If you’ve ever had the unfortunate experience of sending any electronics to get repaired, you may have heard the shops tell you to reformat your device beforehand. It can be a bit of a pain, but it’s probably for the better, since you risk your data being accessed by others. This may be a thing of the past for Samsung devices, at least in its own home market, as it is introducing what it calls Repair Mode.
What this mode does is it keeps your personal data secure while it’s being fixed. Users get control to some extent in regards to what they want locked down and what they don’t mind leaving exposed. Which sounds like the much easier alternative than formatting your device and then restoring from a backup once the repairs are done.
Repair mode is activated from the Battery and Device Care menu from the phone’s settings. Once engaged, your Samsung device reboots itself, after which your photos, messages, accounts and other forms of personal data get locked down. The only things that are left accessible are apps that were installed on the phone by default. Getting out of the mode involves rebooting the device again and authenticating through either your fingerprint or your own unlock pattern.
Samsung announces that Repair Mode will first arrive on Galaxy S21 series phones first via an update, with other devices to get it later down the line. It’s a little odd that the company is rolling this out on last year’s flagship series rather than this year’s, though. It’s a little unclear as when, or indeed if, this feature is something that will be available in other regions as well. Though with one as privacy- and security-focused as this, chances are it will not remain something that is exclusive to its home market.