So you’re ready to sell your old Android phone, or donate it to a charity. Or, maybe you’ve downloaded a bunch of sketchy stuff and now your phone is slow, and crashes a lot, and is probably infected with a virus. It’s time to do a factory reset. Here’s how. Go to Settings Backup & Reset -> Factory Data reset
You’ll get a warning that EVERYTHING is going to be erased. Say yes, and wait for the phone to restart. Now, this will wipe out everything on your phone: all your apps and settings and photos will be gone. It’ll be like it’s fresh out of the box. Technically savvy folks can still pull data off your phone, but you can prevent that by encrypting it first. Make a quick mention here about how you’re NOT going to walk through the encryption process, but this is how to get there. Before you reset your phone. Back in Settings. Security -> Encrypt Phone This takes a long time! Quick insight on why it takes a long time? How long? By encrypting your phone BEFORE you sell it, you’ll ensure that nobody will be able to read all the old data. Outro: Factory resetting your phone is the “nuclear option.” You’ll lose all the data you haven’t saved to the cloud, you’ll have to re-download all your apps, it’s a real pain. But it’s definitely the right thing to do if you’re going to give away or sell your phone. Starting on a clean slate is also good way to get rid of all the junk you’ve accumulated over the years. So you might want to think about doing it every year or so.