If you’ve ever been in a situation where you need to hand over your smartphone to a repair technician, but fret that they’ll go through your personal files and data, Samsung has a neat solution for you.
The new feature, called ‘Maintenance Mode,’ is currently only available with some of the top Samsung devices. When enabled, maintenance mode switches your smartphone to a default guest account that has access to all core phone functions, and no access to user data, allowing the repair technician complete freedom to check the phone and its functions, while being blocked out of all personal files that you want no one’s eyes on.
“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,” said Seungwon Shin, VP and head of security team 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.”
The feature is located in the ‘Battery and device care’ menu in your smartphone’s settings. Enabling the feature will reboot the device, upon which the device will boot up in the guest account. Further, “Data or accounts generated when using Maintenance Mode are automatically deleted as soon as the owner exits Maintenance Mode,” says Samsung.
Maintenance Mode was first tested on the Galaxy S21 series in Korea earlier this year, and was subsequently launched in China in September. The feature’s gradual global launch starts today on select Samsung devices running One UI 5. “The rollout will continue throughout 2023, with availability expanding to more Galaxy devices.” wrote Samsung.