How to Wipe Android Phone Before Selling

If you are going to give away or sell your Android phone, you might want to learn how you can wipe your Android clean before selling it. This is a comprehensive guide on how to fully and permanently clean your phone before selling it.

Joy Taylor Last Updated: Jan. 05, 2021

If you want to change Android to a new Android or switch Android to iPhone, you may want to sell your old Android phone. Then, how to wipe an Android phone before selling it?

There are a few things you need to do before the phone leaves your hands. One of these things is to wipe off all of the personal data saved on the phone. A popular way people do this is by factory resetting the phone. However, that is not the most secure way to erase your data before selling the phone. Here in this post, we will introduce how to delete data from Android phone permanently before selling.

Step 1: Back Up your Android Files

Before you go ahead and begin to erase your data, you might want to back up some of your important files. Data deletion will delete all your data and you should back up the files that you will need later on.

Method 1. Back Up Android Files to the Cloud

One of the easiest ways to back up some of your Android files is to use a cloud backup. Google offers a free phone backup solution and you can use it to back up files from your Android phone to Google cloud.

This method backs up the following files:

  • Apps and apps data
  • Call history
  • Contacts
  • Device settings
  • SMS

If you want to back up other file types, use Google Photos or Google Drive.

Using this method does not require an app since the backup option is built right into your phone.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your Android phone.
  2. Scroll down and tap the System option.
  3. Tap Backup on the screen that follows.
  4. You should see a toggle that says Back up to Google Drive. Turn this option on and your phone will be backed up.
Back Up Android to Google

Back Up Android to Google

Method 2. Back Up Android Files Locally

If you do not have a fast and stable Internet connection, or you do not want to use online backups for some reason, you can back up your phone locally to your computer as well. This basically includes plugging your phone into your computer and copying the files that you wish to preserve.

Keep in mind that you cannot back up your settings and such other items while using this method. To transfer files from Android to the computer with Android File Transfer:

  1. Head into Settings > System > Developer options on your phone and turn on the USB debugging option.
  2. Plug-in your phone to your computer using a USB cable, pull down the notification bar and use File Transfer as the connection mode.
  3. If you are on a Windows PC, your phone should appear under This PC. If you use a Mac, install and use Android File Transfer. (Tips: How to fix Android File Transfer not working)
  4. Copy all of the files you want to preserve from your phone over to your computer.

Further Reading: More Ways to Back Up Android Phone >

Step 2. How to Permanently Delete Data from Android

1. Remove Your Google Account from Your Android Phone

Before you can reset your phone, you need to remove the Factory Reset Protection from your device. To do this, you need to remove your Google account from your phone:

Open the Settings app on your phone > Tap Accounts to view your added accounts > Choose your Google account in the list > Tap Remove Account to remove your account from your device.

Remove A Google Account

Remove A Google Account

2. Encrypt Your Phone’s Data

You can apply encryption to your device data, and this way even if someone manages to access your data, all they will see is some gibberish text and not your actual data.

If your Android phone came with Android 6.0 or later out of the box, your phone automatically encrypts your data. You need to check which version of Android you are running first: Launch the Settings app > Scroll all the way down and tap About phone > You will see your Android version.

Find the Current Android Version

Find the Current Android Version

If you are on an older Android version, head into Settings > Security > Encrypt phone to encrypt your data.

Further Reading: Encrypting Android Phone Unsuccessful? How to Fix >

3. Wipe Off Your Phone’s Data

When your phone has encrypted your data, you can begin to factory reset your device. Keep in mind you will not be able to recover your data once you do this.

Open the Settings app, scroll down, and tap System > Select Reset options on the resulting screen > Tap Erase all data (factory reset) to start resetting your device.

Reset Android to Factory Settings

Reset Android to Factory Settings

4. Overwrite Your Data

To keep your data even more secure and make it impossible for it to be recovered, you can overwrite your data. When you do this, your new data replaces the old data forever and this then prevents your data from being recovered.

There are two ways to overwrite your current data. You can either manually add new data or you can use a file shredder app.

Manually Overwrite Data

  1. Connect your phone to your computer using a USB cable.
  2. Transfer some huge files from your computer over to your phone.

You can delete these huge files from your phone after a few minutes of transferring them.

Use an App to Overwrite Data

  1. Download and install the free Shreddit app on your phone.
  2. Open the app, select your storage, and use the option that securely deletes your data.

Frequently Asked Questions

You probably have a few questions about erasing data from your phone, especially if you are doing this for the first time. The following answers to your questions.

1. Does factory reset remove all data permanently?

Factory reset removes all your data from your phone. This data, in most cases, is permanently deleted. However, some recovery tools might be able to find and restore this data. You need to shred your files for good to ensure they can never be recovered.

2. If I erase my old phone, will it affect my new one?

No, if you erase your old phone, that will not affect your new phone. However, if you do not back up your old phone, you will not be able to restore your data on the new phone. This is because the new phone checks your Google account for any backups, and if it does not find any, it will not prompt you to restore your data.

Conclusion

That is how you wipe your Android phone before selling it. The methods above will ensure your data does not go into others’ hands when the phone goes away. Feel free to share your tips with us and leave your comments below.

Joy Taylor

Member of iMobie team as well as an Apple fan, love to help more users solve various types of iOS & Android related issues.