Is there a "factory reset" for /e/?

Say you want to sell or donate your phone with /e/ installed.

How can you reset the phone ?

Via TWRP ?
Flashing it all over again ?

In the 0.16 version of the /e/ Recovery (replaces TWRP) there is a ‘Factory reset’ option. Not sure what it does exactly though.

1 Like

Found it. Thanks @Pinback

Edit, for linking purposes

A “factory reset” in the Android world usually wipes the data partition and the cache partition, usually the recovery will give that as status texts while doing it (at least the stock Android recovery and TWRP do). This will delete all user data as well as all Apps installed by the user and their data.
The OS will be left untouched (so it will stay at the latest installed version and possible faults on the OS side acquired after the latest install/update will persist) and after the factory reset will present itself with the initial user setup again.

Ok, regarding ‘wipe’, is that usually a secure wipe or just deletion of filenames/directories?

The stock Android recovery according to its status output is “formatting” data and cache when it does a factory reset.

TWRP differentiates between “wipe” and “format”.
On a Fairphone 2 (a non-A/B device, can’t say much about factory resetting my A/B Fairphone 3 at the moment), a TWRP “factory reset” will format cache and wipe data, meaning it will only delete the files on the data partition (and I don’t say directories on purpose here, I’ve seen intact directory structures without files after a TWRP wipe). The advantage of this approach is that it will keep an encrypted data partition encrypted. TWRP offers an extra button to “Format Data” to do the extra damage a TWRP wipe doesn’t do. In case TWRP doesn’t support the encryption possibly used on the data partition, I think TWRP would have no choice but to simply format data, too, when doing a factory reset.

So I would say, when doing a factory reset, just pay close attention to the recovery status output.
If you have higher level security requirements, I guess you will not hand out any kind of storage to somebody else :wink: .

1 Like

Just “factory reset” my Fairphone 3+ with /e/os and TWRP installed.
I found that it does not wipe out the data on my phone, only reset the apps and setting. Quite annoying if you want to give your phone away !

What does that mean exactly?
Did it leave personal files of yours on the phone?

Did you use the factory reset from the /e/ Settings or the TWRP factory reset? There’s an open issue regarding the former …

Yes I used factory reset on the phone. It re-installed the /e/os but did not get get rid of my personal files.
In e recovery I did a full reset and it worked, it wiped out everything and re-installed /e/os.