How to wipe your Android phone to selling or trading it in

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Are you on the verge of purchasing the latest Samsung phone, or are you a Pixel fan? Whether you want to trade in your old Android phone for a discount on a new one, sell it on eBay, give it to a friend, or recycle it, you’ll need to wipe all of your data from it first by resetting it to factory settings. Fortunately, this is a simple task.

How to wipe your Android phone
How to wipe your Android phone

Before you begin, keep in mind that these instructions were tested on a Pixel 3 running Android 12, but the process should be nearly identical for the majority of current Android phones. Naturally, you should ensure that all of your data has been transferred to your new phone, has been backed up, or has been both transferred and backed up. Once your old phone has been reset, there is no turning back the clock.

How to wipe your Android phone Step by Step

  • Navigate to the Settings menu.
  • Select System > Reset options from the drop-down menu.
  • You will be given a choice between four options. When you’re having trouble with connectivity, it can be helpful to reset your Wi-Fi, mobile, and Bluetooth devices. Restoring all of your app and notification defaults, among other things, is accomplished by selecting Reset app preferences. Erase downloaded SIMs will assist you in deleting any digital SIM cards that you may no longer require. None of these, on the other hand, will remove the data from your phone. That is the responsibility of the last option, Erase all data (factory reset), which is the one you will choose.
  • The following screen will inform you of what is going to be deleted, as well as which accounts you are currently logged into. Select Erase all data from the drop-down menu.
  • A PIN or other type of security setup will be required if one has been set up on your computer.
  • You’ll be presented with another screen that asks if you’re certain this is what you want to do. Are you certain? After that, click on the Erase all data button.
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That concludes our discussion. The entire procedure usually takes no more than two or three minutes. Your phone will reboot and ask you a series of questions about language, account, network, and so on. You’ll know it’s worked when you see those.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind.

First, if you have a Samsung phone, you may be asked for your Samsung account password (assuming you’ve created one and added it to the phone) before you can reset it.

If you have an Android phone with an older version of the operating system (say, before version 8), the reset may prompt you for your login after it reboots. If you’ve already given the phone to someone else, this could be awkward. As a result, before you start the reset, turn off your screen lock (by going to Security > Screen lock and selecting None) and delete your Google account (found at Settings > Account > Google). (In fact, in any case, that might be a good idea.)

Some data has been found to remain on a phone after it has been reset. You can encrypt the phone before resetting it to be extra safe:

  • Go to Settings > Security > Encryption & credentials and select Encrypt phone
  • Go back to your settings and start the reset process

Of course, if you want to be really sure, and you don’t intend to give the phone to anyone, you could always grab a hammer.

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