Selling your Android phone? Here is how to do it safely

Make sure to encrypt and reset.

In a world where new Android mobile devices with modern features are released every week, it is a widespread practice to sell your old phone for a new one. However, this may not be as simple as it sounds. Getting rid of your device involves multiple risks; if not done correctly, there’s a chance of essential data getting into the wrong hands. There are a few steps you must make sure before you let anyone else take over your Android device. The steps are similar for both Android smartphones or tablets.

Backup your Android phone

This is an optional step, you can skip it if you don’t have any data on your device or if you have already backed it up.

  • Start with backing everything up on your Google account. This includes your account settings, photos, videos, app data (saved games, etc.), contacts, texts, call logs, documents in Google Drive, etc. 
  • Sometimes, the data is a lot to be saved on the Drive, so it is suggested that you back it up on another device, such as your laptop.
  • In the case of SMS and call logs, you can transfer them to the new phone if you already have it, or maybe upload them on the Drive, but you have to do it separately. 
  • You can even backup your WiFi passwords if you want to. 

Here is how you can Back up or restore data on your Android device and Manage & restore your mobile backups in Google Drive.

READ: Google unveils Android 11 Go Edition for low-end smartphones


  • Most people might think it is simple to remove your data by just using the factory reset option. But, it is recommended that you encrypt your data before removing it. 
  • Even if your data is accessed, your password will be needed to decrypt it. 
  • We do this because, with the right tools, extracted data can still be accessed.
  • If you’re using an Android Marshmallow 6.0 or higher, your phone would have encryption already active. 

Here is how you can enable encryption before removing your data

Disable FRP

  • One of the most important steps in the process is to disable FRP
  • Factory reset protection is there to keep someone from using the option to factory reset the phone in case your phone is lost or stolen.
  • To disable FRP, you need to start with removing any screen lock that you might have (optional)
  • Once it is done, you need to remove your Google account(s) from the device. 
  • FRP is disabled

Here is how to disable Google Factory Reset Protection.

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Factory Reset your Android phone

  • Once FRP is disabled, you can factory reset your phone and have it completely refreshed for a new user. 
  • The factory reset function of Android smartphones is supposed to delete all apps, files, and settings from the device and restore it to an out-of-the-box state.

Here is what you need to do to Reset your Android device to factory settings.

Remove SIM and SD card

  • Now that you’re done with the software part, you can safely remove your SIM and SD card if you do not wish to give them away with your phone. 
  • Your phone is now ready to be sold

READ: iPhone SE 2020: Camera, Display, Price, and detailed specs

The backup and encryption steps can also be followed with your SD card if you wish to give the SD card away along with the device. You can also use additional apps and tools available on Playstore to help you backup your data safely. It doesn’t take any special tools or skills to wipe your phone safely, all you need is a little bit of patience and understanding. You don’t need to smash your phone to keep your data safe, but smashing might not be a bad idea if you don’t plan on selling it. 

Featured image: SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty

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