Selling An Used Android Device? Remember To Disable Anti-Theft!

Hello everyone, recently I found a “feature” (or flaw) in Android which made my life miserable for the past week. Let me preface what happened first so you understand what I am talking about.

For a while I have been wanting to get a new Android phone. For the past 2 years, my main device was a Nexus 6, which although in paper has some nice specifications even for today, I hated its guts because of many reasons which I will not mention in this post. Anyways, I went ahead and put the phone for sale on Ebay, but the same day that I put it for sale, my friend told me that he wanted to also sell his Oneplus 3T to get a new phone, so I bought that device from him (The 3T is so amazing and smooth, if you get the change to buy one please do so!). Now here it’s where the problem comes into play. My friend, as well all tend to do, factory reset his device from the Oneplus 3T recovery menu, however, if you do that and then go back into Android and try to set up the device with a different Google account than the one that was synced with the device before, Google does not allow you to log in at all on the device or do anything with it unless you log in with the previously used account. The device will give you a message saying “This device was reset. To continue, sign in with a Google Account that was previously synced on this device”. Asking you to log in with the previously used account.

Now, you can see where the problem lies here. If you factory reset your device from outside of Android and try to sell it, there is no way in hell the person that gets the phone will be able to use it. If you are an Ebay seller, this will be even worst for you because you will have to pay for the return of the device and the re-shipment of it (Luckily I purchased the phone physically and I meet with my friend so he could disable the “Feature”).

You might be asking yourself, Why in the world would Google do something like this? Well, it is part of their “Anti-Theft” feature. What it does is that, if someone steals your phone, factory resets it and tries to use it, they will be unable to use the phone (Basically turning it into a paperweight). Useful isn’t it? well not really. They completely forgot the fact that there are people selling their used phones, or that they have basically no information or warning about this feature at all. Not only that but there is no way of remotely disabling it at all.

Now to the solution to this problem. The only solution that I have found to solve this problem is to log into the device, and then either log into the account that you would like to set up the device with. That, or log into the device and then perform a factory reset from within the device by going to Settings > Backup & Reset > Factory data reset. After performing this action, the message should go away.

TLDR; If you’re selling a used Android device, be sure that you factory reset your device from within the Android system as previously stated or else you will be in a world of trouble.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *