If you are planning to resale your old smartphone, follow these steps to safely wipe off all your data on your smartphone so that it is safe to pass onto the next owner without any privacy concern.
With the latest smartphones making their debut every other day, more and more people are upgrading their smartphones. But what to do with all the data on your old smartphone?
We tell you the steps to safely wiping off the data on the smartphone you are currently using.
First and foremost, make sure that you have a backup of all your data that is on your current smartphone because as soon as you delete it, there’s no way of getting it back. You will not be able to undo anything after that. So, once you have safely got a backup up of all your data, follow these steps to securely wipe off all your data from the current smartphone –
- Ensure that your phone is fully charged or plug in the charger into the device as it will consume a lot of power because of the deletion process as it is a time-consuming process.
2. If your device is running on Android 5.0 “Lollipop” or later versions, make sure that you have dealt with the Android Factory Reset Protection (FRP) feature which is there to stop thieves or others from wiping off everything your smartphone.
3. Remove the screen lock on your phone. The very first step on a stock Android install is to tap Settings and then go to Security & Location followed by Screen Lock and choose None. If you own a Samsung Galaxy hardware, go to Settings > Lock Screen & Security> Screen Lock Type and choose None.
4. After you have followed the above steps, remove your Google account (or other accounts you have installed). On your stock Android, visit Settings > Accounts > Google and tap on Remove Account. On a Samsung Galaxy device, users must visit Settings > Cloud & Accounts > Accounts followed by selecting Google and then finally choosing Remove Account.
5. Samsung Galaxy smartphone users must note that they have to remove their Samsung account as well. Visit Settings > Lock screen & Security > Find My Mobile where you enter your password, select account, and then tap More > Remove Account.
6. Now, tap Settings followed by Security > Encrypt phone to start the process of wiping off data from smartphone. If you own a Samsung Galaxy, visit Settings > Lock Screen & Security > Protect Encrypted Data.
7. A guide will appear to direct you through the process. Firstly, set up a strong password. If you want, do not encrypt the SD card as one can easily eject it and keep it for another use rather than deleting all the data on it. Please note that it is a time consuming process.
8. Lastly, you can now factory reset the hardware. On Stock Android, users can do this by finding Settings and then tapping Backup & Reset followed by Factory Data Reset and choosing Reset Phone.
9. This process ensures that all your data is removed from the device. Strictly speaking, the data is still written on the flash memory in the so-called free space, however, it will ultimately be overwritten. As it is encrypted, recovering that would be quite difficult but if you still want to go forward with this, follow these steps.
10. Remove the encrypted data by overwriting it by uploading new data. One way to do this is to load some big files onto your device for example, big video files up until the storage is full on it; now then delete all of these files. The data wipe off is complete. One can also use an app, for example , iShredder, which “shreds” the data digitally.
Now that the data on your device has been completely wiped off, the device is safe enough for resale or passing off to whoever needs it.