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In depth clean up on phone

Discussion in 'Android Help' started by bluemoo21, Oct 15, 2020.

  1. bluemoo21

    bluemoo21 Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Hi. If Im looking to sell my phone and want to make sure all my data is completely erased including stuff that has already been deleted, how would I go about doing that? Thank you!
     


  2. MrJavi

    MrJavi Android Expert

    ocnbrze, mikedt and Hadron like this.
  3. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    How old is your phone? For a good few years now Android phones' internal storage has been encrypted by default. A factory reset will delete the encryption key, which makes data recovery after a reset extremely difficult (I'll never say "impossible": if you are of sufficient interest to a national security service for them to throw serious resources at it then I recommend putting a chisel through the storage chip instead. But otherwise a simple reset will suffice).

    More importantly, make sure you remove your Google account from the phone before you reset it. If you don't then the buyer won't be able to use the phone unless they enter your Google login credentials first. This will rightly **** them off.
     
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  4. bluemoo21

    bluemoo21 Lurker
    Thread Starter

    The phone is new. I got it this year. For some reason on my phone, to run the full encryption option is greyed out. It also stated to run encryption on new data which I did and that is what I have it at now. Dont I want to run a full encryption though?
     
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  5. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    You do, but it might be that the option is greyed-out because the phone simply is encrypted. My Pixel 2 doesn't have an option in the settings to run unencrypted, it just tells you it's encrypted, end of story.

    But was that "encrypt new data" already turned on? If that was on by default then everything you added to the phone would be encrypted anyway.

    If you wanted to be really sure you could reset the phone, make sure that option is on, then fill the storage as full as you can (download movies until you can't fit any more, for example) to fill everything with encrypted data and then reset it again. Even create a temporary Google account for this (which you should remove before resetting, as above) so that none of your previous data are reimported). There did used to be apps that would fill your storage with junk for this purpose, in the days before encryption, but whether any still exist I don't know.
     
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  6. bluemoo21

    bluemoo21 Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Yes it was already set on encrypt new data. Will filling my phone with additional downloads, apps, etc permanently remove old deleted files on the phone? Thinking maybe i should do this before i do a factory reset
     
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  7. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    If you overwrite the storage that will remove any trace of previous data in that part of the storage.
     
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  8. bluemoo21

    bluemoo21 Lurker
    Thread Starter

    So basically just watch a shit ton of Netflix and Hulu? Lol will that overwrite the storage? Not trying to sound peculiar Im just an idiot when it comes to technology and jargon.
     
  9. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    Streaming won't do it. You need to fill the storage to be sure.
     
  10. bluemoo21

    bluemoo21 Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Ah ok would downloading apps remove deleted stuff?
     
  11. steiny180

    steiny180 Android Enthusiast

    1. Connect device to PC.
    2. Note internal storage available
    3. Copy a large file from PC to device which will fit in available internal storage.
    4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you have almost no storage available.
    5. Reset your device.
    6. Thank me very much.
     
  12. bluemoo21

    bluemoo21 Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Dont have a PC
     
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