With old HDD to secure delete a file you need to use Gutmann standard, but with new HDD you can use only 1 pass overwrite I'm not sure what hard drives mobile phones use and don't know how many passes will be okay for secure deleting files on phone. What standards are okay to safe delete files on phones? How many passes you need ? Is 0x00 or 0xFF standart overwriting with random data 1 pass safe or you need to use DoD 5220.22-M standard or Gutmann standart ? This question is Android and iPhones related

2 Answers 2


On modern Android and iOS devices, some type of file encryption is certainly in place. Without the encryption key, the data is irrecoverable. Therefore, performing a factory reset to remove the key should render the data irrecoverable.

This is assuming you are willing to discard all data on the device.

  • But that assumes if brute force will not give success in the short term. If the key value, is guessed near beginning rounds of brute force, then there is nothing stopping a person from retrieving the data. You also have to assume that the hardware manufacturer does not have the key value on file, or that TPM is not used. In which case the original TPM value is probably known by the manufacturer. Actually physically destroying the memory chip into many peices would probably even better. Sep 18, 2020 at 1:20
  • @AmolSoneji Modern mobile hardware doesn't use a TPM (remember, TPM is one specific specification for a type of trusted hardware). They use something else called a Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) which generates and stores the key and will securely erase it upon factory reset. Brute force is not possible due to the size of the key.
    – forest
    Feb 15, 2021 at 2:42

Mobile phones don't use Hard Drives, and rather use the flash memory chips for memory like the ones used on a Solid State Drive. So you can't use the same exact methodology that is used to wipe clean a Hard Disk Drive.

You could try factory resetting the phone, that would only "delete" the data. However, I think it would require rooting the device as a first step towards, wiping clean the data on the phone. After rooting the device you could probably do a google search on how to wipe clean a phones memory.

A better option would be to physically destroy the memory chip on the phone, in a manner that it would be hard to reassemble it back together.

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