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Cisco Meraki Documentation

Enabling Device Owner Mode using Android Debug Bridge (ADB)


Android Debug Bridge (adb) is a command line tool that allows for communication between a computer and a connected Android device. It facilitates a variety of device actions, such as installing and debugging apps, and it provides access to commands that are not traditionally available to a connected device.


On Android 5.0 (Lollipop) devices Meraki cannot enable Device Owner Mode without using ADB. For enrolling devices on Android 6.0+ this method can be used as well, though using an over-the-air enrollment through device setup is recommended for higher versions. For enrollment instructions and general info regarding Android Enterprise, see our deployment guide here.

Note: Enabling Android Enterprise's kiosk mode requires both Device Owner enrollment and Android 6.0+.

Enabling Device Owner Mode via ADB

  1. First, download, install and configure the Android Debug Bridge (ADB) binary
  2. Download the latest Android SM app from
  3. On a computer run the following command to initialize ADB:
    • adb start-server
  1. With a new (or factory reset) Lollipop Android device, go through the setup wizard WITHOUT adding a Google account. If you accidently added an account, simply remove the account from the Settings app once you finish the setup wizard.
  2. Once the setup wizard is done and you’re on your device’s home screen
    • Go to Settings
    • Go to “About device” (Might be named slightly different)
    • Click the “Build number” field 7 times. This will turn on “Developer options”
    • Go back to Settings
    • Go to “Developer options”
    • Scroll down and enable “USB debugging”
  3. Plug the device into computer
    • Your device might prompt you with a trust dialog. Click accept.
  4. On a computer run the following command to install the latest Android SM app you downloaded onto your device:
    • adb install AndroidSM.apk
      • ADB commands must be run in the same directory where the ADB binary was installed.
      • You must be in the directory of your AndroidSM.apk file, or you must specify the full explicit path for the APK.
      • Depending on hardware, this process may appear to hang after the transfer of the APK is complete.  Wait until the process ends with Success.
  5. Once installed, run the following command to set Systems Manager as the device owner of the device:
    • adb shell dpm set-device-owner
  6. Repeat these steps for all devices. If there are large number of devices a simple script can be used to cycle through the devices and apply those commands.
  7. Once the previous steps have been completed: Open the SM app on the device, click enroll and then login with either your Meraki managed owner account or your Google Domain account.