If you’re thinking about selling, trading or giving away your Galaxy Note 5 then you might want to do a few things to erase all of your data properly.
The Galaxy Note 5 might be a brand new phone to a lot of people but some are already looking to get rid of it so they can move on to a different device. Whatever your reason is, it doesn’t matter but I do want to let you know that simply doing a factory reset might not be removing all of your personal data from the device. Not too long ago, a study was done on Android devices and it showed that a factory reset wasn’t the best way to erase all the data from your smartphone or tablet.
Granted, this was done on some older versions of Android but still, Google has yet to respond to this report to tell us that the issue has been completely resolved. Until this happens, and until more studies like this are done, I think that most people would rather be safe than sorry. I should also point out that it’s not like this data was just freely available to the average consumer. Still, you never know who gets your smartphone when you sell it on eBay(or even return it to your carrier). These additional steps that I want to recommend doesn’t take a long time so I will always suggest that people do this.
It seems logical that the first step you take is to perform a factory reset, or that maybe you should do multiple factory resets for it to wipe all the data from the device. Sadly, this is not the case here and that is why I thought it was worth writing a guide about. Instead, you’re going to want to enable encryption on the Galaxy Note 5. You should click-through that link and follow that tutorial if you don’t already know how to do this. It will only take 10-15 minutes to complete(assuming that your battery is already charged to 80%) and it is something that you should really be doing already.
What this does is it takes all the data on your Galaxy Note 5 and it mixes it all up. The only way to unscramble this data is to enter the password or PIN code that you set(or have already set) when enabling encryption. If you do a factory reset while encryption is enabled then you will lose all the data on your phone(naturally) and it will be as if you had just pulled it out of the box(meaning you will have to activate Android to get into the system). So, if there is any leftover data then it will not be accessible unless that person knows the password or PIN code that you set.
Once you have enabled encryption on the Galaxy Note 5, then you can go ahead to the next step. You’re going to want to Factory Reset the Galaxy Note 5 just like you normally would. Again, if you don’t know exactly how this is done then click-through to that link and follow the tutorial that I have previously written on the subject. You can choose to do the Soft Factory Reset or the Hard Factory Reset as it doesn’t matter which one you pick. Both of these will result in the same thing so I recommend just doing the Soft Factory Reset as it is the quickest and easiest to do.
Once the Galaxy Note 5 has been reset(while encryption is enabled), then you are done and you can package up your device for shipping or to give it away. Assuming that Android still leaves some remaining data(like it was shown to do in the study linked earlier) then it won’t matter because no one will be able to decipher it. This data will eventually be written over as the next person puts their own information, apps, media, etc onto the device. Either way, your data will be inaccessible and you have no need to worry about it anymore.
Do you have a Galaxy Note 5 that you’re looking to get rid of? I would be very curious to hear why you no longer want the smartphone and which one you will be switching to.