When you want to wipe your Android phone so it can’t be recovered, you need to do an extra step after doing a factory reset. That’s because there is an important distinction between wiping your android phone versus just deleting the data. When you delete private data or private apps from your phone, the data is still on your phone, in your free space until that part of your storage is overwritten by something else. Seeing as you don’t know when that will happen, you can ensure that this isn’t recovered by someone else by shredding it.
Shredding (secure delete) is a way to permanently delete the data on Android and is often done by people before they dispose of their phone. So, when you want to wipe your phone before disposal, shred it after doing a Factory Reset.
In order to wipe your Android phone or other device completely, follow these instructions.
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Instructions: How to wipe Android Phone, Tablet, TV Box – Factory Reset, then Shred
If you want to wipe everything, you can do a factory reset.
Here’s what you do:
- Very Important Step. Make a note of the Google Account (gmail address) and the Google Account password for the device you want to wipe. Make sure you can log in to this account before continuing. You’ll need this when you try to add the account back onto the device after you’ve done a Factory Reset. (For Android Help, see Technical Notes after these instructions.)
- Do a Factory Reset.(For help, Check the User’s Manual for your device. In addition, see Technical Notes after these instructions.)
- Add your Google account back onto the Android Device. (For Android Help, see Technical Notes after these instructions.)
- On the device that you want to wipe, install and purchase a license for Shredit for Android from the Google Play Store.
- Launch Shredit – Android.
- From the Settings screen, pick your overwrite options and run ShredIt – Android.
- Govt Standard Shredding – Click to comply with
- DoD 5022.22M Sanitize Standard
- DoE Standard
- Number of Overwrites – Choose the number of overwrites
- Overwrite Pattern – Choose the Overwrite Pattern
- Shred Location: – Choose the Storage Location
Internal and | or External Storage (either or both)
- If you’re disposing of the device, uninstall Shredit – Android in the Google Play Store. Next, delete the Google Account (gmail address) from the device. Once you’ve uninstalled Shredit for Android from your device, you can install it on a new device from the Play Store by adding that same Google Account to your new device. (For Android Help, see Technical Notes after these instructions.)
- How do I find the Google Account on my Android Device?
- What do I do if I’ve forgotten my Google Account password?
- How do I do a Factory Reset on my Android Device?
- How do I add a Google Account on my Android Device?
- How do I delete apps from my Android Device?
How long will it take to wipe the free space?
To wipe the free space on the device will take 1.35 minutes per gig for a one-pass overwrite.
In order to estimate how long the job will take, go into your Android settings to determine the available space on your Android device. (Settings > Device > Storage > Available space)
Then, multiply that by 1.35
- For example, if you have 10 gb of Available storage, then it will take about 13-14 minutes to wipe the free space.
10 x 1.35 = 13.5 minutes
- For example, if you had done a Factory reset and then were wiping a 64 gb phone, in would take about an hour and ten minutes. (By comparison to do a Factory Reset on a 64gb phone will take less than 15 minutes.)
What if I do more than one pass?
Each pass will add to the time it takes to wipe the free space.
- For example, if you have 10 gb of available storage and you were doing 5 passes, then it will take about 67-68 minutes to wipe the free space.
10 x 1.35 x 5 = 67.5 minutes
Wipe free space or use encryption?
Although using encryption enhances security, it may not be “good enough” as the BBC reports in this article about data retrieval, British spies ‘moved after Snowden files read’
Is there a ShredIt for my other devices?
Because Shredit has been shredding data since the 1990s, ShredIt is cross-platform. So, it’s also available for iOS, as well as most desktop computers from Mireth Technology Corp. There’s a ShredIt version for Mac OS X, Mac OS 9, Mac OS 8, Mac OS 7, as well as most versions of Windows