I'm pretty strapped for cash and I need to sell my phone (Motorola Moto G7, Android 10). However, there are some... sensitive... photos of myself on it that I'm not suuuper comfortable with the next owner recovering. I'd also rather not have them recovering my search history, emails, passwords etc.

My original plan to "sanitize" my phone was to factory reset it, fill the drive with large files to overwrite everything, and factory reset it again. However, I've done a bit more research into SSDs and have realised that, because of wear-levelling, this will leave as much as 15% of my drive unaffected.

My new plan is basically to do this multiple times. In my head, this should accommodate for the wear-levelling, and will eventually result in almost everything being overwritten.

Will my method be at all effective? If not, any suggestions? By the by, encrypting the drive doesn't seem to be an option for me, as I have already factory reset my phone once, so that data is already deleted-but-unencrypted.

Please keep in mind that a. My phone needs to be working as normal and b. I can't root it if I want to sell it.

As a side note, I saw in an earlier post that there are some read/write Android partitions that remain even after a factory reset. Should these be of any concern to me?

  • 1
    We can provide details if you tell us phone model and android version. Most likely factory reset is enough. I recommend to delete a single file and try to recover right after, you will get a feeling what we are talking about
    – alecxs
    Nov 14 '21 at 14:27
  • @alecxs sorry, done.
    – iwannabeu
    Nov 14 '21 at 14:30
  • @alecxs so I'm already okay? I don't need to do anything more?
    – iwannabeu
    Nov 14 '21 at 14:36
  • Does this answer your question? Note 20 Ultra, deleted files
    – alecxs
    Nov 14 '21 at 14:40
  • 1
    Not quite sure. if you fill up whole storage with random data (up to 100%) everything get overwritten regardless of wear-leveling, but depends on what FTL declares as 100% (might be there are 300% reserved cells extra to increase life time, idk)
    – alecxs
    Nov 14 '21 at 15:42

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