Samsung Galaxy Smartphones Get a ‘Repair Mode’ to Protect Personal Data

Samsung is introducing a new “Repair Mode” to Galaxy smartphones to prevent personal data from being accessed by a third-party in possession of your Android handset.

As The Register reports(Opens in a new window), the new mode is only launching in South Korea for now. Samsung’s blog post in Korean(Opens in a new window) (translated) confirms it will be rolled out to the Galaxy S21 series first. Other models will get Repair Mode in the future, and hopefully other territories will, too.

Repair Mode can be enabled from the “Battery and Device Care” section in Settings. It requires a phone reboot, after which no personal data will be accessible, including any photos, messages, or accounts that require a login—so no access to emails, social media, or apps that track personal information such as workouts or periods.

Samsung also states that only the “default installed apps” for your handset will load. Exiting repair mode requires an authentication challenge such as a fingerprint or security code be entered before another reboot occurs to unlock your data.

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As the name suggests, Samsung sees this new mode being of most use when your handset needs to be sent off for repair. However, I can see it being used in a range of situations, for example, when passing through an airport, or if you’re going anywhere your phone might be at risk of being stolen or confiscated.

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