It’s standard practice to reset your phone when dropping it off at the service center for repairs – otherwise you risk sensitive data (photos, accounts, etc.) getting into the wrong hands. This creates an additional hassle of having to back up your data first and restoring it after.
Samsung has introduced a solution to this problem – Repair Mode. This will be accessible through the Battery and Device Care screen in the Settings. Once activated the phone will reboot.
The mode will hide all personal data, including photos, messages, accounts and even apps (only the default installed apps will be active). Basically, it will be as if the phone has been reset.
After repairs are done and you pick up your phone, you will be able to deactivate 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 be restored as well.
An additional option will let the phone create a log that records recent issues 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 have the option to enter Repair Mode without creating a log.
Repair Mode will be enabled on the Galaxy S21 series first via a software update. Samsung writes that it plans to “expand it to some other models in the future”.
Note the press release was posted only 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 expanding it to more regions and phones.
It is a universally useful feature, though, as it solves a common problem. We expect that it will become standard on One UI, at least for select models. “Technology is connecting 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 of Samsung Electronics’ MX Division.