Selling your tablet? Here’s how to wipe it clean of data first

Make sure your personal files and photos can’t be retrieved when you pass on an old tablet by following these steps.

Upgrading to a new tablet means that you might want to sell your old device to someone else – or even give it away.

But before you do, it’s important that you wipe all the data clean from the tablet to ensure that your personal information remains safe.

[Read more: 12 questions you should be asking when buying a tablet]

Follow these steps to make sure your Android tablet is squeaky clean before it acquires a new owner (and remember: some steps may vary because manufacturers often add their own customised interfaces).

Step 1 – Back up your data

Before doing anything else, it’s really important that you back up your data. If you don’t, you risk losing all your files and photos permanently.

Follow our guide to backing up your Android device before beginning the cleaning process.

Step 2 – Encrypt your data

Although cleaning your tablet is supposed to return it to how it was when you first bought it, some studies have claimed that traces of your data may still remain. So we recommend encrypting your data before attempting to remove it.

Encryption scrambles the data so that no one else can read it without a special digital key – that way, should any data remain, it will be inaccessible. But be warned: encryption on most devices is irreversible, so make sure that this is what you want to do.

To encrypt your data, go to the Settings menu by swiping down your screen and tapping the cog.

Wipe your tablet clean

Find Security in the menu and tap Encrypt device.

Wipe your tablet clean


On most devices you’ll need to make sure the battery is about 80% charged to carry out an encryption.

A warning will appear telling you that the encryption will take about an hour, and that your tablet must stay plugged in to a power source throughout.

When you’re ready, hit the Encrypt device button.

Wipe your tablet clean

It will ask for your password – if you haven’t already set one, it will ask you to do so.

Hit the final Encrypt Device button and wait for it to complete without interrupting.

Step 3 – Factory reset

Factory data reset restores your tablet to how it was when you first bought it, clearing all your files and settings.

To do this, ensure you are on the General page at the top and tap on Backup and reset in the left side menu.

Wipe your tablet clean


Under the heading Personal data, you should see Factory data reset. Tap it then read the warning on the next page.

Wipe your tablet clean

When you’re happy, click the Reset device button and the process will begin.

Wipe your tablet clean

Your tablet is now ready to pass on to someone else. For advice on selling, make sure you check out our guide How to sell your old tablet and how to get the best price.

[Read more: Get the right mobile data package for you]

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