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Are you thinking about buying the latest Samsung phone or using a Google Pixel to save some money? Whether you’re looking to sell in your old Android phone for a discount on your new phone, sell it on eBay, send it to a friend, or drop it off for recycling, you’ll want to erase all of your data by resetting it to factory conditions first. Fortunately, it’s quite easy to do.
Along with the progression of time, more and more new phones have started being launched in the market. So, people nowadays usually try to exchange their old devices to get the new one. The benefits, you ask? It’s way cheaper, and the customers could get the new phone for a much less expensive rate when exchanged with the new phone he purchased.
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The most common procedure before selling an old phone is to restore the machine to factory settings, thus wiping it clean of any personal data. This creates a new-phone feel for the new owner besides offering protection for the original owner.
But, as per the recent reports, it’s quite surprising for us to know that just factory resetting the device isn’t enough to permanently wipe Android devices, whether it’s a phone or a tablet. Moreover, most of the people do not even know how to clean an Android phone and wipe the phone off any critical files and documents.
So, in this article, we will give you a few tips to help you get the best way to wipe an Android phone.
- Before you start, be aware that these directions are for phones running on an Android 9, but the process for most of the current Android phones should be pretty much the same. In the first step, you need to make sure that all of your data, including pictures, videos, and documents, are transferred to your new phone, backed up, or both of these options. Once your old phone has been reset, there’s no going back.
- Go to Settings
- Select System and then click on Advanced. Select reset options
- You will be offered three choices. “Reset Wi-Fi, mobile & Bluetooth” is seldom useful if you’re having trouble with connectivity. Clicking on the option of “Reset app preferences” will restore all of your application and notification defaults, among many other things. Neither of these will delete the data on your phone. That’s the job of the third choice, “Erase all data (factory reset),” and that’s the one you’re going to select.
- You’ll get a warning dialog box on your screen to notify you that your data will be erased, along with all the accounts you’re currently signed into. Select “Reset phone.”
- If you have a PIN or some other security setup that you have established in your phone, you’ll be asked to enter it
- You’ll get another screen with a dialog box asking if you’re sure this is what you want to do. If you are confident with the process, then go ahead and hit the ”erase everything” button.
And that’s it! This process usually takes only two or three minutes. Your phone will reboot and begin with the usual start-up questions, such as language, account, network, etc. Once you see those, you’ll know that the process has worked effectively.
There are a few things to be aware of. First, if you’ve got a Samsung phone, you’re going to be asked for your Samsung account password before you can reset. It is required especially when you have created an official Samsung account and then added it to your phone.
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If you’ve got an Android phone that is using an earlier version of the OS (say, before release 8), the reset may, after it reboots, ask for your login. This could be awkward if you’ve already sent the phone to someone else. As a result, if you’ve got an older phone, it’s a good idea to turn off your screen lock (by going to Security, then selecting the Screen lock and selecting “None”) and deleting your Google account which you will be able to find at Settings, then go to Account and select Google before you begin the reset.
There is evidence that some data may remain on a phone even after it’s been reset. To be extra careful, you will have to encrypt the phone before resetting it:
Follow these steps to encrypt and protect your phone:
- Go to Settings.
- Go to Security & location
- Click on Advanced
- Encryption & credentials and select the option named as “Encrypt phone.”
- Go back to Settings and start the reset process
Why Factory Reset isn’t enough for clearing an Android Phone
According to the recent reports by a very popular and reliable Security Firm, only a plain Android reset is not enough to clean any Android device thoroughly. Despite the phone being cleared completely, the company was able to recover some lost files and images, which wasn’t hard to work on. Thus, it is proved explicitly that factory reset isn’t enough to wipe an Android phone and tablet. But don’t worry, there is always a better alternative available that will help you to clean Android entirely without the fear of any recovery.
What is the traditional way to Encrypt and wipe your data?
There are many tools available to wipe Android data safely. But there is also one primitive method that helps to secure all the personal data before performing a factory reset. Follow the steps carefully to complete a factory reset and obtain all the personal data on your phone
Step 1: Encrypting
We would recommend encrypting your device before you are getting ready to wipe it. The encryption process will scramble the information on your device and, even if the wipe doesn’t entirely delete the data, a unique key will be required to unscramble it.
To encrypt your device on stock Android, enter settings, click on Security, and select Encrypt phone. The feature may be located in different options on other devices.
Step 2: Perform a factory reset
The next thing you will want to do is perform a factory reset. This can be done on stock Android by selecting Factory data to reset in the Backup & reset option in the settings menu. You should be aware that this will erase all of the data on your phone and clear all the documents, pictures, and videos and that you should backup anything you don’t want to lose.
Step 3: Load some dummy data to verify
Following steps, one and two should be enough for most people, but there’s an extra step you can take to add another layer of protection when you are erasing your data. Try loading a few fake photos and contacts on your device. You might ask why, and we will address that in the next step.
Step 4: Perform another factory reset
You should now perform another factory reset, thus erasing the dummy content you loaded onto the device. This will make it even harder for someone to locate your data because it will be buried below the dummy content. This is the most primitive answer to the question of how to wipe an Android phone.
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The last method mentioned above is comparatively simple when it is compared to an Android Data Eraser but is definitely less secure in nature. There have been many reports when the extraction process has been successful even after an encrypted factory reset.
In a nutshell:
With many reports coming in from security organizations across the world, it has been confirmed that a mere factory reset won’t delete all of the information stored on your Android device. So you can follow the steps mentioned in the article to wipe your phone off before selling or trading it in.