It is common practice to reset your phone when you take it to the service center for repair – otherwise you risk sensitive data (photos, accounts, etc.) falling into the wrong hands. This creates the added hassle of having to back up your data first and then restore it.
Samsung has introduced a solution to this problem – Repair Mode. This will be available via the Battery and Device Care screen in Settings. Once activated, the phone will reboot.
The mode hides all personal data, including photos, messages, accounts and even apps (only the default installed apps will be active). Basically, it will be like the phone has been reset.
After repairs are done and you pick up your phone, you’ll be able to disable repair mode using a fingerprint or pattern lock. This will reboot the phone again, this time with full access to all your data. Any settings that the technician changed during the repair will also be restored.
An additional option will let the phone create a log that records recent problems and which apps were in use when they occurred. This will help diagnose the problem. Of course, no personal information will be recorded in this log and you will be able to enter repair mode without creating a log.
Repair mode will first be enabled on the Galaxy S21 series via a software update. Samsung writes that they plan to “extend it to some other models in the future”.
Note that the press release was only published on Samsung’s Korean site as the update, so the feature will be limited to Samsung’s home turf at first. This seems like a dry run to test the new feature before it expands to more regions and phones.
However, it is a universally useful feature as it solves a common problem. We expect it to become standard on One UI, at least for select models. “Technology connects the world more than ever, but the risks are also increasing. Samsung’s top priority is customers,” said Shin Seung-won, managing director of the security team at Samsung Electronics’ MX Division.