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I have an Android phone which I just sold on eBay. What measures should I take before posting it off to its new home? Please answer thoroughly!

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possible duplicate:… – Louis Rhys Jan 12 '11 at 3:40
Not really a duplicate. – Flow Dec 18 '12 at 10:48
up vote 19 down vote accepted

As said already, factory reset for a start.

If you care about the privacy about what is on the SD card you should use a secure erase utility. Even after formatting the card you can still recover the data...

If you google for secure erase you'll find a bunch of freeware tools to do the job.

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  1. Format (zero) your SD card.
  2. Perform a factory reset.
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Is Formatting enough by itself? How should I format it? How do I perform a factory reset? – fredley Jan 11 '11 at 22:24
Formatting should be enough, but if you want a secure format, you could use a tool like Eraser for Windows to wipe the SD card. The factory reset depends on your phone, but it should be under Settings -> Security and privacy, or something similar. – Matthew Read Jan 11 '11 at 22:29
if someone roots the phone will they be able to access any personal information that wouldn't be deleted by wiping in this manner? – fredley Jan 11 '11 at 22:35
@fredley: If you are paranoid about security, keep in mind that formatting an SD card does not actually remove the stored data; formatting is just reinitializing the file database so everything is marked empty. It is possible -- using specialized softwares -- to recover deleted data from an SD card, as long as it hasn't been overwritten. If you're really paranoid, buy a new SD card and send off the phone with that instead of yours. – Lie Ryan Jan 12 '11 at 15:32
@Lie Ryan Buying a new card is completely overkill. With non-magnetic media like an SD card, you can just zero everything and the old data is unrecoverable. Hence my suggestion of Eraser ( – Matthew Read Jan 12 '11 at 16:44

You may wish to back things up in the first instance in which case I would recommend My Back Up Pro.

In order to perform a Factory Reset please read this small tutorial written by Oliver Hill on May 11th 2012 entitled "How to perform a factory reset on your Android phone" for Little Green Robot Publishing (who publish a monthly magazine called The Android Magazine in the UK)

People in the past have recommended to myself that when performing a Factory Reset it should be carried out twice (whether this is necessary or not i am not sure, but there is no harm in doing it.)

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If you have an HTC device and you are really worried, you can fully format the SD card, run the RUU for the stock software, and then boot in to Android, format the SD card, and factory reset once and shut off (so that the person who turns on the phone is greeted by the first-time setup). That's what I would do.

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