I have an SD card in my Droid Global or Droid X, not exactly sure which model. I go to the files and click on the SD card instead of shred files and delete all of its contents. I then go to Privacy and click the Manufacturer Reset and also click the box to erase SD Card. My phone does a hard reset, and it turns back on.

After this process, what is readable on my SD card if someone took it and hooked up to a computer or anything else? If I hadn't done the reset, would someone be able to see text messages, phone calls, or browsing history if I've deleted them all from my phone?

5 Answers 5


The other answers are a little misleading.

First, it doesn't really matter from a security standpoint whether you've got things stored on the SD card or on the internal storage. The SD card is easier to remove and read outside the phone, but the internal storage can be read as well (most easily from the device itself but also from a PC).

The second thing is that I would expect this wipe to be insecure, i.e., file deletion rather than zeroing of the storage. (I haven't checked myself.) I recommend using a program like Eraser to zero your SD card. I don't have a good recommendation for the device storage, unfortunately.

  • So if I know how to flash ROMs, can I safely connect device to computer and format both its internal and external SDs? Edit: just found it. You rock! Commented Jul 16, 2013 at 13:55
  • Is this indeed the answer? If I format both SDs will I be able to go into download mode and flash ROMs with Odin? Commented Jul 16, 2013 at 15:48
  • @Shimmy Thanks :). You don't need to format anything to get into Download Mode and use Odin. Commented Jul 16, 2013 at 16:48
  • What happens if I do? Device bricked? Is that a possibility? Commented Jul 16, 2013 at 17:40
  • 2
    @Shimmy All internal storage should be one contiguous bit of flash memory, partitioned up into the main Android system storage, your "internal SD card" (badly named), and things like recovery and bootloader. So counting your external SD it's only two storage devices. Only the internal SD data partition of the main storage will be made available to your PC operating system, so wiping it from there should work very well without harming your bootloader in any way. Commented Jul 17, 2013 at 19:19

When you do a hard reset, or a Factory Default Reset, it wipes your Phones INTERNAL storage completely. So anything that was saved on your phones internal storage, is pretty much gone.

Personal things such as : Texts, Phone Calls, and Browsing History, are not stored on your SD Card, but stored Internally. So doing that wipe will have cleared it out.

So you're fine. Your SD Card never really holds anything personal like that.

  • So if I know how to flash ROMs, can I safely connect device to computer and format both its internal and external SDs? Commented Jul 16, 2013 at 13:53
  • Oops, just found it. You rock! Commented Jul 16, 2013 at 13:56

Open the sdcard on your pc and format it. done. it's not recoverable whatsoever because it's a flash disk.

to wipe all personal data you need to do a factory reset.

or wipe /data (and /cache) manually


Before deleting anything you should encrypt your sdcard and your internal storage (this appears to be built into android but located in different places on different devices, or maybe it's different versions). Do this first because depending on how the encryption works there may be gaps left unencrypted because it didn't think it needed to overwrite deleted space. you could try to fill that space before erasing for total security.

Once encryption is done, you can then erase your sdcard (again, should be built in, though Eraser Mentioned in Mathew's answer might be better, don't know ), and do the factory reset on your phone. This way any data bits will be extremely difficult to recover (near impossible depending on password chosen), even with specialized hardware.


Nothing at all is on your memory card. SMS messages etc aren't actually stored on the SD card. When you do a hard reset all of your data is erased completely.


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