While selling your old technology can help you save money, keep in mind that your devices contain important information that you don’t want a stranger to see.
For example, your smartphone may recognize your location and keep your voice recordings locally. To erase and deregister your Amazon Echo before selling it, tap or click here.
Consider what your phone knows now. It’s no surprise that you get that sinking feeling when you can’t find it. Here’s how to track down a phone that’s gone missing, even if the battery is dead.
But what happens if your phone, tablet, or laptop is permanently lost? Don’t let the information you’ve gathered end up in the wrong hands. Here’s how to get rid of all of your personal information from anywhere:
How to think ahead
Imagine going on a trip and not being able to find your phone or computer. If your passcode is easy to guess – or, even worse, if you don’t have one – you’re potentially handing over everything from your bank account to your social media accounts to anybody you want.
It’s quite convenient to be able to clean your gadgets remotely. However, you must set up the capacity in advance. It’s too late if you wait till you require this feature. Take some time right now to set it up using the instructions below.
How to erase data on a lost Android device
You can locate, lock, or erase your Android phone remotely if you misplace it. Before you can use these services, you must first enable Find My Device. Here’s how to do it.
• Go to the Settings app and choose it.
• Select Security > Find My Device from the drop-down menu. If you don’t see Security, go to Google > Security or Security & location.
• Ensure that Find My Device is enabled.
To remotely delete your phone, follow these procedures.
• Sign in to your Google Account at android.com/find. If you have more than one phone, go to the top of the screen and click the lost phone. Sign in with a Google Account on the main profile if your phone has several user profiles.
• A notification will be sent to the missing phone, and you will be able to see its approximate location on a map. You’ll see your phone’s last known position if you can’t find it.
• Select Enable lock and wipe if necessary.
• Select Erase device to permanently delete all data on your device. Note that when you complete this step, Find My Device will no longer work on that phone.
Data on your iPhone, Mac, or iPad can be erased.
The Find My app from Apple allows you to wipe an iPhone, iPad, or Mac from away. As with Android, make sure Find My is turned on before you start.
How to enable Find My for iPhone and iPad
• Open the Settings app on your phone. Then tap Find My, then tap your name.
• Turn on Find My (device) by tapping Find My (device) (device).
• Enable Find My Network to see your device even when it’s not connected to the internet.
• Turn on Send Last Location to have your device’s location sent to Apple when the battery is low.
• To enable Find My on your Mac, follow these steps:
• Select Security & Privacy from the Apple menu > System Preferences. Toggle to the Privacy tab. Click the padlock in the lower-left corner if it’s locked, and then enter your password.
• Select Location Services from the drop-down menu, then check the Enable Location Services box. Check the box next to Find Me to see if it’s checked.
• Return to the main System Preferences window by clicking Done.
• Select Apple ID > iCloud from the drop-down menu. Next to Find My Mac, click the box.
• Click Options to be sure you can find your Mac if it’s ever lost or stolen. Make sure Find My Mac and Find My Network are both turned on.
• Click the Done button.
Let’s pretend your iPhone, iPad, or Mac is stolen. Here’s how to remotely delete all of the data on it:
• Sign in to your account at icloud.com.
• Select Find My iPhone, then All Devices from the drop-down menu. (Note: If All Devices isn’t shown, you’ve already chosen a device.) To reach the Devices list, click the name of the current device in the toolbar’s centre, then select a new device.)
• Erase the device you wish to erase by selecting it and clicking Erase (device).
• Depending on what you wish to remove, do one of the following:
• Apple Watch, iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch: Enter the password for your Apple ID. Answer your security questions or enter the verification code supplied to your other devices if you’re not using a trusted browser.
• Mac: Enter your Apple ID password on your Mac. Answer your security questions or enter the verification code supplied to your other devices if you’re not using a trusted browser. To lock the Mac, enter a passcode. To unlock it, you’ll need to enter the passcode.
• If you’re asked to input a phone number or message because the device is missing, say that the device is missing or how to reach you if you like. The phone number and message will appear on the lock screen of the smartphone.
• If your device is connected to the internet, the remote erase will begin once you’ve followed the on-screen instructions. If your device is offline, the remote erase will begin when it reconnects to the internet.
How to erase data on a lost Windows laptop
You can also wipe your Windows laptop from afar. Before this happens, make sure the Find my device feature is turned on:
• Use your Microsoft account to log in.
• In Windows 10, navigate to Settings > Update & Security > Update & Security > Update & Security > Update & Security > Update & Security > Look for my device and make sure the feature is turned on.
• In Windows 11, navigate to Settings > Privacy & security > Encryption > Encryption > Encryption > Encryption > Look for my device and make sure the feature is turned on.
After that, you must enroll your computer in Microsoft Intune, a cloud-based service that allows you to control devices and programs remotely. Sign in to the Company Portal website or download the app from the Microsoft Store.
You can now remotely delete your laptop if it goes missing.
• Sign in by going to portal.azure.com/#home.
• Select All Services and then Intune from the drop-down menu.
• Select Devices from Microsoft Intune.
• Choose the device you want to remotely wipe.
• Select Wipe, then Yes.
• When you turn on your laptop again, all of your data will be deleted in 15 minutes.
How do I wipe my stolen Android phone?
If you’ve had an Android phone stolen, the best thing you can do is clean it before using it. This will wipe the phone’s data and make it more difficult for the prior owner to find it down. Open the Settings menu on an Android phone and select “Backup and reset.” Select “Factory data reset” and then “Reset phone” from the drop-down menu.
How can I delete files from my stolen phone?
If your phone has been stolen, the best thing you can do is report it to the police. They might be able to locate your phone or, at the very least, prevent access to your files. If the police are unable to assist you, you may be able to locate your phone using tracking software. You can try to remove the files remotely once you’ve found your phone, but there’s no guarantee that they’ll be totally destroyed.
Can I remotely erase my Android phone if it is off?
If your Android phone is turned off, you can remotely delete it. You can accomplish this by navigating to the “My Devices” tab after login into your Google account. You can then choose whatever device you want to erase and press the “Erase” button.
How do I erase all data from my phone remotely?
There are a few options for remotely wiping your phone’s data. One option is to use the iPhone or iPad’s built-in “Find My iPhone” feature. Use a third-party app like Find My Phone! or Android Device Manager as an alternative.
How do I factory reset my phone if it’s locked?
A locked phone can be factory reset in a few different ways. Entering the phone’s recovery mode and then using the factory reset function is one option. Another option is to circumvent the lock screen by using a third-party unlocking tool.
Does factory reset remove all data?
All data on the device will be erased if the device is the factory reset. Photos, music, contacts, and any other items are included. Before doing a factory reset, make a backup of any vital data.
How can I block my stolen phone with IMEI number?
If your phone is stolen, notify it your service provider and provide them with the phone’s IMEI number. They will then put the phone on a blacklist, preventing it from being used on their network.