How To Clear Your Data From Your Mobile Windows Device (Phones and Tablets)

Before selling your phone, make sure you delete all of your personal and private data from your Windows operating system device. Lets be honest, we all have some pictures saved on our phones that should have been sent and already erased with SnapChat. And the last thing you want is for the buyer of your cell phone to have access to your social media accounts. Therefore, I highly recommend that you reset your mobile Windows device and revert it back to the factory settings you received it with when you first bought it. All of your personal content will be erased, and the phone will be restored to its factory settings. You should back up your apps, text messages, photos, and more to your Microsoft account in the cloud beforehand. If you upgraded to a new phone, be sure that you transferred all of your data and information to the new phone before deleting the old phone. The following instructions work for Windows phones as well as the Surface Tablet.

Windows Phone 8 or 7

  1. From the home screen, swipe to the left (or tap the arrow on the right).
  2. Scroll down and tap Settings > About. (You can also get to Settings from your App list)
  3. Select Reset your phone. You’ll receive two warnings. If you’re absolutely sure you want to restore your phone to its factory settings, tap Yes, and then tap Yes again.

Reset Windows 8 Device


Don’t Forget About Your SD Card

Additionally, make sure to delete everything from any storage media. Usually, this just means formatting the microSD card if your phone has one. Another option is to simply keep the microSD card and use it in your new phone, as long as the new phone accepts storage media and you make it clear to potential buyers that a microSD card isn’t included in the phone that you are selling. You can format the SD card in your phone to erase all files on it and start fresh.

WARNING: All your personal files and everything stored on your SD card will be erased. Don’t forget to backup your SD card also!

  1. In the App list, tap Storage Sense Storage Sense Tile.
  2. Tap SD card, and then pan down and tap Format SD card.
  3. In the Format SD card? message box, tap Yes to confirm and format the card.

Format Windows 8 SD Card


If you are using an older version of Windows your mobile device, see below for instruction to clear your data from your device:

Windows Mobile 6.5

  1. From the home screen, tap Start.
  2. Tap Settings > All Settings > System Tab.
  3. Select Clear Storage.


Windows Mobile 6.1 or 6

  1. From the home screen, tap Start > Settings > System Tab.
  2. Select Clear Storage.
  3. Type 1234, and then tap Yes.

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