You can remove data from your Android phone or tablet by resetting it to factory settings. Resetting this way is also called ‘formatting’, or a ‘hard reset’. A factory reset is useful if trying to fix some persistent issues, or if you are planning to sell or give away an old device and want to make sure that everything of yours has been removed.
Preparing to Reset
Before you reset and wipe your device you need to make sure that you understand and are prepared for what you need to get back up and running afterwards.
To show that it’s you doing the reset, you’ll need to enter security information. If you can’t enter the information, you won’t be able to restore your data to the device. Therefore, you will need to know the Google account information that is currently being used on the device.
A factory data reset will erase your data from the device. While data stored in your Google account can be restored, all apps and their data will be uninstalled. Open your device’s Settings app, tap System > Backup. Turn on ”Back up to Google Drive.”
A full factory reset can take a long time (up to an hour), so plug your device into a power source, and keep it plugged in until the reset completes. Also, Connect your device to Wi-Fi or your mobile network. When the reset completes, you’ll need to be connected to sign in to your Google account.
Factory Reset Your Device
Open your device’s Settings app and tap System > Reset. If you have one set up, you may need to enter your PIN, pattern or password at this point (to tell Android that it is you trying to reset the device). On some devices, factory reset may be found under the Backup & reset heading.
Tap Factory data reset > Reset phone or Reset tablet. In some cases, this is where you will need to enter your PIN, pattern or password. To erase all data from your device’s internal storage, tap Erase everything. When your device has finished erasing, pick the option to restart.
If you are resetting to sell or give away the device, you are finished. If not, you will need to set up and restore your backed-up data as if it is a new device. If you can’t open your device’s Settings app, you can try factory resetting your Android device by holding its power and volume buttons.
Erasing Specific Data
If you don’t want to factory reset your device, but do want to permanently remove sensitive data and information from the device, SHREDDIT – Data Eraser is a useful tool to have installed.
SHREDDIT is a data eraser which securely deletes files leaving them irrecoverable. This tool erases your data completely and protects falling into malicious hands. It deploys quick shredding algorithm which shreds huge data volumes PERMANENTLY in matter of seconds.
When launched first time the shredder would ask for permission to access photos, media, and files on your device. The first screen here mounts your internal and external storage with their mount points path and their total capacity (or size). Internal Storage is where you will find app data.
Open the relevant folder (DCIM for camera images, etc.,) and select the items you want to erase. When you have selected them, tap the red “Shred” button at the bottom of the screen. Shredding may take a while, so be patient and wait for the process to finish before closing the app.