Device Remote Wipe

A device syncing with NuevaSync can be told to erase all data, remotely, using the sync connection. This capability is primarily designed to address the situation where the device falls into the hands of a bad guy, for example if it is stolen. It's sometimes also used when the phone is assigned by a company to one of their employees and for whatever reason the company wishes to ensure that their data is no longer on the phone.

IMPORTANT: When a device is wiped, all data on the device is lost. If you are planning to test the remote wipe feature on a phone that hasn't been lost or stolen, you should first ensure that you have a backup of your phone's data. Some devices do not function after wiping. For example an iPhone is completely non-functional after wipe, until it is plugged into a computer running iTunes, where it can be revived and restored from a backup (assuming a backup was previously made). Please read the section pertaining to your device type below for more details. Also please note that any memory card plugged into the phone will be ERASED.

How Remote Wipe Works

The device must have Internet connectivity and it must be setup to sync with the service in order for remote wipe to succeed. This is because the device is told to initiate the wiping process by means of a response to a sync operation sent by the device to the service. If that communication path, or the sync setup itself is not working, then the device will never receive the wipe command. Therefore we recommend that you use a lock code or password on your device. This prevents a thief from quickly and easily disabling the phone's Internet connection or deleting its sync configuration. We also recommend enabling push on your device because if push is not enabled the wipe command won't be sent until the device next performs a sync operation (which may be many minutes later, or even never if the device is configured for manual sync).

Enabling Remote Wipe on your Account

Log into the NuevaSync web site and open the account settings page. If remote wipe is available as a feature on your account you will see a check box "Advanced Device Control". Check that check box if it isn't already enabled.

Initiating Remote Wipe

The remote wipe process is initiated from our web site. This page gives detailed instructions. From the device management page, click the "manage" link next to the device you want to wipe. On the next page click the "Completely wipe your lost or stolen phone" link. There is a confirmation page after that with a captcha, so there is no danger of accidentally initiating the device wipe process. Once you request wiping of your device, the service will send the wipe request within a few seconds (provided the device is using push).

Device-specific Details

Remote wipe is implemented slightly differently for each device type. The details for each device are below:

Windows Phone (Windows Mobile)

Windows phones are special in that they require acceptance of security policies on the device before remote wipe will work. This is important because it means that you can't decide to enable remote wipe for your phone after it has been stolen. (The thief is unlikely to accept the security policy for you). After remote wipe is enabled for your account, the next time your phone syncs it will display this message: " must enforce security policies on your device to continue… Do you want to continue?" (as shown below). Click "Ok". Your phone is now setup to respond to the remote wipe command and no further action is necessary.


The wipe process for Windows phones is identical to the "factory reset" operation: all data is erased from the device and it is put back into the state it was in when it was shipped from the factory. It will still function, boot up, and will be usable as a phone. Any user-configured settings such as screen theme and ring-tones will be lost.

Apple (iPhone and iPod Touch)

WARNING: Apple devices including the iPhone are put into an inoperable state during the remote wipe process. You will not be able to use your device after it has been wiped. The device will need to be connected to a PC and its firmware restored using iTunes before it is again usable.


Remote wipe has been tested with Nokia Mail for Exchange on S60 Series devices. Wiping is equivalent to a factory restore. All user data, applications, settings and email is erased but the phone is usable after wiping. RoadSync has not yet been tested. The new N900 does not support remote wipe at present (device limitation).

Palm Pre

Remote wipe puts the device into the factory reset state. It All user data is erased. Beware that after wiping the phone may require your carrier username and password to be entered to restore phone functionality (e.g. your Sprint account if you are a Sprint subscriber).

BlackBerry (AstraSync)

Remote wipe only deletes the data synced (contacts, calendar data, email). The device itself remains un-wiped.


The native Android 2.0 sync client does not support remote wipe, nor does the sync client shipped with most HTC Android phones. TouchDown and RoadSync will delete the synced data that's stored on the device, but won't wipe the device itself.


SonyEricsson UIQ devices wipe back to factory reset state. All device data is deleted.

last modified by David Boreham on 2010/03/16 21:29

Creator: David Boreham on 2009/11/05 10:52
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