This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

How To Video: Properly wipe any Android device

About Video Transcript

How To Video: Properly wipe any Android device

1:57 /

The default data wipe tool in Android may not be enough to permanently eliminate personal data on your old device. CNET's Dan Graziano shows you how to properly wipe your Android smartphones and tablets.

[MUSIC] A new study claims that the factory reset option built into the Android operating system may not be effective in deleting your personal data from your old device. Using widely available data recovery tools, anyone could potentially access the personal data you thought you deleted. I'm Dan Graziano, and in today's How To, I'm going to show you how to properly wipe your Android device and secure your personal data. I recommend that before you wipe your device, you encrypt it. This will scramble your data, and even if the wipe doesn't fully delete the data like the study claims, a special key will still be required to unscramble it. The encryption feature can be found on stock Android devices by going to Settings, clicking on Security and selecting Encrypt Phone. For Samsung HTC, LG and other devices with a custom skin, the encryption feature maybe located under a different menu such as Storage. The next thing you will want to do is perform a factory reset. This can be done on stock Android by going to Settings, click on Backup & Reset and selecting Factory data reset. Remember that before erase everything on your phone, and you should back up anything you don't wanna lose. Following these two steps should be enough for most people, but if you are really paranoid about your old data, there is something else you can do. After your device has been wiped, load dummy content on it, things like fake contacts fake photos. Why, you ask? After you perform another factory reset, your old data will be buried below the fake content, making it even harder for someone to recover. For more tips and tricks like this, visit howto.cnet.com. You can also reach out to me on Twitter with any questions or comments. I'm Dan Graziano CNET. Thanks for watching. [MUSIC]

New releases

Tech to expect in 2015
2:31 December 26, 2014
The five most-anticipated gadgets we expect to see in 2015.
Play video
Best websites for finding child care
1:01 December 26, 2014
Between holiday parties and New Year's Eve plans, it can be tough to secure a babysitter. In this Tech Minute, CNET's Kara Tsuboi reports...
Play video
What's new on Netflix in January 2015
2:08 December 25, 2014
Find out what you should add to your watch list and what other videos are disappearing in the new year.
Play video
Brian Tong's Viewer Feedback 2014
2:17 December 25, 2014
We read the e-mails, tweets, and YouTube comments from you that have helped us create the best tech videos on Earth.
Play video
XCAR Awards 2014: Best-Looking
1:31 December 24, 2014
The XCAR team has played with some amazing cars in 2014, but which will be crowned the best-looking?
Play video
LG's bare bones oven needs a little more meat
2:02 December 24, 2014
The LG LRE3021 gives reliable mid-range performance, but lacks the features you can find from other brands for the same price.
Play video
Tomorrow Daily 106: Our 'Best of 2014' Extravaganza
27:44 December 24, 2014
On today's show, we celebrate another year gone by naming our (and your) favorite tech stories, pop culture news and video games of...
Play video
The big trends to watch at CES 2015
2:55 December 24, 2014
With CES around the corner, Bridget Carey tells you what to look out for at the tech expo. Expect buzz around the smart home, virtual...
Play video