way I can get 4.4 if by Google forcing me into buying Nexus 5, when I have a perfectly capable phone right now, but Google refused to update it to 4.4.

            Google can disable GAPPS and whatever they come into by the way of Google Play Services app, which is the ace for Google into this war against forked distros and competition.

          • didibus

            Exactly, so the whole issue is not with Android, but with Google apps and services. It is wrong to call Google's services and apps Android. So in no way is this turning Android into a Google owned OS. It is simply turning Google apps and services into something that Google can decide it wants it to be, Android is untouched.

            The problem with Aliyun, is that Alibaba is trying to compete against Google's apps and services. Alibaba is in fact a search and ads giant in China. The point of Aliyun is to get rid of Google's apps and services, so that users would be forced to use Alibaba's services instead. They also forked Android so much that apps were incompatible between Android and Aliyun. I don't see this as beneficial at all. This is a giant company trying to compete against Google's services and getting a head start at it by using Android, which Google already so nicely gave them for free.

            I don't know why Google would force you to not install Gapps. That seems stupid to me. I have not seen them do that yet. Google wants you to use their services, the only reason they wouldn't let you do so is if it meant them breaking some kind of licensing agreements. Say you'd run a ROM that don't support a DRM that Google is required to use for Google Music.

            CyanogenMod went private, I can guarantee they will start making apps and services to replace those of Google. Where would they be making money otherwise? Maybe they will sell CyanogenMod to companies who want an OS with their own set of services instead of Googles, or they will simply make their own.

            Now I think it's only fair that Google can choose where to bring its set of apps and services. It's already awesome for them to be making a core OS foundation for everyone to use. I don't see why they needed make Gapps open source. Keep in mind, Gapps is still free. They could decide to sell it to you, but they don't, cause they make money when you use them.

      • Russ

        Looking here: http://www.android.com/versions/kit-kat-4-4/

        There are 5 things specific to the Nexus 5, and two (possibly three, if HDR+ uses the OIS) of them are due to hardware. One of them doesn't require any modifications other than installing two .apks (the launcher) and the last is cosmetic and only affects the homescreens.

    • Scott

      Just a general IT procedure you test it before rolling it out. Sure seems like a real oversight that somebody like Google shouldn't ever let happen.

    • Theratchetnclank

      ADM has never worked for me on a single device despite multiple flashes or factory resets. Stock not stock. Rooted non rooted. It's a POS.

      • Zargh

        The problem seems to be that it doesn't work with @googlemail addresses.

    • Fifth313ment

      Yeah it disabled on my OG EVO, EVO LTE and Note 3. This is unacceptable!


    • Rodolfo Lopez

      I just got my phone stolen on monday thanks god for some reason I checked that after I updated that weekend with nexus 5 files... but what a BUG!!

    • Guest

      You could've post the Andoid Device Manager page in the article so people can check if its disabled or not.


  • Filipe

    It was disabled on my N7100, using PAC ROM 4.3.1.
    Thanks for the heads up!

  • Iwan

    Was disabled on my galaxy tab P7500. Android 4.0.4. Google play services version 4.0.31.

  • Andres Quiroga Laspiur

    Thanks! it was disabled on my stock N4

  • http://blog.tonysarju.com/ Tony Sarju

    It was disabled on my Galaxy S3 running a 4.3 ROM.

  • br_hermon

    Call me paranoid but am I the only one who hasn't enabled this feature yet? For safety's sake I figure let the service mature for several months, get the bugs out and avoid a possible catastrophe where someone possibly hacks/wipes my phone.

    Maybe mess ups like today are like what I've been avoiding.

    • SoffMouf

      Agreed 100%. Location tracking works without device admin, and I already use a PIN, so until I'm sure google isn't gonna accidentally send out a wipe command, that option remains safely un-checked.

    • Benjamin Pavel

      People that regularly backup their devices even without root shouldn't fear such things especially not today when everything is automatically either on Web or is backed up by Google. :)

  • richie97

    The Device Admin is only for the wipe, so at least the location feature would work.

  • wickets

    note 3 had no issues for me

    p.s. thanks for the psa

  • Gagan Mohal

    google play services is draining battery on my Samsung note 3. someone else having this issue?
    i have to unckeck "use wireless networks" under gps settings to stop google services from draining my battery.

