Sometimes it is possible to recover files after deleting them, even on Android-powered mobile phones. See how you can permanently delete your data so that it does not fall into the wrong hands.
When you delete a file from your Android phone, it actually stays in the storage of your device until it is replaced with new data. This is a big problem for your data privacy because it means that deleted files could be recovered by third parties using some data recovery software.
From Androiod 6 onwards, all Android phones have the deleted files encrypted by default, which will prevent recovery tools from accessing their content, but if you are still worried about your sensitive files falling into the wrong hands , we will explain how to permanently delete this data of yours.
1. Delete your data using a File Manager
The worst way to delete a private file from your Android phone is to use the relevant application. The file may be moved to a Trash folder instead of permanently removed or continue to exist as a synchronized copy in the cloud.
Google Photos, for example, saves deleted images and videos for 60 days unless you manually empty its Recycle Bin. Even if you bypass it by selecting Delete from device, the data will remain in your Google Account.
A much better option is to use a file exploration application or a file manager to permanently delete sensitive items. There are many free file explorers for Android, including the great app Google Files.
Select the item in the file explorer, then press the Trash button or press the three-dot menu and select Delete. Confirm that you understand that the deletion cannot be undone and press Delete again.
2. Delete Data with a File Shredder
If encrypting your phone does not reassure you that deleted files cannot be recovered, or if you are running an older version of Android, consider installing a File Shredder. This will securely delete the "free" space on your device that may still contain deleted data.
File shredders like iShredderThe Shreddit and Data Eraser offer a choice of shredding algorithms. This allows you to decide how many times the data is replaced with random characters. Each replacement is known as a "pass" or "pass", and the more passes, the less likely it is to recover deleted data.
You should grant these applications permission to access your files (and optionally your contacts, which we would not recommend), but they will not shred anything without asking you for confirmation.
When using these programs, be careful not to select Complete Delete because you will "lose" your phone. Shreddit is also a completely free solution, but its ads can be annoying.
3. Delete Android files from your computer
If you do not want to install an application to permanently delete a file, you can connect your Android phone to your computer and clear the data through Windows. This method makes it easy to quickly find and remove specific items using File Explorer
Connect your phone using a USB cable and select Open device to view files from the auto play options. Alternatively, open File Explorer, select "This Computer" and double-click your phone's drive icon.
If the unit looks empty, go to your phone and put your finger on the top of the screen and pull it down. Tap the message "Charge this device via USB" and in the tab that appears on your phone select "File transfer". Alternatively go to Settings> Connected devices> USB and select the option there.
Browse your phone folders to find the file you want to delete. If it is a photo or video, it may be in the DCIM> Camera folder.
Right-click the item, select Delete, and confirm that you want to delete it permanently. Note that the file will not be sent to the Windows Recycle Bin, but will be permanently deleted.
4. Delete Sensitive Files From SD Cards
If the personal files you want to get rid of are on an SD memory card and not in your phone's internal storage, there are a few ways to delete them.
First, go to Settings> Storage> SD Card (Xiaomi owners have a slightly different menu). Locate the files and delete them from there. However, this will not make it irreversible, so you may want to format the card as well. The formatting will completely erase the contents of the SD card, so first make sure you have moved the files you want to keep on your phone.
Press the menu with the three dots in the upper right corner and select Storage Settings. Select Format, then press Delete & Format or Format SD card to erase and format the card.
Alternatively, you can connect your phone to your computer as described above, or insert the SD card into your computer's card reader. You must first "unmount" the card by selecting Disconnect or Export before removing it from your device.
Browse the contents of the SD card in File Explorer, locate the file, right-click and select Delete.
Additionally, some Android file shredding applications can delete and overwrite data stored on SD cards, including Data Erase (see Tip 2 above).
5. Reset Your Phone to Factory Settings
The most effective way to permanently delete personal files is to perform a factory reset. This will erase all the data on your phone, so it is the best way it can be used before selling your mobile or recycling your device. You need to back up the Android data you want to keep in advance.
To ensure that data cannot be recovered after a factory reset, check again that your phone is encrypted. Go to Settings> Security> Advanced and tap Encryption and Credentials. Select Phone Encryption if the option is not already enabled.
Then go to Settings> System> Advanced and tap Reset Options. Select Delete all data (factory reset) and click Delete all data.
Enter your security code or pattern when prompted, then press Clear all data to reset your phone to factory settings. If you are still crazy about retrieving your data, you can spend your free time with a file shredder.
Delete Your Data Permanently
No one wants their private files to fall into the hands of snoopers and hackers. Although Android's built-in encryption should make your deleted data inviolable, using the methods we just described will give you complete peace of mind.
Of course, all of these work. Sometimes you may delete files by mistake. If you do not act fast enough and get the right tools, you will be able to recover these deleted photos as well as other data.