Does a passcode encrypt data on a device?

Do additional steps need to be taken in order to encrypt the device, even when a passcode is already set? Or does having a passcode mean the data is encrypted?

1 Answer 1


Please clarify what you mean by device?

I am assuming mobile phone/tablet, in which case I can answer for Android based devices. Simply having a passcode/pin set to lock/unlock your android device does not encrypt the data stored on the devices flash memory. This is an additional setting that can be configured under Settings - Security, usually titled "Encrypt Phone" or similar.

Most phones will have this setting off by default, however Marshmellow (Android 6.0) now has encryption on by default. Turning this setting on will usually result in having to enter your passcode at boot time (when you switch the phone on) in order to decrypt the storage before the OS starts up.

Android security & lock settings

Some versions allow you to set a different passcode for the disk encryption to the one you use to unlock the phone, which allows you to set a longer more secure password without the inconvenience of having to enter it every time you unlock the device.

I believe the latest version of iOS also has encryption enabled by default, however I am not an iPhone user so perhaps someone else can confirm this.

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