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I remember ten years ago in Android I would go to settings - encrypt disk - to protect all my data. That was different to a screen lock password.

However, I just bought a new Samsung Galaxy A23 phone and there is no option anywhere in settings to encrypt the disk. There is only a screen lock (face, fingerprint, pin, password).

Are Android phones these days not encryptable any more - or is all my data encrypted by the screen lock in the 2020s?

Furthermore, assuming the screen lock does encrypt the disk, there is an option to factory reset the phone after 15 failed attempts. But I assume that does nothing if someone has direct access to the disk itself.

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    By "Android" you seem to mean "Google Android" (all phones that comply with the Google Android Compatibility Test Suite and thus come with pre-installed Google services). For other Android phones I am not sure if encryption is already included in AOSP but the manufacturer could anyway modify those non-Google Andorid phone in any way they want.
    – Robert
    Sep 7, 2022 at 9:36
  • Sorry, doesn't Google make Android? How do you have a phone that is Android but not Google Android? Like a Chinese one that we can't buy outside their country?
    – Richard
    Sep 7, 2022 at 12:21
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    Recent Huawei phone are Google free (thus not Google Android) and can be bought AFAIK world wide. Also smaller manufacturer provide such phones.
    – Robert
    Sep 7, 2022 at 12:46
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    Reset after 15 failed is an opt-in feature that does reset your device. Having physical access is not enough for someone to compromise the device. This assumption is made for unencrypted data and unprotected boot. Phone unlocking is a big deal for spyware agencies right now and it doesn't always work.
    – defalt
    Sep 7, 2022 at 13:24

2 Answers 2

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Yes, new Android devices are encrypted by default and have been since Android 10.

Just yesterday, I received a new Pixel 6a and when looking into the settings, it showed all files as being encrypted with File-based Encryption

To quote the documentation (emphasis mine):

  • For new devices running Android 10 and higher, file-based encryption is required.
  • Devices running Android 9 and higher can use adoptable storage and file-based encryption.
  • For devices running Android 7.0–8.1, file-based encryption can't be used together with adoptable storage. If file-based encryption is enabled on these devices, new storage media (such as an SD card) must be used as traditional storage.

On a stock Android 13 installation, you can check the encryption status in the Settings under Security > Advanced settings > Encryption & credentials > Encrypt phone. It will show you that your phone is encrypted and also not give you any option not to have it encrypted.

On other Android flavors, such as that used by Samsung, it's possible that this option is not displayed, but given that encryption is mandatory since Android 10, they are encrypted.

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No, Note: Full-disk encryption is not allowed on new devices running Android 10 and higher. For new devices, use file-based encryption.

Information from here: https://source.android.com/docs/security/features/encryption

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