How to Wipe or Reset Your Phone


Cell phones spend more time with us than just about any other technology and the amount of things that these brilliant pieces of technology can do is staggering. So, if you have had your phone for any length of time, there’s a good chance that you have some personal information stored on it. And that means you need to know how to wipe or factory reset your phone. Every phone is a little different, but generally the ‘factory reset’ option is going to be located buried in the settings of your device. For most phones it will be somewhere in security or accessibility. But, there are a few things you need to do first. While wiping a phone is irreparable, it might not delete as much as you think. Here are the basic steps that the CTIA (Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association) suggests for wiping a phone:
  1. Back up the information on the device to a PC or service provider (e.g., cloud).
  2. Notify your provider that you wish to deactivate the device. If you have ported your number, this step can be skipped.
  3. Overwrite and delete all passwords, PINs and OTPs (one-time passwords). Don’t forget Wi-Fi passwords and personal account information on apps or websites, such as banking. Also disconnect all of your personal accounts (ie Google) from settings on the device.
  4. Overwrite and delete security settings parameters, such as unlock pattern, facial recognition, remote access passwords or keys.
  5. Delete all personal information and applications.
  6. Delete peripheral device settings such as Bluetooth (e.g., in your car, earphones, etc.).
  7. Remove the SIM and delete all files stored on the internal SD memory card.
  8. Use data eraser apps AND reset the wireless device to default factory settings. BEFORE resetting your device, use a data eraser app. Here is a list of app erasers.
Personally, I’ve never used an app eraser, but you can go into your settings and erase all of the data from the apps prior to uninstalling them, and I would highly recommend that. It might seem like a lot of steps to take, but making 100% sure that all of the information stored on your device is gone protects you but also makes the phone ready for whoever ends up using it next. Even if you are simply going to keep the phone as a backup or a secondary device (like a music player) I would still recommend going through this just to be on the safe side. Factory resetting your device isn’t going to harm the usability of the device in any way. Still have questions on resetting your phone? Ask in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them!]]>

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