  • Me!

    Was disabled on HTC One S, stock 4.1.1 (Play Services 4.0.31)

  • mikeym0p

    4.0.30 here, unaffected. Thanks for the heads up though! I'll be checking once .31 hits my devices.

  • Katsukuni Tanaka

    I was wondering why it was disabled after noticing that the setting icon turned gray. Galaxy Nexus GSM 4.0.31

  • moelsen8

    damn mine was gone. moto x.

  • Marcellus111

    Thanks for the heads up. Mine was disabled.

  • David

    Oh no. Mine was turned off. My phone is a Lenovo A820 (an amazing dual sim phone!)

    Thanks so much for the warning!!

  • miri

    So, is GPS 4.x at full roll out now? I was thinking about uninstalling the one from the Nexus 5 dump and letting it update naturally.

  • Lynton

    Was disabled. Nexus 4 Play Services 4.0.30. Completely unacceptable.

  • Jesse Cablek

    I don't recall if mine was checked on prior to the update as I generally use "Where's My Droid" and I just wiped my phone 2 nights ago as well... but I'm on Play Services 4.0.31 on a Samsung Galaxy S2x running AOKP nightly 2013-10-31 (Android 4.3) and Device Manager was unchecked

  • JT Wieme

    disabled here as well. n4, stock 4.3, play services 4.0.31

  • Egorzilla

    I saw this on my Verizon LG G2 with v4.0.31

  • Benjamin Pavel

    Disabled here too, HTC Evo 3D, Play Services 4.0.31.
    Thanks again for the heads up :)

  • JonJJon

    Didn't realise I had the update til I noticed the Google Settings app icon had turned grey.

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  • Brian Georger

    Disabled on Moto X AT&T and Nexus 7 (2013)

  • Matthew Fry

    I see what you're doing Google. Next update turns them *all* on.

  • Przemysław Rumik

    From this what I can see this update also started to make some problems with using Google Play Services to authorize app for access to things like Blogger or Picassa.

  • aarmina

    It was disabled on samsung I9300 and I9305! thanks for reporting

  • iboalali

    It was disabled for me , Xperia P Android 4.1.2

  • KenBarnum

    Was disabled automatically on my VZW Galaxy Nexus

  • Simon Belmont

    Wow, thanks for the PSA, AP. This was disabled on my GSM Galaxy Nexus, my Nexus 7 2012, my B&N Nook Color running CM10.2, my HP TouchPad running Evervolv's Android 4.3, and my EVO 3D running CM10.2 (the only thing it DIDN'T disable it on was my BRAND NEW Nexus 5 [literally a day old]). Literally, every Android I own. Well, except the T-Mobile G1 and HTC Hero that are retired and mothballed.

    It also disabled it on my wife's T-Mobile HTC One running Android 4.3 with Sense 5. Dirty pool, Google.

    • Ricardo Kummel

      Same on mine..

      Same on my TF700..

  • headlessteddygrahams

    Samsung Galaxy Nexus running 4.2.1, disabled.

  • http://www.twitter.com/ninjustin ninjustin

    Thanks, Hope this doesn't happen on a regular basis. This needs to be reliable or I'm going to have to go back to avast.

  • Sxeptomaniac

    It was disabled on my Galaxy Nexus running CM 10.1.3, and my Galaxy tab 10.1 running CM 10.1.0.

    Thanks for the heads up, from you guys, and boo to Google for failing to give us warning.

  • Huton Gergö

    Affected my Nexus 4 with Google Play Services 4.0.31

  • Francisco Frazão

    Thanks for this, ADM was disabled on HTC One X with Play Services 4.0.31.

  • Jon Slater

    Was disabled on all 3 of my devices: Tab 7.7, Galaxy Ace 2 (from work) and Nexus 4, running Android 4.1.2, 2.3 and 4.3 respectively. HOWEVER I am happy as, before this update, I couldn't activate Device Manager as an Administrator on the Tab: the box was unchecked and trying to check it prompted a deactivate query. Trying to turn on the ADM options in Google Play Settings (or remotely via the website) failed.

    So, as far as I am concerned, this update RESTORED some functionality. Of course, I never would have thought to check without this article. So, thanks AP!

    Now I just need to sort out why the Tab is crashing while installing or removing apps if done via the Play Store's Verify and Install option (something it's done since before I upgraded it to Jelly Bean)...

