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Does a factory reset delete everything?

Last checked and updated on 9 June 2022

When you decide to sell your Android phone you need to do is wipe all of your data from it. If you don’t take the proper precautions, the buyer could easily access your personal and business information – including passwords, bank account details and more.

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In this article, we will show you how to safely wipe your Android phone before selling it. We’ll also explain what Factory Reset Protection is and how to deal with it if you’re having problems resetting your device.

Will a factory reset delete all my data?
Contrary to popular belief a factory reset does not completely wipe all data from your Android device. When you do a factory reset, the system does not remove your Google account or any other accounts you have added. Additionally, any files stored on the SD card are not affected.

So what does this mean for you? If you’re selling your phone, it’s important to remove your accounts and any sensitive files from the device before doing a factory reset. Otherwise, the new owner could easily access your personal information.

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  • Great for entrepreneurs
  • Powerful data analytics
  • Manage sales and data
HubSpot logo Seamlessly connect data, teams, and customers
  • Cutting-edge marketing
  • Ideal for teams or solo use
  • Measure sales conversions
Wix logo Powerful web builder and advanced business tools
  • Great for startups
  • Powerful web page builder
  • E-commerce available
Planable logo Supercharged content planning
  • Great for marketing
  • Better than lists or sheets
  • Manage social media
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  • Launch your website fast
  • Powerful data intuitive
  • No coding skills needed

Follow these steps before you sell your old phone.

Backup your data

Before you do anything, the first step is to backup your data. This way, you can restore it later if you need to.

You can back up your data with Google’s in built back up service and save it to your Google Drive. To do this go to Settings > System > Backup. There should be a switch labeled back up to Google Drive, make sure this is turned on. You can then select a Google account to save your back up to.

Source: Wired.com

If you have a Samsung phone , you can use Samsung Cloud to back up your data. To do this go to Settings > Cloud and accounts > Backup and restore. Again, make sure the switch next to Back up my data is turned on.

Once you’ve backed up your data, you’re ready to move on to the next step.

Remove your accounts SIM and memory card

Now you need to remove your accounts, SIM and memory card from your phone. This will help keep your personal information safe after you sell your device.

If you’re selling or giving away your Android device, it’s important to remove your Google account before doing a factory reset. Otherwise, the new owner will be able to use your Google account on the device.

To remove your accounts, go to Settings > Accounts and remove all of the accounts that are linked to your phone.

Next, remove your SIM card by opening the SIM tray and taking it out. If you have a memory card in your phone, remove that as well.

Once you’ve removed these items, you’re ready to move on to the next step.

Perform factory reset

The next and final step is to perform a factory reset. This will delete all of the data on your phone, including any apps or files you have stored. Before you do the reset make sure Factory Reset Protection (FRP) is switched off.

FRP is a security measure that was put in place by Google to make sure that the person who wiped the device is the rightful owner.

To do this, go to Settings > System > Reset and select Factory data reset. You will then be asked to confirm that you want to delete all of the data on your phone. Once you’ve confirmed this, your phone will begin the reset process.

Common problems when doing a factory reset

One common problem people run into when doing a factory reset is that they forget to turn off FRP. If you forget to turn off FRP and try to do a factory reset, you will be prompted to enter your Google account information.

If you don’t have this information, you won’t be able to complete the reset and will have to contact the previous owner for help.

Another common problem is that people forget to back up their data before doing a reset. If you forget to do this, you will lose all of your files and data.

Options for businesses disposing of old phones

There are a few different options for businesses disposing of old phones.

Recycle

The main pro of recycling your old phone is that it reduces e-waste. This is good for the environment as it means there are fewer toxic materials polluting the earth.

Another pro is that recycling can be profitable. You can either sell your old phone to a recycling company or trade it in for a discount on a new phone.

However, there are a few cons to recycling your old phone. One is that it can be difficult to find a reputable recycling company. There are many companies that claim to recycle phones but actually just send them to landfill.

Make sure the company recycling your phone is going to wipe it clean and recycle it properly.

Sell

The main pro of selling your old phone is that you can get more money for it than if you were to recycle it.

You can either sell it online or in person. If you sell it online, you have the potential to reach a larger audience and get more money for your phone.

Selling a phone is time-consuming. You will need to list your phone, answer questions from potential buyers, and arrange payment and shipping.

Another con is that you may not get as much money for your phone as you would if you traded it in or recycled it.

Throw it away

This may seem like an easy option however it is very risky. If someone finds your phone they will have access to all of your personal and business data. It is also not particularly environmentally friendly as it contributes to e-waste.

Use a professional service

A final option is to use a professional service. This is a good option if you want to make sure your data is completely wiped and you don’t want the hassle of doing it yourself. This option is also good if you have a lot of phones you need to get rid of.

Often a company will collect old phones from you, grade them in terms of how valuable they are and then wipe them for you. Once this is done they will provide you with a certificate to say that your data is no longer on your old phone.

This is probably the easiest and safest option and give you peace of mind.

FAQ

Does factory reset delete everything?

No it does not. Contrary to popular belief a factory reset does not completely wipe all data from your Android device. When you do a factory reset, the system does not remove your Google account or any other accounts you have added. Additionally, any files stored on the SD card are not affected.

How should a business dispose of old phones?

There are a few different options for businesses disposing of old phones. They can either recycle, sell, or throw away their old phones. However the best option is to use a corporate mobile recycling company.

How do I wipe my old phone before selling it?

The best way to wipe your old phone before selling it is to perform a factory reset. However, data may still be able to be accessed by third parties. It is best to use a professional service to wipe and recycle your phone for you.

I don’t want to sell my old phone, can I still recycle it?

Yes, you can recycle your old phone even if you don’t want to sell it. Recycling is good for the environment as it means there are fewer toxic materials polluting the earth. Make sure you use a reputable company to recycle your phone, check that they will completely wipe the data from it before recycling it.

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