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I've got a company owned Android phone that needs to be wiped to prepare it for re-use, but it's locked with a passcode. I also do not see it listed in our MDM software, so I can't force a remote wipe that way. It appears that it could be wiped with a Google account, but I do not know what Google account it may have been linked to. Is there a way to expose which Google account it was attached to in the hopes it's one we have access to? Or is there a way to totally reset it to factory and wipe the data?

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There are two possible ways from here:

  1. Hard Reset: This will wipe all data stored on the phone, see this on how to perform a hard reset using hardware buttons.
  2. Try something like Dr.Phone software to remove screen lock.
  • Well, helpful in that we could wipe it, but it's still locked to an unknown account... – Brian Knoblauch Aug 15 '17 at 13:38
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Here's the trick, when you hard reset your android device, one would want to believe that all the personal information are completely deleted and safe from any other user of the device. But far from it, even after the hard reset, some data which might include personal data, still remains accessible on the local storage.

Even after hard resetting the device, all the data remains present phone memory and can be easily recovered with any good data-recovery tool. Therefore if you should just do a simple Hard reset or Factory rest as the case might be, and another user gets his/her hands on the device, they can easily recover most of the personal data of the previous user using a data-recovery tool.

To fully wipe your personal data from any android device, try the steps below;

Encrypt the android device before Hard resetting it

Encrypting the device before hard resetting will disorganize or scramble the data on the device, making it almost impossible for whoever that will want to recover the data using any data-recovering tool, because he/she will have to provide a specific key to organize or unscramble the data.

To encrypt the device, click on your menu list => settings => Security => Encrypt phone ensure that the device is connected to a charger to prevent any lost of data, then you finally click on Encrypt phone, sit back for a while and wait for it to encrypt completely.

Factory Reset the Android device

When you've successfully encrypted the device data, the next thing to do is to Factory reset the device, but NOTE This will erase all of the data on the device, but in your case, you're aware of that already.

To Factory Reset the device, click on your menu list => Settings => Backup and reset from here, you should see the Google account attached to to the device, but to still continue with the resetting, click Factory data reset which usually should be at the end. => Reset phone or Reset device.

Ensure you have adequate charge on your battery to handle the entire process and that battery is not mistakenly pulled off during the process, because if any happens, it can lead to corrupting of data.


To be on the safer side to add another layer of protection, you can do these again to prevent any MINAMOTO individual from doing any funny thing


Load any dummy data

Following the 1st and 2nd steps should be enough for most people, but as I said to be safer, load fake data on the device again, you can connect your phone to a PC and copy/paste large files maybe videos, enough to fill/or almost fill all the space.

Redo the 2nd step (Factory Reset the Android device)

Carry on another factory reset, this should erase the dummy content you loaded onto the device. This will make it even harder for any other user of the device to locate your data because it will be buried below the dummy content.

I hope these helps.

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