How To Securely Delete All Data From Your Android Phone
If you are planning to sell your old phone, or just passing it over to a loved one, you want to be certain that all your personal data is completely deleted before you do this. If you have an Android phone, this is what you need to know.
Please note that the precise steps will differ depending on the version of Android that you are using, and the creator of the device. Settings are slightly diverse in the versions of Android, and manufacturer skins can change the names of settings or the exact menus. However, the over-all guidelines are the same across all devices.
The first evaluation you need to make is about the microSD card. In case your old phone has a microSD card, you can simply insert the card in your new phone and continue using it – most data like photos, videos etc. should get transferred effortlessly.
In case your new phone is not loaded with a microSD card slot, or you would not like to carry forward the card for some reason then you should delete all the data on the card by configuring it. First, back up all your pictures and videos.
- Connect your phone to the computer with a USB cable. Open My Computer on your PC.
- Navigate to the SD card and copy all the files you want to save to your computer.
- After the copying is done, you can unplug your phone.
Now, you can set-up your memory card.
- On your phone, go to Settings > Storage.
- Scroll to the bottom and tap Erase SD card. You will see a warning message telling you that you will lose all the data on the card.
- Tap the Erase SD card button to continue. If your SD card is secured with a password, you’ll need to enter the PIN to continue.
A gritty person can still regain your files from a formatted SD card, but the stress-free way to deal with this is by “layering”. Simply put, fill the space with something else, erase it, and repeat this process a couple of times and your original data is gone forever.
Backing up the data on your phone
Most vital thing to do is to confirm that you do not lose any of your contacts or pictures. The good thing with Android is that you need a Google account to set up the phone, and it automatically backs up your device. To make sure that this is the case, do the following.
- On your phone, go to Settings > Backup & reset.
- You should see a setting called Back up my data. Make sure that it’s marked.
- Next, press Back, and then scroll down to ACCOUNTS. Tap on Google.
- You’ll see your Google account which was used to set up the phone with a green sync symbol next to it. Tap the account.
- Make sure that all the options are marked – this will use your Google account to sync everything from your calendar to contacts to email to the photos that you take, which get automatically backed up to Google+.
- Not all versions of Android automatically back up pictures. In case your phone does not support this, you’ll have to use a PC to back up media via the USB as described above.
- Back up any other media files to your computer by connecting the phone to your PC using a USB cable. Follow the steps in the first half of the SD card section above to copy the files to your computer.
Once this is done, just reset the phone. Congratulations, you’ve deleted all the data on your Android phone.
Picture courtesy- parkeasier.com
by techtalks @TechTalks August 20, 2015 7:15 AM UTC