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Samsung's Maintenance Mode protects the personal data on your phone while it's under repair

Samsung Galaxy S22

When we send our phone to the service center for repair, it can be very easy for repair technicians to see our personal data such as text messages, contacts, photos, and videos. This is in fact the case back in 2021, where a woman caught an Apple technician stealing her nude photos and posting them to Facebook. The woman sued Apple and eventually settled with the company for a multi-million dollar sum.

Samsung is trying to avoid this risk by introducing Maintenance Mode, which allows users block access to their personal information when they send their device in for repair.

"Our whole lives are on our phones, from credit card information to family photos. With Maintenance Mode, we are giving extra reassurance that Galaxy users can keep their privacy, even if they hand their phone to someone," according to Seungwon Shin, VP and Head of Security Team at Mobile eXperience Business at Samsung Electronics. "This is just the latest example of our constant efforts to introduce new ways to make people feel safe and in control, so they can explore new mobile experiences with peace of mind, knowing we have their back."

Samsung Maintenance Mode
How to activate Maintenance Mode | Image via Samsung

Maintenance Mode can be activated by a going to Settings > Battery and device care, and rebooting the phone. This will create a separate account on the phone for a technician to use while the handset is being repaired, hence preventing them from accessing the owner's personal data.

Data or accounts created during Maintenance Mode are automatically deleted as soon as the owner exits Maintenance Mode. Apps downloaded during Maintenance Mode will be deleted as well.

Samsung has begun rolling out Maintenance Mode to Galaxy devices with One UI 5 installed. The feature will become available to more devices in 2023.

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