Entrusting your phone to a repairer is often stressful. After a successful pilot program in South Korea and initial launch in China, Samsung has launched the Maintenance Mode — a privacy protection feature for some of its Galaxy devices.
Maintenance Mode helps alleviate the user’s worry about handing their smartphone to someone for repair by allowing users to restrict access to sensitive information such as images, messages, or contacts. Samsung said in a statement. “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“.
In detail, Maintenance Mode is a way to create a separate user account called “guest” when the user hands over his device to be repaired. The repairer can then operate the basic functions without being able to access private information.
To do so, navigate to Settings > Battery and device care > Maintenance Mode > Turn on, then restart your smartphone. As soon as it restarts, users’ personal information, including photos, documents, and messages, will be restricted.
Once the Maintenance Mode is activated, the person to whom the device was entrusted will also not be able to recover the applications installed before. Data or accounts generated while using Maintenance Mode are automatically deleted as soon as the owner exits this mode.
Consequently, the repairer can download applications from the Galaxy Store, but these apps will be automatically deleted along with the data or accounts created as soon as the owner exits Maintenance Mode. The user can use a password or fingerprint to activate or exit it.
To date, Galaxy devices are protected by Knox, the firm’s military-grade security platform, which claims that any potential threat can be discovered and neutralized more quickly. Built-in hardware and software security protect everything on the device. Users also have access to features such as the security & privacy dashboard and permissions manager, so users can easily determine what happens to their data.
General availability by 2023
The Maintenance Mode feature was first tested on the Galaxy S21 series in Korea in July and then launched in China in September. It is to be rolled out gradually to models running Android 13 and One UI 5 — the stable version of its Android 13-based One UI 5 or later, including Galaxy S21 and S22 series. Timing of availability may vary by market and model.