  • cabbiebot

    My Nexus5 is unaffected on version 4.0.31.

  • Björn


  • Rayun Mehrab

    Nexus 4 - affected

  • Pedro Madeira

    On a Nexus 4, upgraded google play services from 4.0.30 to 4.0.31 and the setting was untouched (I had it enabled)

    • ltredbeard

      Same on Nexus 5

  • RSerda

    thanks for the heads-up on this.. my N4 received the update the other night.. didn't think anything of it... it was disabled!? wth..?!

  • Tough guy

    I had it disabled already it was a battery drainer.

  • Raul

    4.0.31 on Galaxy Note 2 - Device Manager was disabled

  • Michael Fontenot

    There doesn't even seem to be a consistency to the resets. I'm using an N4 that's stock and up to date and the option wasn't reset. This is why ap is great though. Thanks for the update guys.

  • Ryan Stewart

    Does anyone know when this was pushed? Mine phone started acting wonky after Sunday and I am curious if this was an update that might have impacted it. All of the sudden, after the phone goes into a deep sleep (sitting overnight) it is unable to open any application. Everything force closes, even the reporting tool to report the FC to Google.

  • titanIntexas

    Tmobile Galaxy S4 with the latest 4.0.31Google play service asp and Device Manager is working fine thus far.

  • mateor

    Well, in security it is said that if it isn't on by default, it doesn't count. This seems to be taking it a little too far, though ;-)

    I try and preserve our security databases no matter what, with LOUD LOUD warnings if something (Android version increment) makes it absolutely necessary. This seems like an oversight on Google's part, although we are seeing a lot of those in 4.4, and slow response.

  • Mark

    Yes it was disabled on my MotoX with the Latest Play Services installed. Thank you! I'm not sure whether the Motorola Device Policy and Local Wipe Policy's that are also active on the X are duplicate security.

  • Jill Brehon

    Thanks for the heads-up. It was disabled on my GNex and my Nexus 10, both 4.3.

  • Peter

    did it to my Nexus S, Nexus 7 LTE, Wife's Nexus 4 and Xoom.

    The Nexus 5 was fine.

  • Michael Pahl

    Google -1
    Cerberus +1

  • Erica Ellis

    My Android Device Admin was disabled, also. Samsung S4. I did enable...and will be checking it periodically. Thank you for sharing. I will pass info along to family & friends. Google surprised me with this one. Should I have been? Hmm...
    Thanks again!!! :)

  • http://www.bordersweather.co.uk/ Andy J

    Won't make any difference one way or the other for me - until Google pull their finger out and acknowledge that people with an @googlemail address instead of an @gmail address can't fucking use the service!

  • Vasilis K.

    After updating to 4.0.31 on Xperia S, with Android 4.1.2, I noticed that issue. After enabling it, it didn't happen anymore.

  • Chee Wee

    Asus Transformer Infinity TF700T. Google Play Services 4.0.31. Android Device Manager was disabled, so I re-enabled it back.

  • Mohamed Yakout

    I found it on Nexus 4 disabled

  • Miquel

    I didn't even notice.what I did notice was that my Google setting icon just turned in to grey. I know it was green. So was a little worried that maby I got a virus on my HTC ONE. so i did a little Google search and here I am B-).. thanx for the tip android police.

  • Dansport

    I'm on a GS3 and got the Google Play Services 4.0.31 update. Thanks for the heads up because it disabled Device Manager just like you said. An easy fix but I wouldn't have known otherwise.

  • Ddmbrands

    Very nice blog regarding cell phones problems. Check the version number of your Google Play Services app then check
    the Device Administrators section of your Security settings page. The larger issue is that this seems to be affecting users without alerting them.

  • Lawrence Milford

    Was disabled on my LG G2, glad I didn't need it! Thanks for the PSA!

  • prowse!

    I have Verizon's (rooted, NOT unlocked) Droid 4, with OS v2.3.6 (Due to my rooting, and I would need to UNroot to "fix" this: A newer version patches the 2.3.6 D4 WiFi flake, which THEN - and only then - would allow Verizon to push down ICS at least - "maybe JB soon")

    Although I do not use any find my device feature (wasnt checked to begin with), Google Play Services 4.0.31 DID want to track my location immediately after install. I KNOW this because I use a permissions blocking program called LBE (and yes I worry, it's made in China!). And that is the main reason I decided upon root-only as opposed to root+unlock. The D4 IS unlockable using the unlocker for the Droid Razor Maxx (not documented).

