Use Android 4.3 Owner Info to Recover a Lost Nexus 7

To celebrate my blog’s sixth birthday I thought I’d go back to my (ed)tech blogging roots and do a quick write-up on my new toy, Google’s updated Nexus 7 tablet.

One of the changes Google brought to Android 4.3 is the “Owner Info” option, which allows you to insert text that appears on the lock screen.  For as often as I travel with my electronics, I thought I’d use that to put my contact information and a reward offer front and center on the lock screen in case I ever lose my tablet.

I’m doing this with my new Nexus 7, but I’m guessing this would work for any device running Android 4.3.  It’s a simple process:

First, go to Settings > Security and look for the “Owner Info” option:

N7 Screen 1

Select “Owner Info”, check “Show owner info on lock screen”, and type in your message.  Mine’s simple; it just reads, “If found, contact (my phone number) for reward.”  You could also put a Twitter handle or your email address; if you run your own domain and are feeling really fancy, you could set up a custom email address for this sort of thing (e.g.,

N7 Screen 2

Exit out of Settings and lock your tablet.  When you wake it back up, you should see your custom message in the middle of the screen:

N7 Screen 3

My tablet is also locked with a PIN.  Anyone who finds my misplaced tablet is not going to be able to use it, so they have two realistic options: get in touch with me to collect a reward, or leave the tablet where it is.  Seems like a no-brainer to me.

Of course, the preferred scenario is that I don’t lose my tablet in the first place, but if I do, I’m hopeful this will provide enough incentive for whoever recovers it to get it back to me.



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