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How to Wipe your Device

by Social Media Specialist Social Media Specialist ‎01-18-2016 04:00 PM - edited ‎02-11-2016 09:27 AM (7,658 Views)

SDHD.PNGThere are a number of reasons to restore or wipe your device, but the most important is to securely erase your personal data. Whether you’re selling, trading-in, or giving your device away, you always want to be sure that your personal information has been completely erased before handing over your device. But aside from removing your personal data, restoring has other uses. You may just want a clean slate, and restoring can also be a useful troubleshooting tool when trying to fix an issue. This guide will describe how to restore and erase some of the most commonly used devices in use today.

 

Just be sure you Back-Up any important data you don’t want to lose forever before performing a restore on your device. You can learn more about Backing-Up in our “How to Back Up your Device” page.

 

 

Wiping an Android Device:

 

It doesn't matter if your Android based phone or tablet is made by Samsung, LG, Sony, or any number of other manufacturers, the restoring process is mostly the same for all of them.

 

First, enter your Settings, then look for an option generally titled Backup & Reset, finally select Factory Data Reset.

 

Your device wipe is complete when you see the welcome screen before entering the initial setup phase.

 

Warning:  Be sure to have your device connected to a power source while restoring, as a loss of power during restore may result in permanent damage to your device.

 

 

Wiping an Apple iOS Device:


iPad1.PNGRestoring your iPhone, iPad, and iPod is very similar to restoring their Android counterparts.

 

First, enter your Settings, then choose General, at the bottom of the menu select Reset. Finally, choose Erase All Content and Settings.

 

Your device wipe is complete when you see the welcome screen before entering the initial setup phase.

 

Warning:  Be sure to have your device connected to a power source while restoring, as a loss of power during restore may result in permanent damage to your device.

 

 

Wiping an Apple OSX Device:

 

Restoring an iMac or MacBook is a bit more involved than its iOS counterpart, but don’t worry, we’ve got your back!

 

While your Mac is turned off, press and hold the Command and R keys on your keyboard, and press your power button. Continue holding the Command and R keys until you see the Apple logo on your screen. You are now in Recovery Mode.

 

Next, you’ll need to connect your Mac to the Internet, so it can download its required software. Either connect and Ethernet cord, or connect to Wi-Fi as you normally would. 
 

iMac.PNGOnce connected to the Internet, select Disk Utility. Select your startup disk, and click the Erase button. Now you need to format your startup disk. Choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled) from the format menu, choose a name and then click Erase. Once your startup disk has finished formatting, choose Disk Utility and click on quit. At this point, your personal data is erased from your Mac!

 

Before your Mac will be of any use you will need to Reinstall OS X. To do this, simply click Reinstall OS X and click continue. Follow the onscreen instructions and when you're asked about your startup disk, choose the one you erased earlier.

 

The amount of time it will take for OS X to reinstall mostly depends on your Internet connection speed,

as your Mac needs to download a large file to complete the process.

 

Warning:  Be sure to have your device connected to a power source while restoring, as a loss of power during restore may result in permanent damage to your device.

 

 

Wiping a Windows 8 Device:

 

Windows 8 offers two convenient options for wiping and restoring known as Refresh and Reset. A Refresh will remove all the programs you have installed on your device, while leaving all of your personal files like pictures and documents. This is useful if your device is running a little slow, but you don't want to lose everything. A Reset will erase everything, and bring your device back to its factory condition, just like the first day you got it.

 

Refresh: Open your Charms menu by either swiping in from the right edge of your screen, or holding your mouse in the upper-right hand corner of the screen, and moving the mouse down. Next, choose Settings, then Change PC Settings, followed by Update and Recovery, and finally Recovery.

 

Fractal Define R4.PNGSelect Refresh your PC without affecting your files section, click Get Started, and follow the on screen instructions.

 

Reset: Open your Charms menu by either swiping in from the right edge of your screen, or holding your mouse in the upper-right hand corner of the screen, and moving the mouse down. Next, choose Settings, then Change PC Settings, followed by Update and Recovery, and finally Recovery.

 

Select the Remove everything and reinstall Windows section, click Get Started, and follow the on screen instructions.

 

Warning:  Be sure to have your device connected to a power source while restoring, as a loss of power during restore may result in permanent damage to your device.

 

 
Wiping a Windows 10 Device:

Surface Book side.PNG


Windows 10 offers multiple options for restoring your PC. Like Windows 8, you have the option to remove everything, and completely erase your PC, or only erase installed programs, and keep your files, like pictures and documents.

 

Click the Start Button on the bottom left-hand corner of the screen. Next, choose Settings, then Update & Security, followed by Reset this PC, and finally Get Started. You should see a new window appear with the options of Keep my Files, and Remove Everything.

 

Warning:  Be sure to have your device connected to a power source while restoring, as a loss of power during restore may result in permanent damage to your device.

 

 

 

Wiping a Computer with an Older Version of Windows:

 

Older versions of Windows don't have the same convenient options to Refresh and Reset like today's versions, but you can still securely erase your information if you're looking to recycle your computer. See our video on how to remove and physically destroy your data from your old computer.

 

Thought this video was helpful? Let us know by giving us some Kudos using the button below! 

 

 

 

Older versions of Windows don't have the same convenient options to Refresh and Reset like today's versions, but you can still securely erase your information if you're looking to recycle your computer. See our video on how to securely wipe your data without destroying your hard drive.

 

Thought this video was helpful? Let us know by giving us some Kudos using the button below! 

 

If you have any questions this guide did not answer, please post your question on our Computers & Tablets Board.

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