When Avast, the antivirus and internet security company, bought 20 phones from ebay, they found that they could recover a lot of data from those. Even though they were factory reset, it didn’t help a lot. If you ever want to sell your phone, you must make sure that none of your data can be recovered. This article will help you learn how to wipe android phone in a few simple steps.
Imagine you’re giving your phone to a repair shop and they recover all your deleted data including your e-mails, photos, messages, and other information which are highly personal. How annoying is that? This is why it is of utmost importance that you clear your phone completely so that nobody can recover it.
Not just when you sell your phone or repair your phone, you can use these instructions on how to wipe android phone when your friend or sibling wants to borrow it for a few days. Also, we will be discussing on how to prevent others from wiping your phone, so that nobody steals your phone, wipes it and sells it.
Here, the following are the instructions on how to wipe android phone:
1. Step 1- Data Encryption
- How to wipe android phone is simple, but without encryption, anyone can wipe anyone’s phone easily.
- Check which version of android is in your phone because if it’s Android 6.0 Marshmallow or the versions that came after it, encryption would have been done by default. If you’re not sure what is the version of android in your phone, you can check it by going to Settings > About device/phone > Software info.
- Android 6.0 Marshmallow or any other version above it has to be installed out of the box for this default encryption to work. This means when you buy the phone, the phone should already have Android 6.0 Marshmallow or other advanced versions.
- Now, let’s see how to encrypt your data if you’re using a phone with android version lower than Android 6.0 Marshmallow. This may take a few hours depending upon the amount of data on your phone and hence it’s safer to keep your phone plugged in to a charging point during the process.
- Go to Settings > Security > Encrypt phone. This process may be slightly different in different phones, but generally, it’s very similar to this and you can do it by yourself easily.
- If you have an SD card mounted in your phone, you can encrypt the data in that too. However, it’s best to remove it and keep it with you if you’re going to sell your phone or give it for repair.
2. Step2- Factory Reset
- Factory reset doesn’t wipe all of your data from the phone. Instead, it wipes off the address of all the data which means that the phone cannot find where any of the data is. In this case, someone can use an off-the-shelf recovery software to recover some of these data. This is why we’ve started with encryption which will require anyone who tries to recover your data to give a password which only you knows.
- If you’re using a phone that runs Android 5.0 or the versions that came after you, you should first remove the Factory Reset Protection (FRP). FRP is an extra security layer introduced by Google so that nobody can steal, wipe, and sell your phone easily.
- To disable FRP, go to Settings > Lock screen and security > Screen lock type and choose None. This process can be different in different phones but is very similar.
- The next step is to remove all the Google accounts you have saved on your phone. To do this you can go to Settings > Cloud & accounts > Accounts and click on Google, then click on the three vertical dots in the upper right or More > Remove account.
- If you’re using a Samsung phone, you should remove your Samsung account too by clicking on Settings > Lock screen and security > Find My Mobile.
- You will need to type your password for the account at first, and then you can click on account> More >Remove account.
- Now, you can actually do the factory reset by going to Settings > Backup & reset > Factory data reset and the clicking on Reset phone or Reset device. Make sure you have all your data backed up, including your media and contacts before you do this since it will wipe off everything.
3. Step3- Overwriting
Now that you’ve erased everything completely, you can overwrite your phone with junk files and perform another factory reset so that there’s no way anyone can get the old data back. Junk files can be anything like a few lengthy videos or movies that will simply fill your phone like dummy data.
Also, there are apps available which will help you erase data from your android phone pretty easily without any hassle. Apps like Secure Erase with iShredder, 1 Tap Eraser, Autowipe, and Complete Wipe are a few of these apps.