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How to Enable Encryption Protection on the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge

The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge is encrypted by default, but there’s a way to add an additional later of protection in case it gets lost or stolen.

As I mentioned yesterday, most premium smartphones sold today have encryption enabled by default. The tutorial from yesterday focused on how to enable encryption for the data on your microSD card but today’s tip will be focusing on the phone itself. By default, you can reboot the Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge and it will take you directly to the Android lock screen. This means that it has booted into Android and certain features will be accessible. Even worse, if there’s a way to bypass the lock screen(which there has been ways in the past), then someone could access your data.

To prevent this, we’re going to enable full encryption protection on the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. What this means is, when the smartphone reboots, it will go through the regular animation boot screens like normal. However, instead of booting directly into Android itself, it’s going to require that you input your lock screen password/PIN/pattern before it boots into Android. This is the best way to protect the data on your smartphone and it’s something that I recommend doing. Thankfully, it’s not adding too much of an inconvenience to your daily usage pattern. Since most people rarely reboot their phones, it will probably be rare for you to even see this screen at all.

So let me show you how to enable encryption protection on the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge.

Galaxy S7 Enable Encryption Protection

  1. Launch the Settings Application
  2. Scroll Down and Tap on the ‘Lock Screen and Security’ Option
  3. Then Tap on the ‘Protect Encrypted Data’ Option
  4. Tap on the ‘Require Lock Screen’ Option
  5. Tap on the ‘OK’ Button at the Bottom
  6. Input Your PIN/Pattern/Password to Confirm
  7. Then Reboot the Galaxy S7 to See it in Action

Explanation

As with most of these features, you’ll have to dig through the Settings application to find it. If you have never even looked through the Lock Screen and Security section then you probably didn’t even realize it was there. I wish that Samsung would enable this feature by default, but at least the option is there for those who want it. To begin, we’ll have to launch the Settings application and then dive into the Lock Screen and Security section of the menu. Look toward the bottom(or even scroll down a little) and then tap on the Protect Encrypted Data option.

This will take you to a screen where you have two options. One options enables this feature and says it will ‘require screen lock to decrypt data when phone turns on’. Your data will still be encrypted when this feature is enabled. To use the phone though, the Galaxy S7 has to decrypt it and that is why that word is in there. This data will still be unreadable on other devices and that’s a big benefit of encryption in general. If you ever want to disable this feature in the future(maybe you don’t like the hassle of putting in your PIN/pattern/password at each boot), then you can disable it by tapping on the Do Not Require option.

No matter which option you pick, you’ll then be asked to confirm your security PIN/password/pattern to make sure it’s really you who is enabling the feature. After that, the Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge will take you back to the Settings menu and that will be it. If you want to see exactly what changes(I demonstrate this in the video above), then you can simply reboot your Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge. As mentioned earlier, you’ll see the regular boot animation screens but instead of immediately taking you to the lock screen, you’ll be asked to input your PIN/password/pattern. After enter this correctly, then you’ll see the Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge booting into Android.

The process only adds a few seconds to your boot cycle so it really isn’t that bad. With the additional layer of protection that this feature gives, I feel it is most definitely worth the tiny delay. The choice is up to you though. Some people don’t feel the need to protect the data on their smartphones and that is their choice.


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22 thoughts on “How to Enable Encryption Protection on the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge”

  1. Hi, thanks for the article.
    I was trying to search for the option ‘Protect Encrypted Data’ in my Samsung S7 Edge but is unable to find that option.
    The only encrypt option available is ‘Encrypt SD card’.

    Is it because Samsung S7 Edge has slight difference in its security settings as compared to Samsung S7 ?

    Regards,
    Lim

    1. Hi Lim. It might actually have to do with the version of the S7 Edge you have. The video/tutorial I did was for the Verizon model of the regular S7. Do you have the Verizon version of the S7 Edge?

        1. There shouldn’t be, but carriers tend to change things up all the time with the software on smartphones (sadly).

          Some carriers add/remove features that Samsung doesn’t have on devices they send to other carriers/retailers

          1. I checked another user who has an Edge and that option is not present either. I was reading that the may need a firmware update to correct this. Do you concur? I’m surprised it didn’t come preconfigured.

          2. Do you or the other person have the Verizon model?

            A certain firmware version could have added it, but it’s not like I was running a new version. This tutorial is 5 months old, so it would seem likely that you’re running a newer version that I was

          3. Yes, both are Verizon phones.

            So the newer version omits that option? Is it because the phones are encrypted out of the box?

          4. Hrmm, that is strange. I mean, technically it is possible that Samsung has removed this option in future updates. I’ll have to pull mine out of the box and update it so that I can test.

            They’ve done this before. Where features have been removed after a specific update.

          5. I have this same issue with the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge on Sprint. I can not find or select Protect Encrypted Data, do you think the phone is still encrypted? I’m assuming they took this option away because the entire phone (except the sd card) is always or already encrypted.

          6. ok so I found out where the “encryption” is with the newer OS version. you have to go to settings->lock screen and security->secure startup-> select “Do not require”. it does mention that some apps require encryption policies to access to features, such as email sync”. This seems to be what we are looking for.

  2. Hi how this option affect something like track my phone or other app that can be use to wipe your info in case of lose the phone

  3. You have to click on “secure startup” it will bring you to the recognized menu on the video to decrypt data when startup. Hit ok. Restart phone.

  4. These instructions do not work anymore, at least on the Verizon S7. There is no “Protect Encrypted Data” option under “Lock Screen and Security.”

  5. “in case it gets lost or stolen” but most of the times that happens while the device is turned on, so I still don’t really get the point of this setting.

    1. name(required)

      Unless the battery gets exhausted or the thief reboots the phone. The caveat of boot security pin as that in such a case the “Find My Device” etc. apps won’t obviously work.

      This feature boot security PIN seems to me not needed really: a dedicated thief has to expect that security measure and will not reboot the phone and will try to get in with some other exploits.

  6. OK this is BS. Sorry. The GS7 is not encrypted and cannot be encrypted. The option to do so is simply not there. I wasted an hour with a Samsung tech till they finally confessed.

    Below is the chat from Samsung’s own tech:

    Amy: There is no encryption option in all the Samsung devices.

    Pythagorus: man that is really really really bad

    I dont understand why everyone says it is. It isn’t and cannot be.

  7. Noneofyourdamnbusiness

    I have Galaxy S7 and the only encryption I can do is with the SD card. I went through all the setting options and various sections within them. When I did a search on the phone, the only thing that comes up is for the SD card.There is nothing that says anything about encryption, only about the SD card. Think you need to re-check your info.

    1. The tutorial was made 3 years ago. Android changes and evolves. Samsung could have removed the feature due to performance issues.

      I know Google made the Android OS require phone data to be encrypted these days (without an option to decrypt for the user…unless you mod the boot.img). So an update to Nougat or Oreo could have forced encryption on the phone for the user without making them go through the steps in this tutorial. Which is probably why Samsung removed the feature

      I don’t appreciate the bad attitude either. . .

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