How to wipe an Android phone
No one is secured from reselling his or her old phone. Sometimes, you must give your old phone for someone else to use, and in that case, you should be sure all of your personal information is secured. In other words, you should delete all the information before you pass your phone to someone else.
If you need to wipe your Android phone, check the guide for dummies and find out how to do this properly. Keep in mind that the instructions are generalized and might be slightly different for your model and manufacturer. Even the names of the settings can be slightly different on different devices. You may need to adjust the guide to your Android gadget.
Wiping your microSD card
The first step to complete would be to check the microSD card. There is no necessity to wipe it if you plan to use it on your new phone. This way, all your data will be saved and won’t be available to anyone else.
However, if you plan to pass your phone with the same microSD because your new phone doesn’t have a specific slot or for any other reason, it is necessary to delete all the data and format the card. Here is how to back up your photos and videos:
- Connect your phone to the PC or laptop through a USB cable (for Mac, you should have the Android File Transfer all);
- Go to My Computer (for Mac – Finder);
- Go to the SD card and copy all files;
- Save files to your computer;
- Unplug your phone;
- Format your SD card.
How to format your memory card:
- Open Settings;
- Go to Storage;
- Tap Erase SD card in the bottom;
- Tap it again to continue and ignore the warning message;
- Enter the PIN code if required;
You might need to put in some data and erase it a couple of times because a proficient person might restore your data. If you repeat such actions a couple of times, then restoring it won’t be possible. Here is what you should do:
- Erase your card;
- Reconnect it to your PC;
- Copy a file of the same size as your memory card to it (2GB, 3GB, etc.);
- Delete it right away;
- Repeat the action two or three more times.
It won’t take long, just up to ten minutes, but it will ensure a safe experience and that no third parties will see your personal or private files.
Backing up your phone data
Before you format your files and information, make sure that you don’t lose the necessary photos or contacts. As you know, to set up your Android phone, you need to have a Google account. Your device might be backed up automatically via it, so to prevent it, do the following:
- Open the Settings on your phone;
- Go to Backup and reset;
- Find a Back up my data setting and tick it if it’s not;
- Press Back and go to Accounts;
- Click Google;
- Tap the account with a green symbol;
- Tick all the options to sync your Google account with them to make them backed up to your Google+.
Unfortunately, not all Android versions backup your photos automatically. If your phone doesn’t have this option, connect it to a PC and back up your data via USB. Simply do everything described above.
You can back up any other media files to your computer the same way as you did with your SD card. The system will backup even the data of some apps. They must be registered with the Android OS and restore service. Unfortunately, not all apps support this option.
If you have your favorite apps and the ones you need for work, for example, and don’t want to lose all information in them, better back up them manually.
Deleting all data
Now as the backup is made, you can delete all information and data from your phone. You just need to complete a couple of steps:
- Erase the SD card by completing the steps described above;
- Use factory reset to delete all information on your phone;
- Enable hardware encryption on your device if you don’t wish anyone to restore your information.
Here are the steps to complete but you can skip the first two steps and go to the fourth one at once:
- Open Settings – Security – Encrypt phone;
- Click Encrypt phone again (if necessary, do it several times);
- Charge and reset your phone;
- Open Settings – Backup and reset – Factory data reset – Erase phone data;
- Tap reset phone;
- In some time, your phone will reboot.
Now your Android device is clean.
How to restore files on another phone
If you back up everything as it has to be done and is depicted above, restoring your data should not be difficult. If you removed your SD card and decided to use it on your new phone, then just insert it into another phone and have all your data back.
If you don’t plan to use your memory card on your new Android phone, just log in with the same Google account to it and get all your data from your computer by transferring them through a USB cable.
However, don’t despair if you are going to use an iOS device. You can still sync your Google account with it and transfer your files and other data by using iTunes on your computer.