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How to wipe an Android phone

Sep 02, 2019 · 2 min read

How to wipe an Android phone

Our phones store tons of our personal info. Moreover, they are gateways to our social media accounts, virtual wallets and online stores. Thus, this data requires proper protection, especially when we trade or discard our devices. Here are some tips on how to wipe your Android phone safely.

What to do before trading your Android

Before wiping your Android phone make sure to:

  • Delete any saved passwords from your browsers;
  • Remove your SIM card;
  • Make sure you delete all the saved passwords in your apps and unsync them from associated accounts;
  • Sign out of all your accounts associated with your phone;
  • Encrypt your data. Even if someone accesses it, they won’t be able to see it. You can do so by:

1. Going to Settings -> Security & location;

How to wipe Android phone

2. Selecting Advanced;

How to wipe Android phone

3. Tapping Encryption & credentials;

How to wipe Android phone

4. Tapping Encrypt phone.

How to wipe Android phone

– Remove any payment cards associated with your phone.

– Sign out of Android Beta if you have Pixel or Nexus phones.

How to back up your data on Android

To back up your files on Android you should:

1. Go to Settings;

How to wipe Android phone

2. Choose System;

How to wipe Android phone

3. Click Advanced;

How to wipe Android phone

4. Click Backup;

How to wipe Android phone

5. Switch it to On. Your data will be stored in Google Drive.

Android 8.1 or later automatically backs up your text messages (but not your call log). If you want a more secure way to save your text messages and your call log, you can use third-party tools to do so.

You should also sync your apps with your Google account. Google apps will sync to your account automatically. If this does not happen, you can sync them manually by:

1. Going to Settings;

How to wipe Android phone

2. Tapping Accounts;

How to wipe Android phone

3. And turning on Automatically sync data.

How to wipe Android phone

Please note that to sync other apps, you will have to check individual app settings and sync them manually.

If you want to back up your photos:

1. Open the Google Photos app;

How to wipe Android phone

2. Sign in;

3. Click on the three stripes in the top left;

How to wipe Android phone

4. Select Settings;

How to wipe Android phone

5. Tap Back up & sync;

How to wipe Android phone

6. Switch it on by tapping on the toggle next to Back up to Google Drive option.

How to wipe Android phone

However, Google Photos is not the best choice privacy-wise, so check our list of more private photo apps.

The same goes for Google Drive, although it can be a useful back-up tool. You can find more privacy-focused Google Drive alternatives.

How to wipe your Android phone completely

To reset an Android phone, you must first disable its factory reset protection (FRP):

1. Go to Settings;

How to wipe Android phone

2. Select Accounts;

How to wipe Android phone

3. Tap on your account;

How to wipe Android phone

4. Choose Remove Account.

How to wipe Android phone

Now you can perform an Android factory reset and wipe your phone. Here is how to reset your Android phone:

1. Go to Settings -> System

How to wipe Android phone

2. Tap Advanced -> Reset Options;

How to wipe Android phone

3. Choose Erase all data (factory reset);

How to wipe Android phone

4. Tap the Reset phone button;

How to wipe Android phone

5. Tap Erase everything and your phone will be returned to the same state as when you purchased it.

How to wipe Android phone

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Paul Black
Paul Black successVerified author

Paul is a technology and art enthusiast who is always eager to explore the most up-to-date issues in cybersec and internet freedom. He is always in search for new and unexplored angles to share with his readers.


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