How to Wipe (or Recover) Data from your Android Smartphone
Posted on 15th Oct 2020 16:54:18 in Samsung

This article explains the details of how to wipe your Android smartphone. Some of the details apply to iPhones as well, but the instructions might differ for Apple devices. Erasing your phone, often called a factory reset, removes all personal files (photos, videos, documents), deletes all installed apps, and clears all logins and configuration settings. Essentially it restores the phone to its original, out-of-the-box state.

Reasons to Wipe Your Android Phone

There are a few good reasons why someone would want to wipe their phone. It usually doesn't take long and a freshly restored phone will run as fast as it ever can.

Selling Your Phone

If you are going to sell your phone, it may be a good idea to erase it beforehand. Here at Tech Reboot, we factory reset every phone before it leaves our warehouse. However, if you are giving your phone to someone in person after an upgrade, donating it to an organization, or bringing it to a pawn shop, who knows what they will do with it. The safe bet is to factory reset your device.

Clear the Clutter and Junk

As we use our phones, data tends to build up. Apps collect cached data with every tap or swipe. Games and streaming apps both download media files that can quickly fill up your phone. The photos and videos we record add up in storage size. Wiping your Android says bye-bye to all of this data.

Remove Harmful Malware

Malware, aka malicious files that try to steal your clicks, data, or even money, continues to be a problem for Android users who may have visited shady websites or clicked a link in a phishy email. Erasing your Android phone can clear up mostly malware issues, usually.

Spring Cleaning

Every now and then you just want to start over. If the amount of files and apps on your phone has gotten so cumbersome you can't see any quick way to manage them anymore, maybe it's time for a restore. You can factory reset your phone, and ask yourself what apps you really need to have installed. Your phone will probably get a new zest for life, and you will feel as free as the early days of getting a new phone.

If You Just Want to Free Up Some Android Space

If you landed on this article and you simply want to free up some space on your Android, not completely erase it, there are a few quick things you can do.

Clearing your app's cache files can be done from Settings > Apps. The storage size of each app is listed. You can click on any app and clear the files. If you choose Clear Cache, only downloaded files are erased. If you choose Clear Data, your login info for that app will be cleared as well, requiring you to login the next time you open the app.

How to Erase Your Android Phone

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap System > Advanced > Reset options. If you don't see "Advanced," tap Reset options.
  3. Tap Erase all data (factory reset) > Reset phone. If needed, enter your PIN, pattern, or password.
  4. To erase all data from your phone's internal storage, tap Erase everything.

Important: Settings can vary by phone. For more info, contact your device manufacturer.

How to Restore Data on your Android Phone

If you want to restore your data to a factory reset phone, the method depends on whether or not you have a backup.

Restore from a Backup

Android users can backup their data and then restore it after a factory reset. Backup your data using Settings > Backup & Restore. Samsung users can backup to their Samsung account; all other Android users can select the Google backup options.

Once you backup your data, you can factory reset your device. Restore your data and settings by going into the same settings and this time selecting Restore.

Use Restoration Software

If you have already factory reset your phone and do not have a backup, there are options that may help you recover some of your data if needed. A desktop application called Recoverit claims to have 98% recovery rate. An internet search of smartphone data recovery services may provide some local companies that offer those services.

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