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

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Before you give your device away, delete your personal data

About to buy the latest Samsung phone? Ever wanted to know how to wipe your phone for a trade-off to get a new one?

Here we cover how you could do that seamlessly. Just follow the steps and you should be good.

  • Go to Settings
  • Select System > Advanced > Reset options
  • You will be presented with three choices. “Reset Wi-Fi, mobile & Bluetooth” is sometimes useful if you’re having trouble with connectivity. “Reset app preferences” will restore all of your app and notification defaults, among other things. Neither of these will delete the data on your phone. That’s the job of the third choice, “Erase all data (factory reset),” and that’s the one you’re going to select.
  • You’ll get a warning screen reminding you that your data that will be erased, along with all the accounts you’re currently signed into. Select “Reset phone.”
  • If you have a PIN or some other security setup, you’ll be asked to enter it
  • You’ll get another screen asking if you’re sure this is what you want to do. Are you sure? Then hit the “Erase everything” button.

The process usually takes only two or three minutes. Your phone will reboot and begin with the usual opening questions, such as language, account, network, etc. Once you see those, you’ll know that it’s worked.

If you’ve got an Android phone that is using an earlier version of the OS (say, before version 8), the reset may, after it reboots, ask for your login. This could be awkward if you’ve already sent the phone to someone else.

As a result, if you’ve got an older phone, it’s a good idea to turn off your screen lock (by going to Security > Screen lock and selecting “None”) and deleting your Google account (which you’ll find at Settings > Account > Google) before you start the reset.