It’s a tragedy when personal data falls into the wrong hands. Most of this data is on smartphones and tablets. It is therefore very important to perform a factory reset and a complete data wipe before selling a phone. We have a complete guide to resetting a smartphone with Android, Windows or iOS.
Here are a few things you should keep in mind before resetting your smartphone:
- Ensure all data is backed up, including contacts.
- Remove external storage media and the SIM card.
- Log out of accounts such as email and social media accounts and delete app data if possible.
- Carry out a separate encryption and if the microSD card will not be used in a new device, clear all the data on the card.
- Safely keep the serial number of the device for future references.
How to Factory Reset and Data Wipe Your Android Phone?
Wiping data on an Android phone is achieved by performing a factory reset. This is only capable of clearing app data. For a more thorough wipe, one should encrypt the phone before proceeding to factory reset the Android device.
After the data wipe is complete, access to services such as Facebook and Google by the phone should be revoked.
Devices can be removed from a Google account by accessing myaccount.google.com, pressing on ‘Sign-in & security,’ ‘Device activity & notifications’ and deleting the device that has undergone the wipe.
You can refer to our Complete Guide on How to Factory Reset Your Android Phone for a detailed read.
How to Factory Reset and Data Wipe Your Apple (iOS) Phone?
For Apple devices that run on iOS 5 or later, iOS hardware encryption is used once the user sets a passcode. Once a wipe is performed, the encryption key is overwritten, and recovery of data proves very difficult. Simply follow the steps mentioned below to wipe your iOS device clean:
- Before the process begins, turn off all services, the first being Find my iPhone. Head to Settings > iCloud > Find my iPhone. You will need to enter your Apple password to execute this.
- Sign out of iCloud. This is found in Settings > iCloud. For an iOS phone running iOS7, select Delete Account. Failure to sign out of iCloud will result in loss of data from iCloud once the wipe is performed.
- Sign out and turn off iMessage, Apple ID and other services. iMessage: Head to Settings > Messages > turn off iMessage. Apple ID: Access Settings > iTunes & App Store > Apple ID email address and sign out.
- Head to Settings > General > Reset > Erase Content and Settings to begin the wipe process. Confirm the selection.
- If the device is registered with Apple using the serial number, delete it from the support profile by visiting supportprofile.apple.com.
You can refer to our Complete Guide on How to Reset Your iPhone to Default Settings for a detailed read.
You can also check the latest features of the new iPhone 7 here.
How to Factory Reset and Data Wipe Your Windows Phone?
A wipe on a Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 device is as simple as performing a factory reset and then loading dummy data to mask the original data. Here’s what you need to do:
- Go to Settings > About > Reset Your Phone.
- Confirm and wait as the phone carries out the wipe.
- Connect the phone to a PC, open My Computer and open the phone as a removable device.
- Drag and drop data from another folder to create dummy data on the phone.
- Carry out a factory data reset again, loading dummy data onto the phone each time. This will ensure all original data is overwritten.
- Perform the final factory reset. Remove the wiped phone from the associated Microsoft account by heading to account.microsoft.com.
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