  • http://zachofalltrades.net/ Zach Shelton

    Thanks for the PSA - I discovered that Android Device Manager was disabled on my stock Galaxy S4 (Android 4.2.2).

  • pyroguysf

    FWIW, I just got a notification to enable it after the upgrade.

  • http://www.newportessentials.com/ paco cornholio

    No big deal here. It disabled Device Manager on my GS4 GPE, but left a notification prompting me to re-enable it. Yes, a period without coverage. But a pretty good save.

  • ian

    the color of my google settings is change into gray, what should i do to back it in the original color green?

  • Tara

    HELP!!! Spontaneously, my Android (Samsung Galaxy S4) did something weird last night. My screen went blank and then ALL of my icons disappeared from my home pages and I cannot reset them or recreate them! I've tried to re-add them and I feel the haptic feedback, but it will not transfer to the screen. Plus the set task-bar with Contacts, Messaging, etc. is gone. The Wallpaper selections are not available either. I cannot seem to access. Perhaps an update did this? How can I fix it?!

  • Thumbs

    My phone is Samsung Galaxy S 3. I have the 4.0.31 update. The Android Device Manager is NOT activated. I had to reactivate it in my security software. Thank you for the notification.

  • Akshay

    It's workin. It is in my "Google settings" app.

  • bbb

    My Nexus 7 (2012), which just updated to 4.4, has disappeared from the device manager, even though all options are enabled & it's not hidden in Google Play. Turned both options off, rebooted the tablet, enabled (checked) them again--still completely missing from the Google Play device manager, but not from the other menus such as web initiated app installs. Services version is 4.0.33.

    • bbb

      Followed the instructions near the bottom of the device manager's help page for if your device doesn't appear. Fixed the problem! Note that on Android 4.4, the "Clear Data" button isn't the same. Instead, you click "Manage space", then "Clear all data". At least that's what I did. It didn't delete anything else that I can find, but it did fix the problem after following the instructions.

  • kainathmirza

    My xperia zl after resetting data am not able to access play store as it says retrieving data error.. N I cnt download anything frm it... Can u. Help plzz

  • Rıdvan Çetin

    I sold my old android and bought new one. But "the old device and old apps" still on the google play. Why we cant remove the old device? Im hiding my old device on google play but old apps still on google play(installed). Thats make me crazy.

  • Rim Helaoui

    I am having the same problem with my new Samsung Galaxy S4 mini. Google maps can locate me correctly but none of the apps can do (all location services are on) ! (current version: 4.4.21) THIS IS ANNOYING!!

  • lakshmipathy

    Xperia zr

  • Sahil Arora

    This is just putting your devices into trouble!! What's this Google?? i think Google has to take a serious action against this ASAP!!!

  • Echelle

    Need help please? I have been having problems with my LGL75 Optimus Prime. Every thing from running slow, taking forever to shut off and turn on. Booting me off the internet all the time. Battery aways going dead. I just had Straight Talk send me this phone brand new the 1st of Jan because my last phone had acted up for around 6 - 8 months before it just stopped receiving a signal completly. After looking through every app on this phone because I noticed it had at least twice as many apps on this phone than my last one. And a few of them are duplicated. I started reasearching what was happening to my phone. I came across the possibility of it being this google play services that might be what's messin with my phone. I have the 4.1.32. I even downloaded an Anti Spy Mobile pro. I thought my boyfriend put a spy program on my phone. So I am hoping you can help me fix my phone.

  • http://www.soalib.com Soalib Jence

    For android tracking just you can use a simple app called "Ghostrack". its simple free and full of useful features. Even you dont requre to have internet connection on your phone to track someone. just try it for once

  • iceman

    Plav Version 4.2.43 Moto X brand new phone running Android version 4.2.2 as of 20140227

  • adelebeeeee!!

    i cant download google play services as it keeps saying you need to sign in to google mail ive signed in but still nothings changed. Help??

  • Ami Hoag

    I have a Samsung Galaxy Victory, and it keeps giving me the error message, google play services have stopped.