If you use Android phones, you probably know that after deleting your data from the phone, your deleted file will remain in the device’s memory until it is filled with new data. This is a matter of great concern to people who are sensitive to the privacy of their devices. Why does it mean that the files you have deleted will still be recoverable using special software?
Since the release of Android Marshmallow (Android 6), all Android phones have been encrypted by default. This will prevent recovery tools from accessing the contents of the phone, but if you are still worried about sensitive files, then join us to tell you how you can delete your phone data forever.
1- Use the file management software to delete the items
The worst way to delete private files from your Android phone is to use programs related to that file. This will allow your deleted items to go in the Trash or Bin folder instead of being permanently deleted, or even left in the copied synced cloud!
The Google Photos app, for example, saves deleted images and videos for 60 days, unless you manually empty the trash. Even if you try to bypass this method and select Delete from the device, your items will still remain in your Google Account!
It is best to use a file explorer or file manager to permanently delete sensitive files. There are many management applications that you can download and install on your phone. One of the best apps available is Files by Google, which you can install right now.
Select the file you want to delete from within Explorer, then click the Trash option, or go to the three-point menu and then select Delete. Next, confirm that you are fully aware that the deleted item can no longer be recovered, and then click Delete again. This will completely delete the file from your Android phone.
2. Delete data using a File Shredder
If you are not sure if your phone is encrypted or not, or if you are using an older Android phone you should use a File Shredder app. These programs will completely clear the free space of your device that may still contain information so that none of the deleted files can be recovered.
File shredding programs such as iShredder, Shreddit, and Data Eraser provide many removal algorithms for the user. This allows you to fill and empty the memory space several times with random data and characters, thus erasing any traces left from your previous files. In such programs, each overwritten file is known as a “pass” or “cycle”.
First of all, while using these programs, you must give them access to the files; Note that valid file shredding apps will not delete a file in any way without your approval.
Delete data from deleted files using Data Eraser
If you follow the steps below in order, you can use the Data Eraser program, which is a file shredder program, to recover deleted files.
- In the first step, click on the Freespace option on the main page . Note that do not select the Complete Erase option at all because it will erase the entire data of the phone !! Then tap Internal Storage . This program will show you the amount of free space for cleaning.
- Click Continue and select your preferred deletion algorithm. There are two options NATO Standard and BSU TL-0342 in this section.
- At this point you must confirm that you want the process to continue. By doing this, Data Eraser clears all available free space on your phone so that your other deleted files can not be recovered and restored.
- During the free memory cleanup process, your phone will slow down. You can leave the process at any time by going to the open notification at the top of the screen and clicking on the Cancel option .
Note that this program is available to you completely free of charge, but you can only shred 100 MB of files separately during the day. You must pay an in-app fee to upgrade this amount.
The Shreddit app is a completely free alternative to this app, but it has a lot of ads, and you should also note that if you are using Android 11, this app will not run on your device.
3- Deleting Android files from a computer
If you do not want to install a third-party application to delete files permanently, we recommend that you connect your Android phone to your computer and delete your data through Windows. This method helps you to easily find the files you want and delete them forever.
Connect your phone to the computer using the USB cable and select the Open device to view files option from the options in the AutoPlay section. You can also open File Explorer by selecting This PC and clicking on the phone’s drive icon.
If the drive is empty, select USB charging this device from the phone notifications section, then select File transfer or Transfer files, or go to Settings> Connected devices> USB to view the phone settings. Activate on the computer.
Browse your phone folders to access the file you want to delete. If the file you are looking for is a video or photo, it is most likely located in the DCIM> Camera folder .
Now right-click on the item and select Delete. Then confirm the deletion process again. Note that the selected file will not be sent to the Windows Recycle Bin under any circumstances. So if you want to delete the phone data without leaving a trace, this option is one of the best possible methods.
4. Delete sensitive files from the SD Card
If the file you want to delete is on external storage (SD) instead of the phone’s internal storage, there are several ways to delete it.
The first method is to go to Settings> Storage> SD card. Locate the file and delete it. Note that this method will not make the file unrecoverable and you should format the memory card to be completely comfortable. After formatting the memory card, all its contents will be deleted; So be sure to back up the data you need to the right place before doing so.
Click the three-point menu in the upper right corner and select Storage settings. Now select Format and immediately click on Erase & Format and Format SD card to clear everything and format the external memory.
Another way to do this is to connect your phone to a computer and insert the SD card into the computer card reader. Note that you must select the Unmount or Eject options before erasing the memory. Next, you need to browse the contents of the memory card in File Explorer, find the location of the file, and then click Delete.
Note: Note that some file shredding apps also have the ability to manage data on the phone’s external memory card, and you can use them as well.
5- Restore the phone to factory settings
If you want to seriously and 100% make sure that the files inside the phone are irreversible, you must reset your Android device, or in other words, reset it to factory settings. Just go to Settings> Security> Advanced and then select Encryption & credentials . Now if you have not already enabled the Encrypt phone option, try activating this option.
Next, you need to go to Settings> System> Advanced and tap Reset options. Now select Erase all data (factory reset) and then tap Delete all data .
When prompted, enter the security code of your phone or pattern and then click Delete all data to return your Android phone to factory settings. If you still have doubts about whether your phone data can be recovered or not, you can also use a shredder app after the factory reset process to ensure that all phone data is deleted.
Note: A factory reset will erase all data on the phone, so be sure to back up your important files before doing so.
Say goodbye to your phone information forever!
No one likes to share their personal phone information with other people, especially hackers. Although all Android phones today have an internal encryption system that makes the information on it irreversible, doing other methods will completely ease your mind and drastically reduce the error rate. All the methods we have described in this article can be applied to Android smartphones. Sometimes we mistakenly delete files from the phone, keep in mind that in these cases, if we have a high speed of action, we can use the appropriate app or tools to recover our data.
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