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How do I delete all data from my phone?

There are a few reasons you may want to delete all the data from your phone. Perhaps you are selling or giving away your device and want to protect your personal information. Or maybe your phone is running slowly and you want to wipe it clean for a fresh start. Deleting everything restores your phone to factory settings and erases all your photos, videos, apps, messages, contacts, accounts, and more.

While the process varies slightly depending on your device, it generally involves performing either a factory reset or master reset. This guide will provide step-by-step instructions for deleting all data from both Android devices and iPhones. We’ll also cover some key things to keep in mind before resetting your device.

Things to Do Before Deleting All Data from Your Phone

Here are some important steps to take before erasing everything from your mobile device:

– Back up any data you want to keep – Make sure to backup your photos, videos, contacts, and other files you want to save by uploading them to cloud storage or transferring them to a computer. Resetting your phone will permanently delete any data that is only stored locally.

– Sign out of accounts – Sign out of any accounts on your device like Google, iCloud, Facebook, Twitter, and your email accounts. This will disassociate the accounts from the device so no personal data remains linked.

– Unpair Bluetooth devices – If you have any Bluetooth accessories paired to your phone like smartwatches or wireless headphones, unpair them. This will remove their association with your device.

– Delete saved WiFi networks – Go into your WiFi settings and forget any networks you’ve joined. This will remove them from being automatically connected to in the future.

– Charge battery – Make sure your phone is adequately charged before wiping it. The reset process can take time and you don’t want your device to die midway through.

– Read manufacturer’s instructions – Carefully review the steps for your specific make and model as there may be additional precautions needed for resetting your phone.

Taking these preparatory steps first will ensure you don’t lose any valuable personal data and your device is ready for a clean slate.

How to Delete Everything from an Android Phone

Performing a factory reset is the best way to permanently erase all contents and settings on an Android device. Here is how to delete everything from an Android phone:

1. Open Settings
2. Select System or General Management
3. Choose Reset or Backup & Reset
4. Tap Factory Data Reset
5. If prompted, enter your PIN, pattern, or password
6. Tap Reset Phone
7. Confirm you want to erase everything

Once initiated, the factory reset will delete all data, accounts, apps, contacts, media, and system settings. Do not interrupt the reset process or you risk corrupting data. The phone will automatically restart itself when finished.

Some Android devices may have a ‘Master Reset’ option instead of factory reset. This functions similarly to erase all user data. Older devices may require connecting to a computer to do a full system reset.

If you are unable to access your phone’s settings, you can perform a hardware factory reset by pressing and holding the Power and Volume Down buttons simultaneously until the device restarts.

Using Recovery Mode

As an alternative, you can delete everything from an Android device using recovery mode:

1. Power off your phone
2. Press and hold the Power button
3. Once powered on, press and hold the Volume Up button
4. Use the volume keys to highlight ‘Wipe data/factory reset’
5. Press Power to select
6. Use volume keys to highlight ‘Yes’ then press Power to confirm
7. Select ‘Reboot system now’ to restart your phone

This will similarly erase all data and reset system settings on your Android device through the recovery menu interface.

How to Delete Everything from an iPhone

To completely wipe an iPhone and delete all contents, you will need to perform a master reset:

1. Open the Settings app
2. Select General
3. Choose Reset
4. Tap Erase All Content and Settings
5. Enter your passcode if prompted
6. Tap Erase Now to confirm

The master reset will then proceed to erase all data and settings on your iPhone. This includes all media, contacts, accounts, apps, and more. Allow it to fully complete as interrupting can cause issues. Once finished, your device will restart itself.

If you’ve enabled Find My iPhone, you may need to insert your Apple ID and password before the reset can proceed. This is an added security measure.

As an alternative method, you can also delete everything from an iPhone by connecting it to a computer and initializing it through iTunes. This functions the same as a master reset.

Other Ways to Delete Specific Data from a Phone

If you don’t want to erase your entire phone and are just looking to delete certain data, here are some other options:

– Delete photos & videos – Open the Photos app, select images/clips to remove, tap the Trash icon, then choose ‘Delete’ to confirm.

– Remove contacts – Open Contacts, swipe left on each entry, and tap ‘Delete’ to remove them.

– Delete apps – Press and hold any app icon until it jiggles, then tap the X icon on each app to uninstall it.

– Clear browser history – Open your browser, tap History, then choose ‘Clear Browsing Data’ to wipe cache/history.

– Sign out of accounts – Go into your account settings and select ‘Remove account’ to sign out of any services.

– Format SD card – Use phone settings to locate and format an installed SD card to wipe its data.

While these methods delete portions of data, only a full factory reset will erase everything on your mobile device and restore it to out-of-box conditions.


Deleting all data from your Android phone or iPhone completely resets it to factory settings. Carefully back up anything you want to keep, sign out of accounts, and charge your battery beforehand. Perform either a factory reset or master reset from the device settings to wipe it completely clean. Allow the process to fully complete. Going forward, be sure to regularly back up your phone to protect your personal information.