What you need to know
- Samsung has announced a new feature that will protect your data while your phone is being repaired.
- The repair mode feature will first be available on the Samsung Galaxy S21 series in South Korea.
- In the future, Samsung intends to expand the feature to other Galaxy models.
The idea of leaving your broken phone in the hands of a technician can be a nightmare, but Samsung has devised a solution to give you peace of mind while your device is being repaired.
Samsung has introduced a new repair mode feature for Galaxy devices (via SamMobile). The feature is coming to the Galaxy S21 series first in South Korea before making its way to many of the best Samsung phones.
The new feature guards against any potential invasion of privacy that may occur when you send in your phone for repair. There have been similar incidents in the past, most notably in 2020, when game designer Jane McGonigal handed over her Pixel 5a for repairs. Someone later gained access to her phone and personal data stored in Gmail, Google Drive, photos, backup email account, and Dropbox.
With the repair mode service, Samsung hopes to keep this from happening to Galaxy phone owners. It basically puts your device on lockdown before sending it in for repair.
In repair mode, technicians will have fairly limited access to apps. This means they can only access basic apps that aid in the phone repair process, preventing anyone from accessing your personal photos and files as well as private messages.
You can turn on the feature by navigating to the “Battery and Device Care” section in the Settings app. Your device will reboot into Repair Mode, locking down your photos, accounts, and messages. When the repair is finished, you can exit Repair Mode and return to your full app catalog.
It's not clear whether the repair mode will roll out in other regions. But then again, you'll soon be able to do your own repairs when Samsung, in collaboration with iFixit, begins shipping genuine repair parts to users this summer.
The new service addresses a longtime hassle for Galaxy phone users, though it's a bit surprising why it took Samsung so long to launch this type of feature. Anyway, it's a welcome change.
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Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.