[GUIDE] How to properly reset your phone


Feb 23, 2011
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When it's time to sell, trade in, or otherwise give up your phone or tablet, you want to make sure all your personal data is removed, right? This is easily accomplished with a factory reset. Because current phones are encrypted from the start, there's no need to do anything else and all user info is removed.

Side note: If you happen to be using an older phone that wasn't encrypted already, you will want to do that first before doing a reset to prevent unwanted data recovery.

Unfortunately, thieves can use a factory reset to wipe a phone and either use it themselves or sell it to unsuspecting victims. To combat this, Google now uses Factory Reset Protection, or simply FRP. What this means is that if a phone is improperly reset (especially from recovery), you are required to verify your Google account info during the next setup process. The purpose of this is that since a thief wouldn't know your info, they can't log in to use the phone or sell it, and it renders the phone worthless to them. Thus, FRP is a deterrent to theft.

But this has caused a new problem. What if you want to legitimately sell or trade in your phone, but FRP is still active? The next owner won't be able to use your phone and now you're left with figuring out the best way to remedy the problem. If you trade in the phone, the carrier/manufacturer will check for FRP and deny your trade if it's active. You may be unable to get your phone back and may lose any trade-in credits.

There is a way to remove FRP and allow your phone to be reset and used by anyone. Resetting via the recovery screen does not remove FRP, for reasons explained above. Technically, if you reset from the phone's settings screen, it will remove FRP. There have been a few claims that this hasn't worked (likely due to some bug). So here are the steps to take to make sure you are properly reset with no doubt that FRP is properly removed.
(Your settings screen may look different, but the various options should be similar and easy enough to find on other devices)

First, go into your phones settings and look for the accounts option.

Go into accounts and you'll see everything you're signed-in for.

Tap the Google account, then tap the menu button.

Tap to remove the account. You'll be presented with a warning about losing data related to your account, so just tap "REMOVE." Repeat for any additional Google accounts that are on the device.

At this point you can factory reset the phone, then verify FRP removal with the setup/second reset if you wish.

I understand that this may seem overkill and there is certainly the shortcut of simply doing the factory reset via the settings menu. This guide is meant to be all-encompassing, allowing you to avoid any glitches or mistakes before handing over your phone to someone else. Resetting via the settings menu is standard, but there are far too many devices and versions of Android to assume that something this important will always work as advertised. You can find additional info on FRP here:

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